Readers' letters - November 30

Give us republicans a break from the royal wedding

Friday, 1st December 2017, 4:46 pm
Updated Friday, 1st December 2017, 5:53 pm
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, London, after the announcement of their engagement

I bet there were a few gulps round ‘Buck House’ when Harry said he was marrying Meghan, an American mixed race divorcee joining the house of Windsor.

It’s about time the monarchy moved with the times and reflected modern society.

Harry’s marrying Meghan because he’s in love. This isn’t the same situation as the one his mum, the People’s Princess, was in – an arranged marriage of the worst kind.

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He seems a nice bloke, she seems a nice woman but I really hope we can have a break from it now – no wall-to-wall TV news coverage or endless pages of these two in the papers.

Even a humbug republican like me wishes them a long and happy marriage but it’s ages away until May.

We don’t need it rammed down our throats 24/7.

Give us a break.

Jayne Grayson

via email

Literacy is a life-saver

Reading isn’t just for bedtime stories. It can save lives.

Imagine it’s the middle of the night. Your child screams in pain. Desperate to calm them down, you reach for the medicine.

But you panic. The instructions mean nothing to you. You don’t know how to read.

Literacy is a simple skill that we rely on every day, and, in our most desperate moments, is crucial for survival.

However, for many young women in rural Uganda, life without literacy is devastating. Almost half of women in Uganda are unable to read – robbed of an education by poverty, early pregnancy or child marriage.

For vulnerable young women mothers, this means a struggle to understand health and childcare information, make important everyday decisions or earn enough for their family.

Heartbreakingly, many won’t be able to support their children’s own education – so they will repeat the same vicious cycle as they grow-up.

But it doesn’t have to be like this. Why?

Because when a mother can read, her child is 50 per cent more likely to live past five years old. That’s the impact of reading.

Build Africa, the education charity which I am proud to be a patron of, is working with over 2,000 young women – supporting them to learn life-changing literacy and numeracy skills and access valuable health and nutrition services, so they can help their children not just survive but succeed.

And, with the generous support of your readers, we can do something wonderful for young women in Uganda this Christmas.

Those wishing to donate can visit www.build-africa.org/youngmums or call 01892 519619. Every donation received before December 27 will be matched pound-for-pound with UK Aid from the UK Government.

Penelope Wilton DBE

Actress and patron of Build Africa

Not the best way to fund sports

The Treasury has said the expected revenue from the sugar tax next year will be just £275m. When the tax was first announced 18 months ago, we were told it would raise £520m for school sports and breakfast clubs. Now it will raise a paltry £275m. Is this unpopular tax really the best way to fund something as important as school sports?

Brook Whelan

People against Sugar Tax