I HAVE just returned from a splendid afternoon watching Three Men in a Boat at the Milton Rooms in Malton.

An excellent one-man performance, hall well laid out for Covid restrictions and good signage for moving around - felt very safe and cared for.

I am aware there have been changes in the group running the venue, and you can really tell.

Improvements have been made to the toilets, a long-running source of discontent, making them fresher and more user-friendly and other areas have been spruced up to give a much better feel.

Yes there is much still to do, but this is a great start.

The whole team involved seem to have been reinvigorated and there is now a sense of purpose with plans being developed to move the venue forward.

We have just moved into the town and are right behind any moves to turn the Milton Rooms into a successful multi-purpose venue offering a wide-ranging programme of events with which everyone can engage.

It is a time for involvement, support, innovation and commitment, and I hope Ryedale District Council, Malton and Norton town councils, all of Ryedale’s community groups, entrepreneurs and promoters and, probably most importantly, fellow residents will get on board.

Of course, these are difficult times but I hope to see the Milton Rooms survive, develop and flourish as the area’s prime community arts centre.

William Oxley, Malton

Every gift counts

GIFTS in wills have always been important to charities but never more so than this year.

During Covid-19, blind and partially-sighted people have struggled to access essentials like food and medicine. Social distancing has made it hard for some people to get out at all.

Over the last six months, the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has supported people with sight loss in numerous ways, including extending our Helpline opening hours, offering new telephone services, such as Talk and Support, and securing priority supermarket delivery slots.

Gifts in wills have been hugely important in funding this work, accounting for half of our voluntary income.

An increase in public awareness and more gifts left in wills helps RNIB remove more barriers for blind and partially sighted people.

That’s why we’re supporting Remember a Charity Week, to celebrate all the amazing people who support blind and partially-sighted people across the UK by leaving a gift to RNIB in their Will.

No matter how big or small, every gift counts and has a valuable impact. You can pass on something amazing to people in years to come by leaving a gift in your will.

Thank you.

Eleanor Southwood, chairperson, RNIB