Anne Diamond tackles your life problems

PUBLISHED: 11:04 19 July 2010 | UPDATED: 17:32 20 February 2013

Anne Diamond tackles your life problems

Anne Diamond tackles your life problems

Broadcaster & campaigner Anne Diamond's take on the local issues that matter...

Broadcaster & campaigner Anne Diamonds take on the local issues that matter...

Learning lessons the hard way

This is a time of year that almost tastes of strawberries and sunshine yet, for some families, its summery ambience is tinged with sadness

No matter what else happens in life, the summer hols will always mark a tragic anniversary for Paddy Higgins family, in Winnersh, near Reading. Paddy was the handsome young 16 year old who died at the end of an evenings revelry in Cornwall, celebrating the end of his GCSEs. It happened last year, but the inquest has only just concluded. Paddys father, John, whos a teacher at a school in Bracknell, said he hoped people wouldnt simply remember Paddy for the fact that he had drunk too much.

Quite right. What came out of the inquest was that Paddy was a good friend and a popular youngster who simply did what all kids want to do nowadays - go a bit crazy marking the end of exams. We parents shudder when we think of Paddys death - and hold our own teenagers closer. Yet we cannot wrap them in cotton wool.
As a mum of four boys, who also knows the agony of losing a child, I look at the pictures of Paddys face and ask what we can learn? Why is it that our whole society judges a good time by its level of drunkenness? Can we teach ourselves, and then our kids, to respect the power of alcohol, and cut down our intake? Or do these mistakes happen in every generation?
I was once told to make sure I never let my sons death become bigger than his life, and thats what Paddys family will cling to over the coming tortuous summer. They must remember the charming young man with the winning smile, the life not the death. We, however, owe it to them to try and learn from his death and ask if there isnt more we can do.

The Mailbox
Sweet thought!
We keep bees at the bottom of our garden. We have just bottled up the first crop for 2010 and it is not available in the shops only direct from us in person (or in the Duke of Edinburgh pub where the price includes a contribution to the Sebastians Action Trust charity).
Jonathan Greenyer and Philip Wharton,
Woodside, Windsor
Tel: 01344 882702

Hedgerows for Dormice
The Peoples Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) is calling for local volunteers to help support a new initiative to boost the threatened hazel dormouse population in Buckinghamshire and Berkshire by taking part in a survey.
These surveys in dormice hotspots are an important first step in identifying and assessing hedgerows that link known dormice populations, in order for us to deliver management advice and engage in practical action to improve their condition. In doing so, volunteer surveyors play a crucial role in helping PTES contribute to the fulfilment of targets under both the hazel dormouse Species Action Plan and the Hedgerows Habitat Action Plan. For further information email or call 020 7498 4533.
Jim Jones, Hedgerows for Dormice Project Officer at PTES

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