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Link is faultless

I CANNOT rate the Trowbridge Area Community Link scheme highly enough. I had to get to the RUH Bath. At the present time I have difficulty in walking, and am unable to drive, so I contacted the volunteer Link service for assistance.

They provided door to door transport to and from the hospital. Chris, the driver, escorted me safely to the department, leaving me with his mobile number to ring when I was ready. A faultless service.

I understand this scheme was started 20 years ago, long may it continue. It does need our help, they want volunteers. If you can help ring 07969 347042 to find out more.

On a personal note, a huge thank you for your service

Margaret Walker, Trowbridge

Your MP is right

TO Dr Andrew Murrison MP: I watched your excellent speech a couple of days ago and felt I had to contact you to congratulate you.

Primarily for your solid support against this foolish proposal to move these community-based SEN schools to an isolated location, but also for the kindness and intuition that came across in support for one of the most disempowered groups in your constituency.

I am a registered social worker who is also disabled, and for many, many years I have worked with young people, adults and their families who have suffered terribly by being isolated in large institutions. When the Community Care Act 1990 came into effect I was delighted that professionally, social care had some legislation to work with that would put people with learning, and other disabilities, back into, or keep them in the community. The wheel has turned again and not in a positive way.

I am deeply saddened to find Wiltshire Council has decided to (primarily I suspect, financially driven, academy status?) look at this as an option, and hope they, having consulted, will rethink this very retrograde proposal. As for the Rowde village community, is the village on board for this influx of extra traffic and personnel? I am told not.

The hidden costs of extra escorts on transport, distress of long journeys made longer by the sheer time it takes to load wheelchair users and settle other distressed passengers may have not been evaluated or costed properly. Many passengers may not be, to be blunt, able to be continent that long.

My considerable experience of people with learning disabilities and other disabilities indicated strongly that children need experiential learning in shops, traffic, in and around what is loosely called ‘the community’ to learn to fit in with society - quite simply to go to a shop and see others’ reaction to a child swiping at a shelf full of products is far more salutary than being shut away from that! It is far better tolerated and forgiven in childhood than in adults, disabled or not, when it can be then viewed as a crime.

I have worked with people from the closures of St George’s, Pewsey colony, Mendip hospital, Norah Fry, Stoke Park, to name a few of the old-style care settings and more recently, isolated residential 0-25 provisions.

I have yet to be convinced, since practising from 1990, that this is any way for people to achieve their personal best. Indeed, in my experience, it sadly offers more opportunity for institutional abuse. When a child (as I am pleased to say I know from a friend’s grandchild who is autistic and attends Larkrise) can walk to school and stop in the shop, cross busy roads etc their life is richer and so in turn is our society - we become more tolerant of differences too.

I’m well aware I’m preaching to the converted and I am not in your constituency but I could not let your actions go unapplauded by me, at the very least – thank you so much.

Jacqui Prior, Via email

Was this needed?

I FEEL sad I need to send this letter in but it is important. On a visit to Trowbridge Cemetery I couldn’t believe my eyes when around 40-plus grave stones have been uprooted and laid down on the floor. This included one of my in-laws’ relatives’ gravestone which has been there 40-plus years and there was nothing wrong with it.

The stone weighs a ton. I can’t even pick it up, let alone it fall over. It’s stood on a large slab also and there aren’t any newer graves around it to cause the ground to move.

Obviously if it was tilted I could understand but when nothing is wrong why put it down? There are some still standing which are a hazard but haven’t got warning stickers on or been laid down.

You can’t put it back up yourself, you have to pay a professional to put it back up or it will be laid down again. It sounds like a way to make money out of people. I think Wiltshire Council should seriously think what it has done and how upsetting it is for the relatives, although they will come back saying it’s due to health and safety. It’s a shame they didn’t spend the time tidying up the cemetery and making it look more presentable instead of destroying it and making it look a mess.

Chris Seymour, Trowbridge

Willing to help?

I AM writing on behalf of the people and families in the South West who suffer the often devastating effects of heart and circulatory diseases, which include heart disease, stroke and vascular dementia, and their risk factors like type 2 diabetes.

Each year, these conditions account for 14,745 deaths in the South West, which is why the British Heart Foundation (BHF) is committed to funding over £100 million of pioneering research each year to stop 1 in 4 lives in the UK being taken too soon.

Sadly, like so many others, I’ve been personally affected by this and have experienced the heartbreak of losing a loved one to heart and circulatory diseases. That is why I’ve included a gift to the BHF in my will. Together, we can change how this story ends for millions of families.

Over the last 60 years, so much of our work has only been possible thanks to the amazing individuals who have remembered the BHF in their will. These very special gifts fund half of our research and have the power to make a lasting difference to the lives of future generations. We are asking you to join us and become part of tomorrow’s life saving breakthroughs. By including a gift to the BHF in your will, you can help us beat heartbreak forever. We call it Will Power.

In 1961, the UK faced an epidemic of heart and circulatory diseases that accounted for more than half of the deaths in the UK. Now, thanks to BHF-funded research and the generosity of our incredible supporters, more than seven out of ten people who suffer a heart attack survive.

But our work isn’t done yet. Heart and circulatory diseases claim the life of one person every three minutes in the UK, tearing families and loved ones apart. It doesn’t have to be this way; you have the power to change this. A gift of any size, after you’ve provided for your loved ones, can enable us to discover new ways to prevent, treat and cure the world’s biggest killers. To find out more about leaving a gift in your will, visit bhf.org.uk/wills

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive, British Heart Foundation

A great outcome

WESTBURY Rotary and Lions Clubs undertook a collection on behalf of the Marie Curie charity on February 28 and March 12 at Morrisons supermarket in Westbury, when £550 was collected.

We wish to thank Morrisons and the people who so generously supported this collection. The outcome was exceptional.

Peter Baker, Westbury Lions

Mervyn Harris, President Westbury Rotary Club

Climb for cancer

BOWEL Cancer UK is encouraging hikers to get sponsored to climb South Wales’ highest peak, Pen Y Fan, on July 13. Their support will help stop people dying by funding vital services and life-saving research.

Experience the thrill of hiking 886m up Pen Y Fan to reach the summit at 5am as the sun rises over breathtaking views of the Brecon Beacons. Not for the faint-hearted, this popular 9k route will take hikers through rocky paths and some exhilarating scrambling to reach the summit.

Join us on this Sunrise Trek Challenge and together we’ll experience stunning views at the top of the summit and a spine-tingling atmosphere. Your support will help us to achieve a future where nobody dies from bowel cancer, which is treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early..

Sign up today and receive a fundraising pack and a Bowel Cancer UK T-shirt: bowelcanceruk.org.uk/ sunrisetrek

Michael Locke, Fundraising manager, Bowel Cancer

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