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Letters to the editor: 7/9/16

Campaign to get social care right for old and disabled

In the face of deep cuts to social care funding, many disabled and older people are being denied the care and support they need to live independently and with dignity.

As a result, everyday tasks that many of us take for granted such as washing, dressing and eating are now proving more and more difficult for thousands of people.

At Leonard Cheshire Disability, we are campaigning for better and fairer social care and would like to hear from your readers about their experiences of care, good or bad. Whether you have received social care yourself, or experienced it through a friend or family member, please get in touch.

Together we can make a difference.

You can email us at or write to Campaigns, Leonard Cheshire Disability, 66 South Lambeth Road, London, SW8 1RL.

For more information visit

Emma McEwan , Campaigns Manager, Leonard Cheshire Disability



Pub to re-open instead of being turned into flats

Just when you think pub closures are inevitable you find out that an old established pub is re-opening soon.

The Beehive in Bartholomew Street is re-opening as Spit and Sawdust, and they are having real proper beer served out of barrels, just turn on the tap and your beer comes into the glass.

People often moan about the loss of our  local pubs and are growing weary seeing developers pounce on beautiful old pubs and then convert them into flats.

Let’s stay the developers from doing this – after all the term ‘affordable rents ‘ do not apply to your average Southwark resident.

Support Spit and Sawdust! – The official opening date is September 16.

Jan Thornton, Bermondsey



Can Docklands Settlement give free pitches for kids football?

In response to the letter from Ben North in last week’s edition.

Did the Docklands Settlement put up the pitch prices in January this year ?

If so by how much? Are the prices going up again next year?

Because the Docklands Settlement do not run the football academy the local kids should get some support from the settlement  to help get them off the streets.

If the settlement can give free pitch session for other groups why not for the kids’ football?

Mrs. Heather, via email 



Help us design a Christmas card for children at Evelina

From the moment of diagnosis, throughout any treatment and care pathway or bereavement, ECHO support children and young people with heart conditions and their families, who have received treatment at the Evelina London Children’s Hospital.

ECHO receives no government or NHS funding and relies solely on public generosity to ensure we can continue to support and empower children, young people and families affected by heart disease.

This year we hope to produce Christmas cards that will help us raise vital funds to continue our work.

One of our patrons Phil Gallagher is no stranger to design and arts and crafts, well-known cbeebies presenter Phil was excited to learn we needed new Christmas cards designed and made a video clip to encourage you and your friends and family to get you involved.

We are asking children, adults, friends, companies, teams and supporters to grab their pens & pencils or computers and get creative. Your design could become one of the ECHO 2017 Christmas cards.

Your entry can be a photograph, a drawing, a cartoon, a kid’s picture and you can enter individually or as a group – we are open to all ideas. It would be great to have a link to ECHO – perhaps our heart logo and of course Christmas!

To find out more about the competition visit our website, and please share this with as many of your networks as you can.

Closing date is the 16th September, it’s totally free to enter and money raised from the sale of the cards will help ECHO support children with heart conditions and their families.

What’s stopping you? GO GET CREATIVE!

Samantha Johnson , Chief Executive ECHO,, 07730 146 154



New test to help diagnose meningitis

A test has been developed that could help to diagnose bacterial infections, including meningitis in minutes.

If made available through the NHS, this test would significantly reduce the time taken to diagnose the disease and minimise the risk of misdiagnosis.

The new test, developed by a team at Imperial College London, is a major breakthrough in the rapid diagnosis of meningitis and sepsis in children.

If made available through the NHS, it could allow treatment to begin much earlier, saving hundreds of lives and reducing the risk of life-changing after-effects.

The signs and symptoms of meningitis are notoriously difficult to diagnose, and can be dismissed as a cold or flu. Many young children presenting the early symptoms of the disease are initially sent home, before being rushed back to hospital a few hours later as their condition rapidly deteriorates.

Currently, doctors grow bacteria in a sample of blood, in a process which can take up to 48 hours.

The study led by Professor Michael Levin has shown that a bacterial infection can be distinguished  from other causes of fever, such as a viral infection, using a pattern of genes that are switched on or off in response to an infection.

A larger project will now begin to develop these findings into a pin-prick diagnostic test, which Professor Levin believes could be available through the NHS within five years.

For support and advice on meningitis call the Meningitis Now Helpline on 0808 80 10 388.

For more information or to donate visit the website at

Liz Brown, CEO Meningitis Now



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