Readers' letters - July 4

The Duke of Cambridge during a visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City, as part of his tour of the Middle East
The Duke of Cambridge during a visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City, as part of his tour of the Middle East
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Prince William does a much better job than Boris Johnson

With regard to the recent tour of the Middle East by Prince William, I have been struck by the dignity and sensitivity he showed when talking to politicians and religious leaders, visiting sites important to all three religions, the tomb of his great grandmother and somewhere as sensitive as Yad Vashem.
He warmed to the youngsters playing football at Jaffa, reaching out to them as others are not always able to do. His formal addresses did not shirk the problems of the region but one felt that he was sincerely concerned to do what he could to address them.
His visit could be a lesson to many of our politicians and especially to our current Foreign Secretary, showing how diplomacy works.
Regarding Boris Johnson, Great Britain deserves a strong and persuasive representative not a comedy turn.
Perhaps we should offer Prince William the job!
Dr Sheila Hopkinson
via email

Little breaks
for children


Just after her first birthday, my daughter Shakeerah was diagnosed with a brain
tumour. She wasn’t expected to survive.
Shakeerah is now six. She’s a bundle of joy but her disability has impacted on almost every area of our lives.
She has a tracheostomy, uses a ventilator overnight, is fed through a plastic tube in her tummy, and bears scars around her head from
numerous operations (45 and counting).
I didn’t think about carers before Shakeerah came along. Never would I have imagined how complicated it is, or how relentless the battle for support. On top of the 24/7 care, endless appointments, and military planning needed to master medication timetables, equipment and or even leaving the house, there are a plethora of forms to complete, referrals and regulations to navigate.
Although councils have a duty to provide care for disabled children and their families, budget cuts mean these services are harder to find. Yet they are our lifeline!
Short breaks provide children like my daughter with a safe environment, allowing her to interact with other children and participate in activities tailored to her abilities.
Shakeerah comes home with biscuits she’s decorated, plants she’s potted, and a huge grin. And I feel recharged and ready for the next challenge.
We need your help. The Children’s Trust, the charity that provides Shakeerah with short breaks, has launched The Little Break Appeal. Please help us raise £100,000 to ensure families get the support they desperately need. You can donate online – www.thechildrens
trust.org.uk.
Yasmeen Crowther
Shakeerah’s Mum

Keep me
Posted

The Keep Me Posted Campaign, which I chair, is celebrating its fifth birthday this July.
We have campaigned since day one on behalf of your readers, and consumers everywhere, for their right to choose, without additional financial penalty, paper bills and statements as it helps them manage their finances more easily… or indeed if they, for whatever reason, can’t go online.
A coalition of over 120 charities, trade unions and consumer groups support our campaign, many of whom will be familiar to your readers. The bottom line is that we award the Keep Me Posted Best Practice Mark of Distinction to organisations who promise to do the right thing by not forcing their customers online or forcing them pay to stay offline.
I would like to say thank you to your readers for their support over the last five years. If they would like to help even more, could they a) write to their MP asking if they support our campaign and will sign the Early Day Motion (EDM) 909 ‘Keep Me Posted’ and b) write to their bank, their energy supplier, their phone company and ask them if they are signed up to Keep Me Posted and, if not, why not?
And on behalf of your readers, may I wish the Keep Me Posted campaign a very happy fifth birthday!
Judith Donovan, CBE
Keep Me Posted