Big Society doesn’t come cheap

I AM writing in response to your story of the admirable effort made by James Bacon, whom I have known since he was a student and head boy at Helenswood-William Parker Federal 6th form, to raise funds for Childreach International by climbing Kilimanjaro, which he has now completed, safe and sound.

James is not only a guy with a heart the size of a mountain, especially when it comes to helping people in need, but has always been a great ambassador for Hastings, and an example of the many young people who grow up here and use their time and talents so well.

As well as saying a huge well done to him, I would like to raise the issue of the need for continued investment of time, money, expertise and resources - including hard cash - to support our young people so that they can turn their aspirations into reality.

All of us in Hastings need to keep working hard to protect youth services despite the huge challenge the town has been handed by our current Government.

I do have to congratulate the Government on managing to pull off a double whammy of leaving us with not only an unfair and unrealistic budget to meet the needs of our citizens, while distancing themselves as much as they can from any responsibility for the consequences.

This Tory-led Government seems completely detached from the realities of life, but it hugely underestimates us if it thinks we are so easily fooled about where the buck really stops when it comes to funding.

I’d like to say to all our young people ‘If James can make a difference - so you can you!’ - but they need the support, help, encouragement, and resources that adults control to turn aspirations into reality.

I hope Amber Rudd and the Coalition Government will acknowledge the need to maintain, and dare I say it, increase the resources we need here to help our young people do just that.

Here’s the bottom line: You don’t get a ‘Big Society’ on the cheap.

ISLA DOWDS

De Cham Road

St Leonards