Letters to the editor in this week’s Bucks Herald newspaper include:
WELL DONE CHILDREN
Once again many thanks to everybody responsible for the excellent Christmas dinner provided for single senior citizens on December 6 at the Oasis Centre in Princes Risborough. All the trimmings, mulled wine, choice of sauces with the pudding.
The children sang beautifully, very well rehearsed but as we were promised a carol service it would have been good to have had just one carol with the Christmas songs.
What happened to Away in a Manger? However well done children. Thanks to everyone concerned.
Ms D Tilbury
I write in an incandescent rage regarding the inconsiderate behaviour of drivers (parents, grandparents, carers?) taking and collecting children from school at Bedgrove First and Middle Schools along Ambleside.
As a resident for almost 40 years the situation has hugely worsened in recent times. As a rule I normally try to avoid “school time” but through necessity today it took me 20 minutes from entering Ambleside to reaching my home.
Had an emergency vehicle been required in the area goodness knows how they would have got through.
Drivers, very many of who drive large 4x4’s just plough through with no thought to others. If they looked ahead it would make sense to stay back and let traffic pass to ease the congestion. But no! How selfish.
I intend to contact the heads of both schools to complain. I know this has been done many times before and has had a short term improvement but something has really got to be done . The local police (if there are any?) should patrol the area.
As council budgets become more and more stretched, we are seeing a worrying increase in extremely short home care visits to disabled and older people, lasting just 15 minutes.
Each year thousands are being denied good quality care and support as a result of these flying visits.
If carers don’t even have time to take off their coats, how can they support disabled people with any kind of dignity?
That’s why our organisation has decided to stop bidding for contracts that contain 15 minute visits. We have launched a campaign called Make Care Fair.
But it doesn’t end there.
We are now calling on Parliament to put a stop to this indignity. And we need your help to achieve this.
To strengthen our case, we want to hear from the people that are directly affected by flying home care visits, whether you personally receive them, have a friend or relative who does, or if you are a carer yourself.
Please get in touch by calling 01275-849918, emailing me on amy.parker@LCDdisability.org or writing to me at Leonard Cheshire Disability, 66 South Lambeth Road, London, SW8 1RL.
Find out more about how you can get involved by visiting www.lcdisability.org/makecarefair
Campaigns officer, Leonard Cheshire Disability
WHY PUNISH PEOPLE?
Response to comment made by Aylesbury Vale District Council over Jonathan Page Centre.
While the Cabinet agreed to look at ways of withdrawing funding to the Jonathan Page Centre, the decision has been met with strong opposition by Cllrs Lambert, Adams, Stuchbury and myself, representing our parties.
At least 35, or thereabouts, members of the public came to the Cabinet meeting to make their feelings known.
I am pretty sure the opposition parties will be unanimous in standing by the people against this ridiculous decision to punish families by taking away a much-needed service, while continuing to fund the Waterside development.
Cllr Michael Beall
Labour district councillor Southcourt
It has been a wonderful year for the Florence Nightingale Hospice as we celebrate our 25th anniversary year.
Since the Hospice was officially opened by HRH Duchess of Kent on the 3rd December 1989, it has played a vital role in supporting local families across Aylesbury Vale and beyond and has become a significant part of the local community - a community which helped to build it over 25 years ago through a public campaign to raise £500,000. Our community continues to rally round and show its support for our palliative care services over a quarter of a century on.
It is an honour to have met some of the founder supporters at our recent 25th anniversary celebration held in September, and I would therefore like to pay special tribute to all those founder members and fundraisers from every corner of the Vale, who played an important part in helping to make the Florence Nightingale Hospice the very special place it is today.
As readers may know, we launched our anniversary year in style at the Waterside Theatre, with ‘Strictly Florence’, supported by Mr Craig Revel Horwood, actress and Christmas panto star Anita Dobson plus a host of VIP guests, giving their time and commitment free-of-charge to support this event.
