Readers' letters - April 20

Shale gas should be used for our energy needs says a correspondent
Shale gas should be used for our energy needs says a correspondent
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Gas can close gap in supply and demand

The recent cold weather, coupled with the announcement that we could be running out of gas, illustrates quite clearly that being mostly dependent on foreign sources for this vital energy commodity is fraught with potential dire consequences for us all.
It is all the more frustrating to realise that, while we may fret about this scary situation, we are sitting on a source of fuel that would ‘keep the home fires burning’ for decades to come – I mean of course, shale gas.
Now, before the anti-fracking brigade reach for their pens or protest banners, let me add that I am one of the first to admit that there are problems associated with getting at this source of fossil fuel, as there has always been when man attempts to wrest Mother Nature’s bounteous treasures from the earth.
However, history has shown that there can be little reward without some risk attached, which we should be prepared to accept for the reassurance of keeping warm and hot dinners on the table.
Yes! Without reservation, we should continue our search for cleaner and greener ways to ensure that those home fires are never extinguished.
However, to meet an ever-growing demand and with the best will in the world, this idealistic source of energy can only supply a relatively small percentage of our total requirements. The time has come to be realistic. Either we can hope that existing sources can continue to supply our needs, or we can tap into this seemingly limitless source of power until green technology reaches the point where our total demands are met.
There is a further option, but I’m afraid my wood-gathering days are far behind me.
Derek Rogerson
via email

Stride ahead with Big Toddle

I would like to say a huge thank you to all the toddlers, from nurseries across the North West, who raised more than £26,000 for Barnardo’s by holding a Big Toddle fundraising event last summer.
They did a fantastic job and every penny raised helps us to help other children.
We are now calling for nurseries, schools and families across the region to put their best foot forward again and take part in this year’s Big Toddle week from June 18 to 24. For the second consecutive year, the Big Toddle is being run in partnership with CBeebies TV show, the Teletubbies.
We are asking parents, carers and playgroups to get involved by organising their own Toddle events, which could include holding a community Big Toddle, one for close families and friends or one organised by a local nursery or primary school.
This year’s theme is ‘nature’, with lots of opportunities for creative dressing up as animals, insects, flowers or even jungle creatures.
By signing up to the Big Toddle, you can access exclusive nature-themed early years learning resources and will receive a Toddle pack, containing information and fundraising ideas.
We hope even more nurseries and families will get involved with our 2018 events, to help us continue funding our vital work with vulnerable children, young people, parents and carers in the region.
Go to www.bigtoddle.co.uk or call 0800 008 7005 to register or find out more.
Lynn Perry
Director, Barnardo’s North West

Break cycle of hate in society

Every day, people in Wigan with a disfigurement are subject to harassment and abuse because of how they look.
That’s why Changing Faces are launching the first ever hate crime campaign aimed at informing people with disfigurements about their rights if they are the victims of abuse.
Many people don’t even realise they can report abuse as a hate crime and far too
often simply suffer in
silence.
There are, on average, 67,000 disability hate crimes a year, and yet only half of those are reported to the police.
We want that to change.
Looking different in a society where there is such pressure to look a certain way is tough.
We want to see hate crimes that target appearance recognised and
reported.
No one deserves to suffer abuse because of the way they look, and it’s time to break the cycle of hate in our society.
This campaign, which is funded by the Home Office, will encourage people, along with their friends, families and any onlookers, to be able to recognise hate crimes and have the confidence and the means to report them.
We also want to see better training for the police so that they can deal with hate crimes sensitively and
effectively.
Help us to break the cycle of #VisibleHate.
Speak up, speak out,
together let’s stop it.
Becky Hewitt
Chief Executive
Changing Faces