19th Jun, 2019

LETTERS: Your letters from across the city in this week's Observer

Congratulations to Coventry. What a bank holiday weekend. Coventry City beating Exeter to go up to league one! 51 years of hurt ended. Our last promotion was under Jimmy Hill in 1966/67 when they we were promoted to Division One.

The Biggest Weekend was a massive success with over 37,000 people over the two days. Recently we welcomed the royals, Coventry Rugby went up as Champions. We have the City of Culture coming in 2021, round the corner is moto fest and to top it off Coventry has been named as the UK’s European City of Sport 2019.

Coventry is not on the rise again, it is risen and it has risen high. Wave the Coventry flag with the pride and passion it deserves.

Tim Mayer

Westwood ward councillor

Just one percent of Polio left to eradicate, success has never been so close.

Polio eradication has been a huge success across the world. Thanks to mass vaccinations and big medical campaigns, we have only the final one percent to destroy. Since 1988 there has been a greater than 99.9 per cent drop in cases but conquering the final percentage point remains elusive.

Polio still has Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria in its grip, but we must not lose hope. The darkest hour is always before the dawn. Thanks to Rotary and the work of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, millions have been saved from paralysis and death and the prospect of Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) in later life. The human and financial cost of these efforts continues to be great, but the risk of Polio returning is greater still.

That British Polio marks its 80th anniversary next year is a testament to the persistence of Polio and PPS, a neurological condition which still affects 120,000 people in the UK. Polio has existed for thousands of years and was never going to relinquish its hold without a fight. In areas blighted by poverty and war, reaching every last child is not a challenge for the faint of heart. History has shown we all need to work together to see the result we all want to see but we are too close to give up now.

If would you like to join The Fellowship or for further information about The British Polio Fellowship, visit www.britishpolio.org.uk or call 0800 043 1935.

David Mitchell

The British Polio Fellowship

Can you imagine not being able to access a toilet when you most need to? For girls all over the UK, being refused this basic human right is a reality when they are at school and on their period.

A recent survey by Plan International UK found that 68% of girls aged 14-21 had a rule that they couldn’t go to the toilet in lesson time at school.

This rule exists in my school, with some teachers letting girls go and some refusing. Not only does this have hygiene and safety risks but it can make the situation for students very awkward, and causes huge anxiety. Girls are worried about leaking, or having to explain in front of the whole class why they need to be excused.

You might be even more shocked to learn that 16% of girls have missed a day of school because they were so worried about not being able to go to the toilet in lesson time. Surely there is no excuse for allowing menstruation to affect a girls’ education.

It’s imperative that schools provide pupils with free access to toilets, adequate sinks and waste disposal bins, and give teachers support to openly discuss periods without embarrassment or shame.

There’s more about the changes we need to see at plan-uk.org/locked-out. I wonder, will your local schools commit to recognising the needs of those who menstruate?

Eva, 17, a member of Plan International UK’s Youth Advisory Panel

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