Readers’ letters - January 12

Help sick and injured working animals across the world by knitting these cute toys. See letter
Help sick and injured working animals across the world by knitting these cute toys. See letter

Make us envy of the world

According to the British Red Cross, we are in the middle of a humanitarian health crisis, with the National Health Service almost at breaking point.

Back in the 1960s/70s, our NHS was the envy of the world due to a free at the point of need healthcare system. This was funded by everyone through national health insurance contributions which went directly to pay for a system of excellent healthcare for all.

This care system changed in the 1980s due to greed and money-grabbing politicians cutting the health budgets back to the bone and introducing backdoor privatisation for some services.

These funding changes led to devastating waiting lists for NHS treatment. However, the same greedy politicians could provide the same treatment privately within weeks at an extortionate cost and bypassing many months of waiting for NHS treatment.

This policy almost broke the National Health Service and left health service staff devastated and working for a pittance. In the 1990s the Labour Party took this on board and campaigned for improvements and better conditions for our doctors and nurses. The outcome of this campaign resulted in a landslide victory for the Labour Party in 1997, mainly due to the campaign to save our NHS. We now find ourselves in the position of our health service being at crisis point again and getting worse. It is now time to reclaim our NHS and make us the envy of the world once again.

Carith Archer

Address supplied

animal welfare

Big Knit 
for Vet Kit

I am writing to ask readers who enjoy knitting to support SPANA’s Big Knit for Vet Kit fundraising campaign this January and February.

SPANA is a charity that provides free veterinary treatment to sick and injured working animals in developing countries across the world. We are calling on local knitters to make Duncan the donkey, Hattie the horse, Oscar the ox, or Emma the elephant – and get sponsored while they stitch. The free patterns can be ordered from or by calling 020 7831 3999. Working animals do the jobs of tractors, trucks and taxis throughout the developing world and are relied upon by many of the world’s poorest people for their livelihoods. However, without SPANA, there would be no veterinary care available for so many of these animals. SPANA is only able to carry out its work thanks to donations from the public and we’d be grateful if your readers could show their support for this campaign.

Kirsty Brzeczek

Head of Community and

Supporter Care for SPANA


Support for the lonely

It is important to remember those who have struggled with loneliness, depression and anxiety over the holidays, and continue to do so.

This time of year can be particularly hard for the elderly. Aged Veterans Counselling, a government-backed organisation supported by veterans’ charities, offers a free counselling scheme to anyone born before 1950, and was in the military or completed National Service. Incidentally, most men over the age of 66 did complete national service and will therefore qualify.

So can I ask your readers to spare a thought for loved ones who might qualify and benefit. They can contact Aged Veterans Counselling on 0300 0120 247 or www.agedveteran

Josephine Bey

Programme Director