SWINDON OLDER PEOPLES FORUM (SOPF)
Newsletter (Issue 10: December 2013)
Hi All! Seasons Greetings. We are just recovering from organising the recent
2013 AGM and Open meeting held at the Broad Green Centre. It was
enjoyable and helpful and to date we have received some good feedback.
How was it for you? This newsletter is the last issue of 2013....where did the
year go!! The news and developments over the past few months are
summarised below. As always do not hesitate to get in touch if you want any
more information on any of the articles or items of news.
Accompanying this issue of the newsletter are three additional documents:
• A note of the 2O13 AGM held on Tues 22 Oct
• A note of the Open meeting held on Tues 22 Oct and outcomes of the
round table discussion on “Issues and Concerns of Older People in
Swindon: what has changed since 2004?”
• A copy of paper prepared by the SOPF Chair entitled “The Positive
Contributions made by the Older Generation”
As ever do not hesitate to let us have your comments or views on any of these.
Next Open Meeting
Our plan is to have the next SOPF Open Meeting in early April 2014, the exact
date and venue is yet to be decided. Similarly we have not yet discussed a
theme but the Management Committee want to try and involve as many older
residents in the Borough who are still working by having two events on the
same day, one in the mid afternoon and the other in the early evening. If you
have any idea or suggestions on the theme for these events, then please let us
know soon. The Management Committee will be considering this at their next
meeting on Thursday 30 January.
Before reading on, the usual plea that, to help keep our running costs down, if
you are willing to receive this newsletter via e-mail then please let myself or
New Management Committee members: Following our call for more
nominations to join the Management Committee, two people came forward,
Ghada Rule and Roy Tylee. Both were invited to attend the Management
Committee meeting on 12 November where they provided us with a
background to their life experiences and how they could help the work of
SOPF. Encouragingly neither Ghada nor Roy were turned off and subsequently
accepted the Management Committee’s invitation to join us!! So a warm
welcome to both of them!
South West Seniors Network (SWSN): SWSN are organising a number of miniconferences throughout the region in the first half of 2014. SOPF will receive
invitations to attend these and, if applicable, we will pass these on in the event
that some members might like to participate.
Transport: SOPF remains committed to ensuring that changes to local
transport provision do not exacerbate the key issue of isolation and loneliness.
We are awaiting a reply to our letter to the Borough Council Chief Executive
reinforcing our suggestions about establishing a Transport Forum as the
mechanism for regular dialogue and exchange of information. However we
can report two developments that we recently become aware of:
• There are some changes to patient transport that come into affect
shortly. For more information contact
• Thamesdown Transport have recently appointed a Public Liaison person
to act as an interface with the company and its stakeholders.
If you wish to share with us any information about transport, or for more
information about transport, Stephanie Burrows will be happy to hear from
you. Stephanie's email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Could you be your own boss? Now there's an idea! Do you know someone
who would love to start a business but is unsure how to go about it or who to
ask for advice? Outset Swindon offers hands-on, vocational support and
guidance tailored to suit the needs of anyone in Swindon who would like to be
their own boss. Outset is a totally FREE programme, fully funded by the
European Regional Development Fund and Swindon Borough Council, that
helps people living in Swindon to start their own business. They offer a range
of services including information sessions, one-to-one support, business startup workshops and help with accessing finance.
To find out more call Outset Swindon on 0800 080 3024 to arrange an initial
one-to-one session with one of their advisors who can help you decide which
route is going to be most effective for you. Alternatively e-mail
email@example.com and go to the Outset Swindon's website
The Royal British Legion will be holding Information Advice and Guidance
sessions for serving members of the Armed Forces, Reservists, veterans and
their families during December at a number of locations across the Borough.
For more information call 08457 725 725 or visit www.britishlegion.org.uk
Feeling the pinch with fuel bills?
The Energy Best Deal project gives practical, face to face advice to low earners
on how to reduce their energy costs. The sessions cover a range of topics
including understanding your bill; getting to grips with the different tariffs and
payment methods; what to do if you are in debt with your fuel company; how
to use less energy; and the help that is available towards energy costs and to
make homes more energy efficient. Energy Best Deal sessions are run by local
groups and there will be eight Energy Best Deal sessions in the county starting
from November and continuing until February 2014. Contact Carol Southall on
firstname.lastname@example.org or 01380 732818 if you wish to hold a
session or want to know where events are taking place.
Senior Citizens Liaison Team is a Bristol based charity whose intention is to
help older people feel safer in their daily lives through 3 primary objectives
namely crime prevention; victim support and social advocacy. They produce a
regular newsletter, Senior Siren, which is listed below.
Healthwatch is a new national initiative that has replaced the Local
Involvement Network (LINk), and aims to give people a powerful voice locally,
regionally and nationally to get the best out of health and care services.
