LETTERS- The online safety bill and reducing the stigma around stammering - The Droitwich Standard

LETTERS- The online safety bill and reducing the stigma around stammering

Droitwich Editorial 21st Apr, 2023   0

WYTHALL man’s podcast aims to reduce stigma about stammering’ was a powerful article.

I am on an e-list of stammerers throughout the world and I sent out this article and it was very well received.

Kudos to Jon Hubbard for being such a brave activist in starting the podcast to reduce the stigma that goes along with stammering.

In our discussion of the article, the other stammerers and me could most definitely identify with the situation Mr Hubbard described about going to pick up his child at school and getting stuck on the name.

Even if a stammerer is having some fluent speech, he never knows when the instance will happen when he is abruptly left speechless and struggling for words.

It can happen any time, even with stammerers who have become mostly fluent.

In terms of reducing the stigma of stammering, I recommend the website of the Stuttering Foundation – StammeringHelp.org – because they have e-books, downloadable brochures and streaming videos that touch upon the stigma.

The site has free resources for stammerers of all ages.

Mary Burke

Boston, Massachusetts


MAY I support the letter from Ms Denise Danks (Standard, April 7), re the difficulties of going south by train to Worcester Parkway, Cheltenham, Cardiff, Bristol and beyond, despite the four platform interchange station having been opened at Bromsgrove in 2016.

There is no technical reason, as far as BARRUP is aware, why the Nottingham – Cardiff Cross Country Train Service calling at these destinations, and which used to stop at Bromsgrove until the extension of the CrossCity Line to Bromsgrove in July 2018, could not offer an hourly service, thus benefiting the people and businesses of Bromsgrove and North East Worcestershire economically, environmentally and socially.

What it needs is for our local district and county councillors to put pressure on the county council and MP Sajid Javid in turn to put pressure on Cross Country Trains to introduce this service in the next amended timetable in December. There is no argument for the company not to do so.

Very disappointingly, in the Conservative and Liberal Democrats’ publicity which I have seen re the forthcoming Bromsgrove District Council elections in May (and I am open to correction), there is no mention of any intention to improve the rail connectivity at one of the ‘Gateways to Bromsgrove’ and thus also reduce congestion and pollution.

How shortsighted can they be ?

Nick Taylor

BARRUP (the Bromsgrove and Redditch Rail User Partnership)

THE ONLINE Safety Bill is due to be discussed in the House of Lords over the coming weeks and the NSPCC will continue to campaign for this crucial piece of legislation to be passed as soon as possible to protect children from harm online.

Years of inaction by tech firms means children don’t have basic protections on their sites and while we welcome the ambition of the legislation to protect children, we don’t think the current plans go far enough.

We’ve led a coalition of charities, politicians, and the public who are calling on the UK Government to do more to keep children safer online.

So, we’re backing an amendment that would result in a statutory user advocate being put in place to provide an expert voice and representation for children in the new regulated online world.

The advocate would act as a consumer watchdog for children and be funded by a levy on tech companies, so it wouldn’t be paid for by the public purse.

This would help ensure children’s voices are not drowned out by large tech companies by providing direct representation for their needs in the new regulatory regime.

There’s overwhelming public support for this.

When I speak with parents and carers in the West Midlands they often ask why tech companies aren’t doing more to help protect their children.

Almost 40,000 people signed an open letter to the Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan asking for a voice for young users to be incorporated in the Online Safety Bill through a user advocacy body for children.

You can also support this amendment by writing to the UK Government to tell it why you think there should be an organisation that stands up for children and champions their safety.

Visit nspcc.org.uk/onlinesafety for more information on online safety.

Rachel Wallace

NSPCC Local Campaigns Manager for the Midlands

WE know it can be difficult to stay socially connected, but keeping in touch and chatting with others can have a huge impact.

Conversations can create connections, offer new perspectives, teach you new things, boost happiness, and increase mental wellbeing.

Which is why the NHS Volunteer Responders programme has reintroduced the Check in and Chat service, where local readers who would like a friendly chat or simply a listening ear can request a phone call with a volunteer, whether it be a one-off call or a series of calls.

Receiving a Check in and Chat call is easy and completely free. Readers in Worcestershire can organise it by calling 0808 196 3382 (8am to 8pm, seven days a week). You can also visit nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk where you will find further information.

If your readers would like a call, we are encouraging them to please reach out on the number above, or, to share this information with a loved one, friend, neighbour, or anyone who may need a little extra support and would benefit from a Check in and Chat call.

Thank you,

Sam Ward OBE

Deputy CEO at Royal Voluntary Service


We welcome your letters…..

What pressing issues do you feel need addressing in Bromsgrove, Rubery, Droitwich and South Birmingham? Send us your views to [email protected] or [email protected]



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