From our postbag

editorial image

Nesting birds at risk from cats

Sir, – There are a pair of wrens nesting in a tree and they have now hatched out their young.

You may know that wrens are not plentiful so every one counts.

Imagine my anger to see a cat walk along the fence and leap into the tree to try to kill the birds.

On this occasion I was able to chase the reluctant cat away.

However I would ask the owner of this black and white cat to curtail its activities until the young can fly.

I am sure that he/she is a nature lover and will oblige.

Cats do not just kill for food but for fun – ever seen one with a field mouse?

Millions of birds and small mammals are massacred by cats every year so let’s not add these wrens to this horrific total.

That cats foul people’s gardens is trivial alongside this problem.

No doubt the owners of black and white cats will say that their puss would never do this so, to be safe they should keep their cat in for two weeks. – Yours etc.,

Clark Cross

138 Springfield Road

Linlithgow

Sir, – Since it was revealed that researchers are seeking approval for cannabis-based drug trials for the treatment of childhood epilepsy, the interest has been phenomenal.

For the many thousands of parents of children who suffer from complex forms of epilepsy it is hope for a life without the relentless seizures. It is even hope that some of the damage and debilitating effects of their children’s epilepsy, which can leave them profoundly disabled, can be reversed.

No-one expects miracles but there is good evidence that medical marijuana – the non-harmful compound within the cannabis plant - can have a dramatic impact, so we have to get these trials off the ground.

That Edinburgh University through the Muir Maxwell Epilepsy Centre, the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh, and Great Ormond Street Hospital in London are championing trials is a very significant step forward.

But it is only a first step. For such trials to take place, they need funding and in today’s world that means charitable donations.

As the mother of a 17-year-old boy with Dravet Syndrome, I know his chances of benefiting from such trials are limited.

However, as the founder and fundraiser for the Muir Maxwell Trust, the charity my husband and I set up in our son’s name, I want these trials for the children who come after Muir.

It is for them that we need to start raising money now and fight to see these trials get underway. – Yours etc.,

Ann Maxwell

The Muir Maxwell Trust

Stuart House

Eskmills, Musselburgh

Sir, – I would like to thank the 145 runners from across the UK, who ran for The Children’s Trust in this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon in April and have so far helped raise over £265,000!

In particular, I would like to thank our celebrity runners - television and radio presenter Jenni Falconer, celebrity milliner Louis Mariette and Britain’s Got Talent impressionist Philip Green.

The Children’s Trust, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, is the UK’s leading charity for children with brain injury. The money raised from the marathon will help to enhance the lives of these children.

Applications are now open to join The Children’s Trust London Marathon 2015 team. So if you’ve always wanted to tick it off your bucket list apply now.

We’ll support you on the lead up to the big day with expert advice on training preparations and training days.

Plus on the day we’ll have cheering points along the course and an after party to celebrate with you and your supporters.

One of the team said “Running past your cheer points gave me a big boost and kept me going to the finish line and the leg massage at the after party.”

For further information and to apply, visit: www.thechildrenstrust.org.uk/londonmarathon

If you fancy a change from London next April we also have places in the Paris and Brighton Marathons. For further information on all the runs and to register visit: www.thechildrenstrust.org.uk/run

Once again, a huge thank you to all the runners who supported The Children’s Trust this year. – Yours etc.,

Bryony Eida

Major Sports Events Manager

The Children’s Trust

Sir, – ASH Scotland, the charity dedicated to tackling the harms caused by tobacco, has launched a new awards scheme that we hope will interest young people in your area.

We understand the importance of supporting young people as Scotland moves towards its goal of a generation free from tobacco by 2034.

So we hope to inspire them through our Youth Tobacco Action Awards, which offer prize money for new and existing work by young people to tackle tobacco issues.

ASH Scotland wants to recognise, reward and encourage young people and projects that focus on tobacco issues through our two awards, each offering £750 prize-money.

The Outstanding Achievement Award recognises existing work that young people are doing to tackle tobacco issues and support young people’s health and wellbeing in their communities. It provides funds for youth groups to further develop their tobacco work.

For this award we want to know what tobacco work young people have undertaken and the impact on their group and the community.

The Best Newcomer Award goes to the group submitting the best idea on how they would like to reduce the harm caused by tobacco in their area. ASH Scotland can support groups to develop their ideas, knowledge and awareness of tobacco-related issues.

Both awards also include an invitation to our annual Awards Ceremony and ongoing support, including a learning and development day at ASH Scotland in Edinburgh.

Young people can apply through our website - ashscotland.org.uk/ytaawards _ Yours etc.,

Sheila Duffy

Chief Executive

ASH Scotland

8 Frederick Street

Edinburgh