THIS week, our readers wrote to us about community volunteers, help for carers and children's communication skills. Here's what they said...

Clackmannan needs someone like June
Dear Editor,
CONGRATULATIONS to June Anderson who has been named as Hero of the Month for her efforts to improve her community by organising clean-ups and encouraging residents to take pride in their community.
It is a great pity that Clackmannan does not have such a champion to lead the way. Perhaps it’s time to stand up and be counted.

We would like to hear about stroke victims
Dear Editor,
MORE than 121,000 people in Scotland are currently living with the devastating effects of stroke.
It happens in an instant, yet this overwhelming condition can affect people physically and emotionally for the rest of their lives. 
The long-term effects can often take a huge toll on partners, carers and families too.
We are calling on people who have had a stroke, their carers and family members across Scotland to take part in a UK survey and tell us about their experiences of stroke.
Resources for stroke care are increasingly stretched. 
We want stroke treatment, therapy and care to remain a priority.
If any of your readers has had a stroke or cares for someone who has had a stroke, we want to hear their views.
The closing date for our survey is March 31. 
It can be completed online at campaign questionnaire or you can contact the Scotland office on 0131 455 7244 to obtain a paper copy.
Yours sincerely,
Andrea Cail,
The Stroke Association

Please help us assist disabled and carers
Dear Editor,
I WONDER what New Year’s resolutions your readers have made his year? 
For those who are struggling with their resolutions or who’ve yet to make any, I’d like to make a suggestion.
Why not do something for charity in 2016 and make a real difference to the lives of others? 
I work for a charity called Revitalise, which provides much-needed respite breaks for disabled people and carers up and down the UK.
The breaks they take with us enable them to regain their strength and restore their ability to cope.
Our own research has shown that respite is hugely important in giving disabled people and carers a decent quality of life.
Without regular time off, the relationship between carers and the loved ones they care for is put in very real danger of breaking down.
What we do is vital.
But we couldn’t do what we do without the energy and generosity of our supporters, who take part in fundraising events, volunteer at our centres and donate to our cause. 
There are so many ways you can support Revitalise and you will have the satisfaction of knowing that every ounce of your energy, every minute of your time and every penny you raise will make a difference. 
So go on, resolve to support Revitalise in 2016.
Find out how at or call 0303 303 0147. 
Colin Brook,

Helping children with communication skills
WE KNOW that many children are starting school with language underdeveloped for their age. 
We want the people of Clackmannanshire to challenge this and ensure children in this area are given the essential communication skills they need to help them learn to read and write, do well at school and make friends.
Through the Chatterbox Challenge, the annual sing-a-long run by I CAN, the children’s communication charity, pre-school settings can support their children’s communication development. 
Singing songs and rhymes are a great way to develop children’s communication skills which helps them to read and succeed at school.
I CAN is calling for pre-school settings to register to get involved and encouraging everyone to nominate their local nursery, childminder or children’s centre to take part in the event at 
For more information about other support I CAN offers, visit  
Clare Geldard,
I CAN director

Our free guides help older people to cope
Dear Editor,
AFTER the long Christmas break with family, many people will be feeling refreshed and ready to return to work. 
However, Independent Age, the older people’s charity, has already received a number of calls from concerned relatives of older people.
They are worried about how their mum, dad, elderly aunt or uncle are coping at home on their own after spending time with them during the festive period.
That’s why we want to make sure your readers in Scotland know about the range of free “Wise Guides” they can access which offer expert advice to older people, their families and carers. 
There are five Wise Guides in total and one of these is the “Extra help at home” guide, which provides tips on how to live independently as an older person.
It includes how to get help with everyday tasks such as shopping or finding a cleaner, how to find out what benefits you might be entitled to and how to make your home safer.
Anyone in Scotland can order a free copy of “Extra help at home” or any of the other Independent Age Wise Guides.
These are available by calling Freephone 0800 319 6789 or ordering online at
The Wise Guides are also all available to download for free via the Independent Age website.
Yours sincerely,
Lucy Harmer,
Independent Age