THIS week, our readers wrote to us about immigration, help for special children and to raise awareness of people suffering from myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). Here's what they said...


Taster sessions for social entrepreneurs

Dear Editor,
IT’S that time of year when many individuals consider changes to their careers and the Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme provides the opportunity for any potential social entrepreneurs to develop their ideas to inspire change in their communities.
Through its partnership with the School for Social Entrepreneurs Scotland, the programme will be hosting a series of taster sessions for potential social entrepreneurs. 
These are open to everyone and registration is via
Thanks and kind regards,
Catherine Eastham


Perspective needed on immigrants

Dear Editor,
MUCH of the debate about the current EU renegotiation by the Prime Minister has focused on restricting access to benefits for those from other European Union countries coming to the UK.
Some perspective is needed on this. What tends to be forgotten is that there are 2.2 million UK citizens living and working in the rest of the EU with, for example, just over one million British people living in Spain and 329,000 in Ireland.
Indeed, unemployed Britons in the EU are drawing much more in benefits and allowances in wealthier EU countries than their nationals are claiming in the UK. 
For example, four times as many Britons obtain unemployment benefits in Germany as Germans do in the UK, while the number of jobless Britons receiving benefits in Ireland exceeds their Irish counterparts in the UK by a rate of five to one.
Contrary to popular perceptions, the figures for nationals of those 10 east European countries drawing jobseeker’s allowance in the UK remain modest, despite the periodical outcries about “benefits tourism”. 
There are only about 1,000 Romanians and 500 Bulgarians, for example, drawing jobseeker’s allowance in Britain, according to the Department for Work and Pensions.
Of those EU migrants living here a mere 1.2 per cent are not economically active, amounting to a miniscule number. 
According to University College London, between 2001 and 2011 EU migrants made an estimated positive net contribution of £20 billion to the UK economy as they tend to be younger and more economically-active than our own workforce, paying more in taxes and receiving less in benefits.
Those from the EU who have made the UK their home make an overwhelmingly positive contribution economically, socially and culturally, and it is good to sometimes highlight the facts as well as remembering those UK citizens who currently live in other EU countries.
Yours faithfully,
Alex Orr, The European Movement in Scotland


Resolution to help special children

Dear Editor,
WITH the start of 2016, many people will be making their New Year resolutions and planning to make a difference, either for themselves or for others.
Whatever the reason – be it getting fit, participating in a sporting event, signing-up for a once-in-a-lifetime challenge, like a trek to Everest base camp, or taking up voluntary work, The Children’s Trust would love to hear from you. 
The Children’s Trust is the UK’s leading charity for children with brain injury and by taking part in one of our many fundraising events you will be helping to make a difference to some very special children and their families.
The Children’s Trust has lots of fundraising activities to appeal to all – with the ever popular National Doughnut Week in May, the fabulous Supercar Event in July and Humphrey’s Pyjama Week in October – as well as other regional and local activities taking place.
And, if you are planning to take on a new challenge to get fit, we have available places in many famous running events – including full and half marathons - and would love to hear from runners who would like to join-up to The Children’s Trust team for the Virgin Money London Marathon, the Great North Run, Brighton Marathon or the BUPA 10K.
Alternatively, if you are looking for a new venture, perhaps you would like to start a local supporter group to help raise funds. If so, we can offer help and advice to get you started. 
Please contact us via the website at, email or phone 01737 365020.
Yours sincerely,
Amanda Burton, ambassador at The Children’s Trust


Information for ME sufferers

Dear Editor,
YOUR readers may be familiar, some at first hand, with the considerable challenges faced by those affected by the chronic disabling condition myalgic encephalomyelitis (M.E.).
That’s why our booklet, Newly Diagnosed With M.E., shares key information and advice about the diagnosis, symptoms and management of M.E. Endorsed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), it empowers patients to be an active partner in their own care.
Developed in consultation with healthcare professionals and our patient and carer reference group, the booklet is designed to be shared with your GP and can be downloaded for free at or ordered by calling Action for M.E. on 0117 927 9551. 
Sonya Chowdhury, Action for M.E.