Letters March 2, 2019

Listening is a vital skill, says actor Warwick Davis
Listening is a vital skill, says actor Warwick Davis

Fylde Council needs to replace lost greenery

On a recent visit to Fylde council offices in St Annes Road West, I was alarmed to see that they have decided to take all the trees and bushes out from the parking area, and have disposed of them.

This relatively small area of hedge growth was vital for both nesting birds including sparrows (remember them) and was a valuable source of food from its source of insects and bugs.

Thus, I would like to ask Fylde Council if they have considered replacing or off setting this by, for example, planting hedgerow elsewhere for the birds, who try desperately to live alongside what is a rather disappointingly selfish species.

Ms Forrester
St Annes


Appeal
Helping develop vital skills in young

As a proud Scout Ambassador I’m always looking for ways to help young people in Blackpool develop the skills they need to succeed. One of the most essential of these is active listening.

According to new YouGov research, 86 per cent of UK adults who had a view said we don’t listen to each other enough in UK society. That needs to change.

In my profession, on the set of a Hollywood movie, if actors don’t listen to each other, the scene doesn’t work. The same applies in real life – it’s about taking the time to understand
different points of view and showing respect. Good listening is vital at both home and at work. Some 94 per cent of those with a view believe active listening is important in creating a productive work environment.

The good news is that the Scouts in Blackpool are leading the way in this area. Over 90 per cent of UK adults say that the Scouts are helping young people to develop this important skill by working together with different kinds of people in small teams.

When young people learn listening skills, it encourages them to develop empathy and understand more about the needs of others. So whether you’re an adult looking for a great volunteering opportunity this year, or a young person looking to develop your skills, then visit www.scouts.org.uk to find out how to get involved.

Thanks to all our great Scout volunteers and thanks for listening,

Warwick Davis
Actor, Director and Scout Ambassador


Health
Extra challenges for disabled patients

The latest figures show that, faced with increasing workloads and pressures, four out of 10 GPs plan to quit in the next five years. For patients, this means a consistent relationship with a GP is increasingly out of reach.

And for people with learning disabilities, the implications are alarming. When they are passed from GP to GP, who aren’t receiving the right support to make reasonable adjustments to their needs, conversations break down and it becomes far more likely that health issues will go undiagnosed and untreated.

Dimensions’ #MyGPandMe research found that people with learning disabilities are 30 per cent less likely to feel listened to by their GP, and only half feel involved in decisions about their healthcare.

It’s encouraging that, despite the pressures they face, three quarters of GPs told us they would like training on how to meet the needs of patients with learning disabilities.

The government must recognise this, and the current consultation into mandatory learning disability training for healthcare professionals is hugely encouraging. We urgently need rigid measures to ensure all GPs receive training and support to better and more confidently communicate and diagnose health issues.

This will go a long way towards beginning to address the startling health and life expectancy inequality that people with learning disabilities currently face.

Alicia Wood is Head of Public Affairs at Dimensions, one of the largest not-for-profit support providers in the UK supporting people with autism and learning disabilities. Dimensions has launched the #MyGPandMe campaign, to identify and tackle primary healthcare inequalities for people with autism and learning disabilities.

Alicia Wood, Head of Public Affairs
Dimensions


Appeal
Search for gran in Blackpool

My cousin, Susan, and my self are researching our family history.

We have discovered that Susan’s paternal grandmother died at 19, King Edward Avenue, Blackpool, on February 18, 1964, aged 73. She had lived and worked as a housekeeper at 18 King George Avenue, for many years.

As Susan never knew her grandmother we would be thrilled to hear from anyone who knew her and could tell us about her.

I can be contacted at annsimcock@hotmail.com. Thanking you in anticipation.

Ann Simcock
Address supplied