What our readers are writing about this week.

Sir, – Are your readers looking to challenge themselves? Children Today would like to offer you the opportunity to join in one of our fantastic London to Paris Bike Rides and help raise money for disabled children in the UK.

Your journey will begin in London where you will cycle through rural England to reach Dover where you will cross the Channel by ferry to Calais. From Calais you will ride through stunning French countryside passing many beautiful market towns before your final day of cycling. This is the big push to Paris and your finishing line - the iconic Eiffel Tower.

Ceri Ward of Children Today commented: “There are over 390,000 disabled people under the age of 16 in the UK and by taking part in this challenge, the sponsorship monies you raise will enable Children Today to purchase vitally important life enhancing equipment. The monies you raise will make a real difference to a disabled child’s life and you will have been part of a once in a life time trip”

There are a variety of dates to choose from and the minimum sponsorship you have to raise to join in this exciting bike ride is £1350 and a registration fee of £99. So, if you are aged 18 years or over and are interested in taking part in this event please contact Ceri Ward on 01244 335622 or [email protected] mailto:[email protected] for a free information pack. – Yours etc.,


Children Today

Will we see the re-routing of the M80

Sir, – If Alex Salmond really believes when he says “I will govern for all of the ambitions of Scotland and all the people who imagine we can live in a better land”, can we now see the uprooting and re-routing of the M80? After all, the SNP campaigned locally against the Cumbernauld route before the construction contracts were awarded by the SNP Scottish Government.

Can we now also see Cumbernauld House being purchased and restored for the nation? After all the SNP initiated the campaign to halt its deterioration and then stated that there was no money to do either from the SNP Scottish Government.

Will Abronhill now get its long awaited train station? After all, our newly elected constituency MSP, Jamie Hepburn of the SNP, has campaigned vocally for just such a facility despite the fact that the Scottish Government quango, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, has failed to provide funds or even interest in this project.

Ditto the proposed new bus station for Cumbernauld Town Centre.

Are we likely to see a decrease in the number of planning applications for mobile phone masts in Cumbernauld? After all, the SNP campaigned as the “local champions” at the last General Election but before the recent elections the SNP Scottish Government was planning to remove the legal obligations for applications being publicised through local printed media.

I imagine I can live in a “better land” . . . a land where all political parties listen to the people and don’t backtrack on promises or policies. Does the SNP? – Yours etc.,


A worrying lack of support

Sir, – The research published yesterday by Carer’s UK and the University of Leeds has highlighted not only the immense contribution made by carers, but the worrying lack of support available to these crucial members of our society.

As outlined by the report, carers save our nation the equivalent of £13.6m every hour, dedicating themselves to the incredibly demanding and often exhausting task of caring for relatives or friends.

A rethink regarding funds available for this group is essential, and as Carers UK call on the government to make this and other considerations, we at Turn2us strongly urge carers to use our free, easy to use benefits checker and grants search, at and ensure they are receiving all the benefits and grants currently available.

It is vital that appropriate support is provided for carers to enable them to continue in their role and they are not left struggling, unsupported to provide for those they care for. – Yours etc.,


Director of Turn2us,

200 Shepherd’s Bush Road,


W6 7NL

Tel: 020 8834 9200

Taking time for animals

Sir, – The BUAV is delighted that Jamie Hepburn has been re-elected MSP for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth. Animal testing is an issue of strong public concern and Jamie has shown his support for the following important measures: More action to reduce the number of animals used in cosmetics; More openness from local universities on what is done to animals as part of their research; Rejection of cosmetics and household products tested on animals; More action on supporting and developing non-animal research; Rejection of experiments causing substantial suffering to any animal in a laboratory.

With so many pressing issues in the coming Parliament, we and many voters appreciate that Jamie Hepburn is willing to take time for animals too. We look forward to continue working with him.

For further information, please visit – Yours etc.,


Chief Executive


16a Crane Grove

London N7 8NN

A small legacy can make a difference

Sir, – Are you Willing?

Anyone in Scotland thinking of creating or updating a will may be interested to know the difference that even a small legacy can make to Marie Curie Cancer Care.

You could leave the charity a share of your estate or a small one-off gift. Every legacy, however small, will help someone with a terminal illness spend their final days in the familiar surroundings of their own homes, surrounded by the people they love. In fact Gifts in wills are vital to Marie Curie Cancer Care as they fund one in three of our nurses.

Emily Hogg has recently taken up the role of Legacy Advisor for Marie Curie in Scotland and Northern Ireland and is available to answer any questions people may have about leaving a legacy to the charity. She can be contacted on 0131 561 3952, 07713 086 992 or by emailing [email protected] – Yours etc.,


Marie Curie Cancer Care

The Army needs your old clothing

Sir, – I’m writing from Salvation Army Trading Company Ltd (SATCoL), which operates The Salvation Army Clothing Collection Scheme. 2011 marks our 20th anniversary and we’d like to extend our sincere thanks to all your readers who have helped us with their generous donations over the past two decades, and to remind them to recycle any old clothing they won’t be wearing this summer!

There are lots of ways to donate, whether it’s via clothing banks at a local supermarket or recycling centre, a door-to-door collection bag, or one of our charity shops. We can accept all unwanted clothing, shoes, household linens – even cuddly toys – although we do prefer things to be clean! Readers can find their nearest banks and shops at

It’s so important to our environment that we don’t put textiles into landfill as they’re more harmful to the environment than many people imagine – in fact, the CO2 savings from textile recycling is second only to aluminium yet only 24 per cent of what is possible is currently recycled or reused. So we’re urging people to think twice before throwing that old t-shirt into the bin – even if it can’t be reused it could be shredded and used as mattress stuffing or car soundproofing. There’s another life out there for almost everything that’s donated to us and only a tiny one per cent ends up in landfill. We’re working hard to get this figure to zero.

The donated clothing helps stock our charity shops, meet human need identified by The Salvation Army and is also exported to provide affordable clothing in Eastern Europe. Profit SATCoL receives from the donations is gift-aided to help The Salvation Army in the UK and Republic of Ireland and funds work such as homelessness services, support for those with addictions, elderly care and much, much more. In the past three years we’ve donated £16.2 million to the charity and support from your readers has made this all possible.

Thank you, and let’s make our 20th year a bumper one! – Yours etc.,


National Recycling Coordinator

Salvation Army Trading Company Ltd