Readers' letters - June 1

Campaigners celebrate as the official results of the abortion referendum in Ireland are revealed
Campaigners celebrate as the official results of the abortion referendum in Ireland are revealed
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Right decision ... but what about rights of the unborn?

Abortion is to be made legal in southern Ireland, thanks to people voting yes.
In the world today, I find it bizarre that women are having to travel abroad for this procedure, something we women in England can have access
to.
It’s never an easy decision to make and, even 30 years later, the thoughts of ‘was it the right decision?’ still weigh heavy and I speak from experience.
Abortion should never be used as contraception, but it should be an option for the many reasons that women have as to why they want to end a pregnancy.
J G
via email

Following the ‘yes’ vote in the Republic of Ireland in favour of abortion and the voices raised in celebration, hailing it a victory for fundamental human rights, I would like to raise my voice on behalf of those who have no voice, so cannot speak up for themselves – the unborn.
Spare a thought for them, surely these little embryos have fundamental human rights, too, and deserve our protection, not our destruction.
Andrew Binns
Address supplied

Church and loneliness

Could I suggest a way to deal with loneliness?
Why not try the local church and join the local church community?
It costs nothing.
Donations and collections are voluntary, and it provides a mutually supportive network for churchgoers.
Churches are led by professionals who will listen to people’s concerns and can be trusted not to break confidence.
The church is not just about religion.
If you are worried about keeping your teenage children away from drugs and out of trouble, a Christian upbringing may help.
The church teaches people to be ‘good neighbours’ and good citizens, to stand up for what is right and to respect each other.
It provides a forum for older people to meet and sick people are visited and cared for.
Far from being boring, some of the world’s best stories can be found in the Bible, and are read in services.
It is a great pity that the Christian church is in decline in so many parts of the country, but it is not just the church which is going this way.
Village stores and post offices have all but disappeared, local pubs are closing everywhere and, in many villages and neighbourhoods, the only centre for the community left is the local church.
If we don’t use it, we will lose this, too – and all the good things which go with it.
Paul Andrews
Address supplied

Scouts set me on astronaut path

Scouting set me on a path to becoming an astronaut.
Where will it take you?
Volunteers’ Week is June 1 to 7, and I would like to pay tribute to each and every one of the amazing volunteers who support the Scouts in the North West. Every day of the week, these volunteers are helping young people
develop skills for life.
Scouting started me on an incredible journey. As a Cub Scout, I never thought that one day I would be looking at our beautiful planet from space. Thanks to the generosity and commitment of my Scout leaders, the opportunities and encouragement I received helped to open up new horizons, and gave me confidence to pursue my
aspirations.
Scouting helps young people develop those kind of skills you’re not going to find in a classroom. It gets people outdoors, working together, learning teamwork, communication, and really building character. Our volunteers are role models for these young people.
Across the North West, Scouts are also taking on some of the biggest issues in our communities through our A Million Hands initiative. They are supporting people living with dementia or disability, they are working to develop greater understanding of mental wellbeing and leading the fight for access to clean water and sanitation around the world.
To anyone thinking of volunteering, I would say that any time you can give is truly invaluable. You’ll have fun, learn new skills and be part of something truly amazing.
Tim Peake
Scout Ambassador