Sopf newsletter 10


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Sopf newsletter 10

  1. 1. 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 Carol know. 1
  2. 2. Updates 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 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 2
  3. 3. 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 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 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 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 3
  4. 4. contact Healthwatch Swindon 23 Brunel Plaza, Swindon, SN1 1LF Tel: 01793 497777 SOPF website ( ) This is regularly updated but if you have any suggestions for further improvements please e-mail them to Carol Brownlee 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 following: - AGEnda. Newsletter of the English Forum on Ageing. Subscribe by visiting - Age Action Alliance - Later Life Newsletter to subscribe contact - Senior Siren the newsletter of the Senior Citizens Liaison Team - Mature Times - South West Seniors Network and South West Forum on Ageing. Other News • 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 or Tel: 01225 794652. • Community Service Volunteers (CSV) has recently produced a booklet entitled “Volunteering in retirement: new beginnings”. Visit • or call 0800 374 991. 4
  5. 5. • 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 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 future. Newsletters and organisational links • Age UK Swindon (advice and information) Tel: 01793 687018 . • Age Action Alliance Tel: 0207 449 7008 • AGEnda. Newsletter of the English Forum on Ageing. Subscribe by visiting • Beth Johnson Foundation: A charity championing positive ageing Tel: 01782 844036 • Elders Council • 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. Tel: 01793 497777 • International Longevity Centre-UK. An independent, non-partisan think tank dedicated to addressing issues of longevity,ageing and population change Tel: 0207 340 0440 • Later Life Newsletter: • Mature Times • Pensioners Forum 5
  6. 6. • Pensioners Campaign Forum • Royal British Legion The Royal British Legion, Alexander House, 19 Fleming Way, Swindon SN1 2NG Local contact Samantha Baker Tel: 08457 725725 • SEQOL Directory of Services, Information and Advice relating to health and social care Tel: 01793 463333 • South West Seniors Network and South West Forum on Ageing. • Swindon Citizens Advice Bureau E-mail: or Tel: 08444994114 • Swindon Health Walks To locate a walk near you visit • United for All Ages • Wiltshire and Swindon Users Network Tel: 01380 871057 • Voluntary Action Swindon Tel: 01793 538398 References and Publications • • Ageing Well Legacy One Swindon Draft Delivery Plan Age UK Website Forum pages • 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. ( • 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 And Finally!!! 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. 6
  7. 7. 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 Secretary Carol Brownlee Tel: 01793 692636 E-mail: SOPF Website ( ) 7