It was simply fantastic. The atmosphere on the night and the community ‘feel-good’ factor was amazing.
On behalf of the Charity, I have to say a huge thank you to everyone involved for helping us to raise a FAB-U-LOUS £18,000 in aid of the Hospice.
We have recently (with a little help from Sir David Jason OBE) launched an appeal to refurbish our Day Hospice, which supports 40-60 patients each week and is a lifeline for people who need therapeutic relief of distressing symptoms associated with life-limiting illness, as well as spiritual and psychological support.
We are aiming to reach £20,000 in order to help fund new chairs, tables, curtains, blinds, cushions and new flooring to make our Day Hospice a real ‘home from home’ for our patients. Readers can visit our Charity website for more information or to make a donation at www.fnhospice.org.uk.
As we move into our 25th year, our small team of staff and volunteers have grown in numbers.
We now have 435 volunteers, who help support the day-to-day running of the Charity and Hospice. We have a wide variety of roles to suit all ages and abilities, and are currently appealing for young ambassadors to come on board to help spread the word about the Florence Nightingale Hospice and the importance of local Hospice care (details below regarding how to find out more about volunteering).
As a Charity, we have continued to support the funding of essential in-patient and at-home services including an on-going commitment to fund the Nightingale 24/7 Care Team at a cost of over £100,000 a year.
The 24/7 team have made 1048 home visits this year enabling patients to remain in their own home to receive palliative care in their last few weeks of life should that be their preferred choice.
We have also funded specialist equipment such as a Corendo Chair, which enables patients to shower comfortably and safely, whilst continuing to promote their independence and dignity.
This cost the Charity, £4,000 to fund, and is invaluable to both our patients and staff. We also recently funded a new post at the Hospice of Discharge Liaison Nurse, who specialises in providing a care plan, support and information to those patients discharged from the Hospice and returning home.
This key role helps relieve some of the pressure from our busy in-house team, who can now dedicate their time to providing care.
We would not be able to achieve these extra comforts, (on top of an annual commitment to fund over £600,000), which make Hospice care so special, without the continued support from our local community.
As part of marking our special anniversary year, we have plans to support Hospice staff in the delivery of specialist palliative care education, to local GP’s and other medical care providers working in our community.
This will help to ensure more and more people have access to the care they deserve.
Our fundraising calendar is (as always) very busy. Our team works extremely hard to offer something for everyone, whatever your age, interests or ability.
From community events such as Bingo, Music quizzes and our monthly market stall, to challenge events such as the ever-popular Midnight Walk, Florrie’s Scootathlon or Aylesbury Superhero.
Readers can even take on a Marathon challenge with us in our 25th year, a swimming challenge in Buckingham or a Trek to Vietnam – the choice is yours! Alongside our usual fundraising activities, we will be hosting special 25th events to mark our Silver Jubilee year.
These will include a flower festival in August, a Mid-summer gala, a visit to Speakers House, a special Schools project, which we will be communicating in the New Year and finally our celebrations will culminate in a Thanksgiving service in October.
On behalf of everyone involved with the Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity, I cannot thank our supporters enough. These include Bucks Herald readers, our 400+ volunteers, local businesses, schools and staff – it’s been a wonderful start to our 25th celebratory year, let’s continue to work together to help ensure Hospice care remains part of our local community for now and in the future.
Merry Christmas to you all and a very Happy New Year.
Executive director, Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity
PUPPIES ARE FOR LIFE
In Aylesbury this Christmas many puppies given as presents will be enjoying their first days with their new families.
Sadly, in many cases, the puppies are only wanted for days or weeks once the novelty wears off.
Animals do not make good surprise Christmas presents and sensible people understand that looking after an animal is a long term commitment.
After last Christmas, animal shelters in Aylesbury and the surrounding area were full to bursting point with traumatised animals.
Let’s make sure this doesn’t happen again.
Father Christmas would not consider giving a puppy or any other animal as a Christmas present and neither should you.