Healthwatch Swindon is an independent organisation being developed by
Parkwood Healthcare Ltd. who have a contract from Swindon Borough Council
for this work. For more information and to subscribe to the regular e-bulletin
contact Healthwatch Swindon 23 Brunel Plaza, Swindon, SN1 1LF Tel: 01793
SOPF website (http://www.sopf.btck.co.uk ) This is regularly updated but if
you have any suggestions for further improvements please e-mail them to
Carol Brownlee email@example.com
Suggested Regular Reading There are many newsletters and sources of
information relevant to older people that are produced and circulated at
intervals more frequent than the SOPF newsletter. For those of you who have
access to the internet our recommendations for regular reading are the
- AGEnda. Newsletter of the English Forum on Ageing. Subscribe by
- Age Action Alliance http://ageactionalliance.org
- Later Life Newsletter to subscribe contact
- Senior Siren the newsletter of the Senior Citizens Liaison Team
- Mature Times http://www.maturetimes.co.uk
- South West Seniors Network and South West Forum on Ageing.
Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service are doing free home fire safety visits.
To arrange one call 0800 389 7849 or visit the website
The Wiltshire and Swindon Bobby Van Trust aims to protect the elderly,
vulnerable and disadvantaged and will offer free home security
assessments for the over 60’s For more information contact
www.wiltshirebobbyvan.org.uk or Tel: 01225 794652.
Community Service Volunteers (CSV) has recently produced a booklet entitled “Volunteering in retirement: new beginnings”. Visit
http://www.csv.org.uk/volunteer or call 0800 374 991.
The Department of Work and Pensions sponsored “Ageing Well”
programme has recently been evaluated and the findings are
summarised in the Ageing Well Legacy newsletter (No.2). This can be
accessed at http://www.local.gov.uk/ageing-well and the links lead to a
wealth of information on how local authorities and their partners should
be relating to the older generation.
• A recent factpack produced by the International Longevity Centre-UK in
July 2013 provides an excellent summary of statistics on “Ageing,
longevity and demographic change”. To access this go to
• New Philanthropy Capital and the International Longevity Centre–UK
(ILC-UK) have recently announced a “Commission on Ageing and the
Voluntary Sector” to provide long-term, strategic thinking about the
implications of an ageing population for the voluntary sector. The
Commission is funded by The Big Lottery Fund and Prudential and will
draw together existing research, engage and consult the sector through
a series of events, work with voluntary organisations to develop answers
as to how the sector can lead the way in adapting to an ageing
population, and publish a final report with recommendations for the
Newsletters and organisational links
• Age UK Swindon (advice and information) Tel: 01793 687018 .
• Age Action Alliance http://ageactionalliance.org Tel: 0207 449 7008
• AGEnda. Newsletter of the English Forum on Ageing. Subscribe by
• Beth Johnson Foundation: A charity championing positive ageing
http://www.bjf.org.uk Tel: 01782 844036
• Elders Council http://elderscouncil.org.uk
• Healthwatch Swindon: The local presence of a national network who
exist to make sure the publics’ views on local health and social care
services are heard. http://www.healthwatchswindon.org.uk Tel:
• International Longevity Centre-UK. An independent, non-partisan think
tank dedicated to addressing issues of longevity,ageing and population
change http://www.ilcuk.org.uk Tel: 0207 340 0440
• Later Life Newsletter: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Mature Times http://www.maturetimes.co.uk
• Pensioners Forum http://www.pensionersforum.co.uk
• Pensioners Campaign Forum http://www.pensionerscampaignuk.org.uk
• Royal British Legion The Royal British Legion, Alexander House, 19
Fleming Way, Swindon SN1 2NG Local contact Samantha Baker
email@example.com Tel: 08457 725725
• SEQOL Directory of Services, Information and Advice relating to health
and social care http://www.swindondisa.co.uk Tel: 01793 463333
• South West Seniors Network and South West Forum on Ageing.
• Swindon Citizens Advice Bureau www.swindoncab.org.uk E-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: 08444994114
• Swindon Health Walks www.walkingforhealth.org.uk To locate a walk
near you visit www.challengeswindon.org.uk
• United for All Ages http://www.unitedforallages.com
• Wiltshire and Swindon Users Network http://www.wsun.co.uk Tel:
• Voluntary Action Swindon http://www.vas-swindon.org Tel: 01793
References and Publications
Ageing Well Legacy http://www.local.gov.uk/ageing-well
One Swindon Draft Delivery Plan
Age UK Website Forum pages http://www.ageuk.org.uk/getinvolved/older-peoples-forums
• Improving Later Life. Age UK publication 2011. ISBN 978-0-9568731-1-8
• Ageing, longevity and demographic change. A factpack of statistics from
the International Longevity Centre-UK. July 2013. (http://www.ilcuk.org.uk)
Dates for your diary
• SOPF Management Committee meeting Thursday 30 January 2014
• Swindon Older Peoples Forum Open meeting April 2014 (exact date and
venue to be decided) National Ageing Society Conference 2013
• One Swindon conference Wednesday 2 July 2014
All of us involved in SOPF would like to thank you for your continued support
and wish you a Happy Christmas and a healthy, prosperous and peaceful 2014.
Swindon Older Peoples Forum is currently supported and sponsored by Age UK and Community
Service Volunteers Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme (CSV/RSVP)
Chair Dave Brown. Tel: 01793 612037. E-mail email@example.com
Secretary Carol Brownlee Tel: 01793 692636 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SOPF Website (http://www.sopf.btck.co.uk )