YP Letters: Think local when giving generously to charity

Oxfam's reputation remains on the line following recent revelations about the abuse of victims of the Haiti earthquake.
Oxfam's reputation remains on the line following recent revelations about the abuse of victims of the Haiti earthquake.
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From: Barry Geldard, Hebden Bridge.

ANDREW Vine’s article (The Yorkshire Post, February 20) regarding the Oxfam debacle graphically spelt out the reality facing smaller independent charities.

He wrote: “The big players who shout loudest get the lion’s share of money and slick advertising pays dividends.”

About two years ago, my wife sent a donation to a well known charity and since them we have been inundated with telephone calls and literature requesting more money. The glib patter of these salesmen, presumably working from a script, is truly awesome.

I am a volunteer with a local food bank and support centre which also helps people with housing, drug or alcohol addiction problems. The centre costs approximately £20,000 a year to run. This is funded by local churches, firms and individuals.

I recently approached Craig Whittaker MP with a view to ascertaining the possibility of financial assistance from Government funds. The answer was this: “No, it’s a question of priorities.”

Britain is one of the wealthiest countries on the planet yet millions of our population are living on the poverty line. In this instance, there is a hollow ring to the the old adage ‘Charity begins at home’.

From: Hugh Rogers, Messingham Road, Ashby.

IT has always puzzled me why so many people allow slick advertising campaigns to persuade them to give so much of their money to huge national charities – where their donations will hardly be noticed, rather than to small groups.

Even one per cent of the money which goes to, say, Children in Need, would be manna from heaven to local people giving their time and energy to helping others – sometimes just around the corner from your own street.

The local hospice, for example, or numerous community groups in your area will use your generosity well – and most importantly you will know, more or less exactly, what it’s been spent on.

This year, I have made a resolution not to give to Children in Need, Sport Relief, Oxfam, Save the Children, Cancer Research or most other big charities. No, I’m going to support the little guys for once. And I suggest you do the same.

From: Gavin Chapman, Garforth, Leeds.

I AM now approaching 63 years old, and have come to realise I have spent most of my life in austerity of one form or another.

Britain is the sixth richest country in the world, but the treatment of the poor, the sick, the disabled, the unemployed and the elderly by this Government is nothing short of 
a national disgrace.

It is now very clear that this Government loves austerity; it has given them the greatest excuse ever with which to beat the aforementioned groups.

We give around £14bn a year in foreign aid, part of which goes to countries with their own space and nuclear programmes.

Surely charity begins at home, and perhaps it is time for some massive changes in this country?

Hospital bus service

From: Anita Howard, Otley.

ANDREW Mercer’s letter (The Yorkshire Post, February 22) would seem to suggest that it is some time since he travelled to Wharfedale Hospital by public transport.

I believe he would have to travel a long way before he found a hospital where three buses an hour call right into the hospital grounds and almost drop one at the door.

From: Dominic Nicol, Yeadon.

I SOUGHT an appointment with my local GP last week for the first time in three years. Either I could turn up by 10am, and wait an unspecified time, or go to A&E. The receptionist was totally charmless. “It’s not my problem,” she said. “Yes, but it is your job,” I replied.

Where are the Syria protests?

From: Michael Ross, Weeton Lane, Dunkeswick.

DREADFUL atrocities, too numerous to list and with thousands dead, have been carried out in Syria for the last seven years.

What is most noticeable is the lack of protests carried out in the major cities in the UK .

Can you imagine the difference if Israel was retaliating to rocket attacks by their Arab neighbours in defence of their country and citizens?

Tale of two roadworks

From: Bryan Smith, Leeds.

RECENTLY the surface of Stainbeck Lane in Leeds, from Scott Hall Road to Harrogate Road, was relaid. The crew were superb; they worked hard; were pleasant to talk to and efficient.

They finished their work last Friday, February 16, and cleared away the barriers, cones and signage early this week. Then the gas man cometh!

Believe it or not, within days the gas people have drilled holes in the pavements and made a large hole in the road. You could not make it up!

Questionable practices

From: A Hague, Bellbrooke Grove, Harehills, Leeds

AFTER reading of the downfall of Carillion two questions need to be answered.

Why are companies allowed to borrow up to a billion from their own pension fund, and why 
are they paid millions in 
advance before their job has 
been completed, without a 
sound guarantee the job will 
be done? Our taxpayers should not have to pay for any kind of bankruptcies.