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20 THE SENTINEL Friday December 29, 2006 [SP] NEWS www.thisisthesentinel.co.uk WORD FROM THE WEB When FEELING DEPRESSED: Sue Johnson, from Chell. Picture: Clare Lewis (Ref: CL141206F-111) reality Have your say on any Sentinel story at www.thisisthesentinel.co.uk BARGAIN-HUNTERS hit the Boxing Day sales yesterday, scouring the shops for discounts (December 27). kicks in IT WAS so kind of The Sentinel to report that hundreds of people were able to pick up a bargain in the Boxing Day Sales, while many of us who don’t have cars were left stranded as no buses operated in this city. Even on again... Christmas Day no-one put on a hospital bus service so that people could visit loved ones. We are left on Christmas, Boxing and New Year’s days at the mercy of over-inflated taxi fares which most people can’t afford in the first place. Roy Naylor, Blurton Thomson is the only holiday company not to charge a fuel supplement on any of its holidays booked from 21.12.06. Prices below are based on Summer 07 holidays. Web prices, on the high street means that we guarantee to offer the same discount in store that is available at www.thomson. co.uk. Offer applies to new adult bookings for Thomson holidays only. If for any reason our discount differs from the Thomson website, we will match the discount given subject to provision, within 24 hours of booking, of a printed quote from the ﬁnal costing screen for the exact same holiday. The printed quote must be clearly dated. Nectar points not available at Thomson.co.uk. Calls charged at 8 pence per minute on the BT network. Mobile & other network costs may vary. Credit card handling fee of up to 2.5% applies. Thomson reserves the right to withdraw these offers without notice. Thomson acts as an agent for ATOL holders, ABTA 18057. Details are correct at time of going to print 20.12.06. The festive period signals the busiest ‘I’ve no get up and go when it’s dreary’ time for some North SUSAN Johnson, pictured, who have got their family dreads Christmas rolling round around them. I really miss Staffordshire each year. having people around me.” charities, as The 37-year-old, from Mill Hill She added: “I wonder if I have Crescent, Mill Hill, who suffers Seasonal Affective Disorder emotional problems from anxiety and depression, is because if it is sunny outside I reach their annual one of thousands of people feel brighter and I like to go out who dread the pressure the but if it’s dreary I haven’t got peak. Reporter festive season brings. any get up and go.” Graeme Brown Because of her condition, none Susan, who is currently of her three children lives with unemployed, said she is no spoke to volunteers her and she says the loneliness longer in contact with her who are coping with she feels every day is parents and usually meets up heightened at Christmas and with her brother or the demand. the New Year. grandmother on December 25. She said: “I find Christmas Susan admits she has felt SPIRALLING debt, excessive particularly difficult because I suicidal over the Christmas Short haul Long haul drinking, loneliness and fam- ily arguments are just some of have got three children and none of them is actually living period before, but is now working hard to beat her the problems that can trigger with me. It’s difficult all year problems, which involves Thomson Thomson £0 £0 £0 £0 an emotional crisis over Christmas and New Year. round but it all just comes home at Christmas. receiving help from the Media Action Group for Mental Christmas Day is the “I feel envious of some people Health, in Hanley. busiest day of the year for The First Choice £30 £65 Samaritans, while the Cit- izens’ Advice Bureau (CAB) that often results in arguing already have can be aggrav- and marriage counsellors and falling out. ated over Christmas.” Relate see a rise of calls at the “Or you could be watching Marriage guidance service MyTravel £30 £65 beginning of a new year. Volunteers say tensions TV and seeing everyone hav- ing a good time while you are Relate North Staffordshire saw the number of people ask- which may have been sim- sitting on your own drinking ing for help to deal with bank- mering for months erupt, a bottle of cider.” ruptcy and divorce problems Thomas Cook £30 £65 credit card bills pile on the pressure and family argu- Meanwhile, Simon Harris, chief executive of Stoke-on- jump from 18 to 35 in the first four weeks of 2006. ments reach boiling point. Trent CAB, said the number Alison Cooper, family and Stoke-on-Trent and New- of calls they receive about couple counsellor for Relate, castle Samaritans gets up to debts soar in the first three said: “Counsellors are a lot 50 calls on an average day . months of the year as the real- more in demand because it is Exact figures on the num- ity of Christmas over-spend- a stressful time at Christmas. ber of calls taken on Decem- ing sets in. Then the New Year is a time of ber 25 are not known, but four They took 2,178 calls last reflection. People think volunteers who manned the January, rising to 2,898 in ‘Christmas is behind us, have Stoke-on-Trent base that April — 72 per cent more than I really enjoyed it? Do I want evening did not have a break the 1,676 in November. another year in this relation- between 6pm and 10pm. Mr Harris said: “We always ship?’ Before Christmas we A spokesman for the volun- see a rise in January have people calling in and say- teers, who are based at and through the spring ing ‘I am not getting any help Shelton New Road, said: period. and there are family coming Web prices, on the high street “Debt is a big problem in the New Year because people are spending far too much on “Some of that is a direct result of over-spending at Christmas and sometimes it over’.” Have any of these You’ll now ﬁnd the same low holiday prices in our shops as at www.thomson.co.uk things and when the Visa bill is because people just take charities helped to turn comes, they are left in des- time off from their debts and your life around? Write to The pair. enjoy themselves over Christ- Editor, The Sentinel, Forge Lane, “Drink is also a problem mas and then the reality kicks Etruria, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 5SS, Over 700 shops nationwide thomson.co.uk because alcohol plays a prom- in again. or email us at letters@ inent part in festivities and “Debt problems that people thesentinel.co.uk 0870 167 6550 Sky Digital 637 Help for all problems is only a telephone call away THE Samaritans is open Relationship counsellors Stoke-on-Trent Citizens’ throughout the holiday Relate North Staffordshire Advice Bureau offers period. Stoke-on-Trent — can be contacted on 01782 telephone advice on 01782 01782 213555, Crewe — 683050, but the offices 408600. However, the offices Earn points with Thomson 01270 216666, Leek — close for the Christmas are currently closed for 01538 384100. The national period and re-open at 10am Christmas and re-open at number is 08457 90 90 90. on January 3. 10am on January 2. ....
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