Letters

Letters: People are afraid to leave the house due to UK's public toilet crisis – it's a scandal

One reader calls out the lack of accessible public toilets as a 'complete scandal'

public toilet

There has been a loss of 60% of public toilets in the UK since 2011, and some of those that still exist are not clean or hygienic. Image: Unsplash

Big Issue readers react to articles on the UK’s public toilet crisis, government hostility towards refugees and Christmas dinner recipes.

It is a complete scandal

It is a complete scandal that people are afraid to leave the house because they know they won’t be able to access a public toilet when they need it.

@DisRightsUK

Latch Key Syndrome

I have suffered from incontinence for some years now, and as a man of 80 with prostate enlargement and bladder problems, I watch carefully to see how I can survive socially with them. The worst aspect has been urgency where I get ‘caught short’ and wet trousers. The doctor told me that many people suffer the situation of arriving home at the front door and then getting a warm wet leg because they can’t reach the key quickly enough. He called it ‘latch key syndrome’.

I have found it helps to try to see what creates the anxiety of being caught short in public, and then watch yourself to find if there are repeated thoughts or situations that bring it on. This has helped to allow me to go shopping or to be in social groups without worries. The oddest and funniest situation was in Regent’s Park with my granddaughter when she and then I both wet ourselves and had to laugh about it. Now she’s growing out of it as I’m growing into it!

Dave, London

Good vendor vibes

Just wanted to say there is a young seller outside of the Lidl in Ossett, West Yorkshire. He was there yesterday and again today, and what a credit he is. He’s an amazing young man, smart, funny and so generous. He was wishing everyone happy holidays, helping people with their bags to their cars/taxis. I feel like you guys don’t get enough recognition but please, please do recognise this young man. He’s amazing!

Serena Leigh

Hungry for action

Although well-intentioned, food is only a short-term solution to the wider problem of poverty. That is why we need to be campaigning for systemic change, tackling the causes as well as the symptoms. #GuaranteeOurEssentials

@tomvvardle

Brilliant BOSH!

It was great to see BOSH! featured in a recent issue [The £20 Christmas Dinner Revisited, Issue 1594, 11 December]. I love their cookbooks and find the recipes delicious and inspiring. They cover a lot of traditional meals, and show how easy it is to use plant-based alternatives. Eating more plant-based food is proven to be beneficial for your body, your wallet, the planet and animals. Especially as most animals are factory-farmed. These are easy changes we can all make!

Jody Fitzgerald, Leeds

Against the gran

I enjoyed the interview with Rankin [Issue 1590, 13 November] but took exception to his statements in the final column about how anybody can take a picture because it’s so easy with smartphones. “So anyone – your granny – can take a good picture…” It is a shame that grannies are often unthinkingly cited as the most incompetent category of people in our society, particularly when it comes to technology. It is an ageist, misogynistic trope.

Ann James, Surrey

Pitch perfect

A week ago I bought the 4 December issue of The Big Issue on Worcester High Street. I decided to read it back to front, so came across My Pitch first.

As I read through Isac’s story I became increasingly interested, as I enjoyed his straightforward and honest description of the things he’d been through in life. When I got to the part about him finding faith in Jesus I really was impacted, as it was such a natural, ingenuous glimpse into his character and motivation. The courageous way he then conducted himself on the street in not reacting badly to people who treated him badly was telling and real. I described Isac’s article to several friends at church and am hardcopying it for distribution next week to them, as I think its content is instructive.

Thank you that you have been able to help Isac with glasses and giving him a sense of support as he makes his plans for the future.

Richard Hamlin, Worcester

First-hand experience

In Lord Alf Dubs opinion piece [Issue 1595, 18 December] the former member of parliament wrote: “I came to the UK after fleeing Nazis. Government hostility towards today’s refugees is inexcusable.”

Most of us who were born after the war ended have no first-hand knowledge of these things. Lest we forget.

Pam Bell

The write stuff

Very brave writing by Chris Bird, Robin Ince and Isac [Issue 1593, 4 December]. They have all come through huge difficulties and have well-thought-out plans for the future. I admire them all and wish them all well. Robin Ince is always worth reading; I had no idea of what his family had gone through because of the dangerous driver.

Juliet Chaplin, Cheam, Sutton

Do you have a story to tell or opinions to share? We want to hear from you. Get in touch and tell us more.

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