Volunteer and save a child

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PROTECTING children and giving them the right to a childhood should always be top priorities for a civilised society.

So news that Childline is recruiting volunteers to help children understand how to stay safe in Sheffield is welcome.

By visiting 136 schools in the city, pupils will be taught how to recognise situations where they may need help and be told of ways to get support.

Only by educating children will we teach them how to avoid those who wish to steal their innocence. And after all the recent stories of child abuse, the importance of this work cannot be over-stressed.

The benefits of having check-ups

TODAY we at this newspaper thank our lucky stars for an optician at Boots who probably saved the life of one of our reporters.

Ellen Beardmore went for what she thought was a routine eye check-up at her local store – and within a matter of days she was undergoing a marathon 12-hour lifesaving operation to remove a tumour from her brain.

Now we are not for one moment saying that that is an everyday occurrence from a trip to the optician’s. But without that check-up Ellen’s tumour would have continued to grow and threatened her life.

The bravery of Ellen aside – an inspiration to everyone who knows her – the expertise of the surgical staff at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital and the quality of care she received means that she is now well on the road to recovery.

But as the optician, Samantha Ahmed says, it really does underline the need for people to make sure they have regular check-ups, not only for their eyes, but also teeth.

Find dogs a home

FOR nearly a year, this newspaper has been running its Give a Dog a home campaign to highlight the plight of pets left abandoned and having to be cared for charity animal shelters.

As we approach Christmas, the kennels are reporting a rise in the number of dogs coming into their care – and Eddie and Clyde who are featured today – are two of the oldest residents at their kennels. The kennels quite rightly operate a policy where they stop adoption of dogs just before Christmas to eliminate the temptation of people acquiring dogs as presents – only for them to be booted out in the aftermath of the festivities.

The race is on to find Eddie and Clyde a home so that they don’t spend another Christmas in a kennel. Our campaign has successfully homed scores of dogs since it started. Let us hope Eddie and Clyde can be added to that list.