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Post letters: Valence House, Samuel Garside House, elderly in summer and dementia heroes

PUBLISHED: 12:30 29 June 2019

Valence House in Dagenham has been shortlisted for the Family Friendly Museum Award. Picture: LBBD

Valence House in Dagenham has been shortlisted for the Family Friendly Museum Award. Picture: LBBD

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Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Post readers this week.

Museum fully deserves award nomination

Gurpreet Bhatia, Barking, full address supplied, writes:

It was great to hear that Valence House in Dagenham has been one of five small museums shortlisted for a Family Friendly Museum national award this year

I can testify to what a fantastic museum this is and I have always found its mix of exhibitions from the history of Barking and Dagenham to special limited time exhibitions a great way to spend an afternoon within the borough.

However, I believe it's most important contribution is the plethora of events they put on throughout the year for children to make learning fun through activities that children can relate to.

This weekend being a great example with their Caveman Capers event showcasing how people lived in the Iron- and Bronze-ages with displays and fun demonstrations that kept both kids and adults entertained.

The museums staff and its partners, including the council, need to be applauded to help keeping kids positively engaged and focused on activities of growth and respect for their community.

Wonderful community response

Dr Leonard Restall B ED, M Ed (Hons), New Zealand formerly from Barking, writes:

The sad disaster of the Samuel Garside House in De Pas Gardens brings back the memory of the huge Grenfell block fire in 2017 where

many people died and possessions were destroyed.

Fortunately for the Riverside blaze, no lives were lost due to the vigilance of local residents and the skill of the fire brigade.

It again reminds us that fire is an unfriendly foe and all precautions are necessary, such as smoke alarms and sprinklers, to prevent and warn residents. They also need to be in good condition and maintained.

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But emerging from the flames was the empathic support of a wonderful community, coming together to promptly fundraise £16,000 very quickly. But this is hardly enough to meet the enormous needs.

More help is still needed to help to relieve the trauma of such a fire.

Many residents still remain fearful of such disasters so they will need help to rebuild their lives and resilience.

The good work from the local council under the inspiration of Cllr Darren Rodwell provided access to emergency accommodation quickly around the clock for survivors of the Riverside blaze.

Help elderly this summer

Lucy Harmer, director of services, Independent Age, writes:

Many of us eagerly anticipate the onset of summer, and the longer, warmer days that come with it. However, hot weather can carry with it some serious health risks - particularly for older members of our community.

It's for these reasons that Independent Age has launched a new, free summer wise guide, aimed to help older people enjoy the summer safely. Even in the UK, temperatures can rise high enough to cause a range of health problems, such as dehydration, heat exhaustion, and injuries caused by fainting or collapsing. These risks are exacerbated for older people, as well as those living with chronic or long-term health conditions.

I'd like to encourage all readers to download or order a copy of the summer wise guide, either for themselves or a friend or family member. It's easy to access - you can simply download it from independentage.org/summer-wise or order a free print copy by calling 0800 319 6789.

Nominate your dementia hero

Linda O'Sullivan, head of London Region, Alzheimer's Society, writes:

Nominations for Alzheimer's Society's 2019 Dementia Friendly Awards are now open.

Our Dementia Friendly Awards recognise, celebrate and promote the achievements of individuals, organisations and communities leading and inspiring a change that will transform the lives of people affected by dementia forever, challenging misunderstandings, changing attitudes and taking action.

There are nine award categories, from the Trailblazer of year, implementing an innovative idea, to the most Inspiring Young Person of the year and Dementia Friendly Organisations. This year we have one special award, in collaboration with Alzheimer's Society's 40th Anniversary, the Lifetime Achievement Award, recognising meaningful action over 10 years or more, to positively impact people affected by dementia.

Visit alzheimers.org.uk/dementiafriendlyawards. Nominations close on Friday, August 9, 2019.

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