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Have your say

Nature’s colours is winning print

Sir, – I would like to say well done on featuring amateur photographers in Bo’ness.

I would like to add that I also am a very keen amateur and have just recently been one of the runners-up in a photographic competition held by the Scots Magazine for the Photographer of the Year.

The picture (Natures Colours) was of a field just outside Bo’ness of oil seed rape. This picture, for me, has been seen in quite a few publications and made me proud to be from Bo’ness.

I moved to the town in the early Seventies to work at BP and still work there but am now semi-retired. I enjoy my rest time walking around Bo’ness and at weekends off to the hills.

Yes Bo’ness is a great wee place, with friendly people and it is always good to hear their comments.

I have attached some of my favourite pictures for you and thanks again for featuring them in your newspaper in the past and hopefully in the future. – Yours etc.,

Gordon Clark,

Bo’ness

Public generosity

Sir, – I wanted to take the opportunity to say a big ‘thank you’ to your readers and our supporters for helping make this Christmas and the start of 2015 a huge success for our West Lothian stores.

Thanks to the generosity of members of the public donating to our shops in Bathgate, Linlithgow and South Queensferry – and supporting our re-gifting campaign in December – our stores are packed full of great quality recycled clothes, toys and gifts for our customers.

We would also like to thank our customers for their support through 2014, without which we wouldn’t be able to support local services in the area.

By shopping in one of Barnardo’s stores, your readers have helped our local services as the profits from retail go directly to support the charity’s work with some of Scotland’s most disadvantaged young people.

So a big ‘thank you’ to your readers for helping us and we look forward to their continued support. – Yours etc.,

Deriel Loftus,

Retail area business manager, Barnardo’s Scotland,

111 Oxgangs Road North, Edinburgh, EH14 1ED.

Polio making a comeback?

Sir, – News from the US that 107 children have been left paralysed from what is being described as a polio like disease is deeply concerning.

It offers a stark reminder of times gone by when the world was plunged into a polio epidemic that killed thousands and left many more with lasting effects of the disease – effects that they may still be feeling now in the form of the late effects of polio and post polio syndrome (PPS).

As chief executive officer of the British Polio Fellowship, I will be following the situation in the US closely and hope that those suffering from the mysterious outbreak receive the correct treatment, with health workers doing all they can to contain and understand this virus which affects the victim’s spinal fluid and respiratory system.

Actual polio has almost been eradicated, with only a handful of countries still facing the disease in an endemic state; however, despite this, there are 120,000 people in the UK still battling the debilitating symptoms of the late effects of Polio and PPS that develop years after the initial infection.

We will continue to raise awareness of this problem that affects a similar number to Parkinson’s disease, but is talked about much less and at the same time offer support and empowerment to those affected by it.

For more information on polio visit www.BritishPolio.org.uk – Yours etc.,

Ted Hill MBE,

Chief executive officer,

The British Polio Fellowship.

Help may be available

Sir, – The recent heavy snowfall in Scotland is stranding thousands of people in their homes. As the weather takes a turn for the worst, people need to be aware of how they can cope with their energy bills and how to optimise their house to deal with the temperature drop.

I’d urge anyone who is worried about keeping their home warm to contact the Home Heat Helpline on 0800 33 66 99, or visit www.homeheathelpline.org.uk for free support, help and advice.

Advisors are able to put callers in touch with services such as supplier trust funds and schemes that offer financial support towards a new boiler and better insulation, as well as energy saving tips.

More than 1 in 10 households in Britain are eligible for this kind of help, so they’ve got nothing to lose and likely a lot to gain. – Yours etc.,

Lawrence Slade,

Head of Home Heat Helpline.