Spring 2017 Open Meeting

The SSF open meeting will be held on 27 April 2017 at the Grange community centre, Grange Drive, Stratton St Margaret, SN3 4JY
1.30pm-4.00 pm,
a chance to hear from Age UK

SSF patron Lord Joffe

Our patron has kindly donated funds to the Forum and his latest contribution was received shortly before the 2016 AGM. The management committee on behalf of its members wishes to thank our patron for this generous donation.

Lord Joffe

First Aid Training

Members of the SSF thoroughly enjoyed first aid training in November 2016 and received certificates at the conclusion.

Can I thank you very much for the training last week. I think you could see that for many of us we were very pleased to update what we had learned earlier. The lady who did the training was excellent and encouraged discussion and did not make you feel stupid or that you could not ask questions or talk about what you had done in the past. That session improved our confidence. Hope to see you soon. (an attendee)

Loneliness survey 2016

In October last year we conducted an online, email and postal survey of loneliness to identify and gather information so that decisions can be made about the topic of interest. 85 of you responded to the survey. The Management committee is very appreciative of the time taken by the respondents to share their views with us despite their busy lives. The survey responses have been brought together and our MP, Robert Buckland QC, will be holding a summit with SSF, local councillors and the relevant decision-makers with a view to influencing future decisions and in an attempt to unravel some of these issues and seek remedies to make our lives better.
The Campaign to End Loneliness has developed a step-by-step guide to help local authorities and stakeholders identify the hidden lonely. "The Missing Million: In Search of the Loneliest in our Communities"  helps commissioners and service providers to identify older people experiencing, or who are at risk of experiencing, loneliness. It will assist frontline workers to better understand and respond to loneliness, and to engage with older people, LGBT+ communities experiencing loneliness  So watch this space.

Take care of your body!

Your body is your precious gift.
A vehicle for taking you through this
Journey called life.
The better care you take of
This vehicle
The longer and more enjoyable
Your journey is likely to be.

Act F.A.S.T campaigns

To remind people of the main symptoms of stroke

  • Face has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile?
  • Arms can they raise both their arms and keep them there?
  • Speech is their speech slurred?

Time to call 999
if you see any single one of these signs of a stroke.

A quarter of people would wait for more than one symptom of a stroke before calling an ambulance, according to research from Public Health England. On February 2nd, PHE launched its annual campaign to remind us of the main symptoms of a stroke and the importance of calling 999 immediately if they notice any single one of the symptoms, either in themselves or others. Strokes kill over 40,000 people a year and has a permanent effect on around two-thirds of stroke survivors. Research shows that 24% of people would wait to call an ambulance because they wrongly believe that they need to see 2 or more symptoms of stroke to be sure. Another barrier to dialling 999 includes people feeling that they need permission to act on behalf of others.
see also nhs website

A day of "Music and Merriment" was held in December 2016 at Broadgreen Community Centre, the event was organised by Newton and hosted by SSF inviting other lunch clubs from Broadgreen, it was a great day, good atmosphere and the Senior Citizens thoroughly enjoyed the day.

one member wrote ...

"Thank you and your team so much for a great day on Friday 16 December at Broadgreen Community Centre. The team did look after us so well – and still it felt like we were all part of one group. The entertainment was great - dancing, yoga and the ideal finish to the day with the carols and Newton brass band. We also realise the amount of preparation work needed to make an event like this happen in such a smooth way 'on the day'- many thanks."

... and another wrote

"Thank you so much for a lovely day. What we were expecting were the usual gathering of the old and lonely with couple of well-intentioned people trying to jolly us along. What we got was fun and laughter, intelligent conversation and great food; the yoga, brass band and carol singing were an added bonus. We get so fed up of shop staff and people in authority thinking because we no longer work that we have somehow lost the plot and suddenly become simple minded that to be treated as intelligent human beings was a treat. More events like this (or even every December) would be much appreciated. Please send our thanks to all the volunteers who made it such a great day for all of us."

Thanks to Sainsbury, Bridgemead, Swindon for your voucher donation of £10.00 our raffle and Tesco Ocotal Way for refreshments for our October AGM and Open Meeting.


Bringing together older people living in care settings

HenPower brings together older people living in care settings, artists and hen-keeping to combat loneliness and depression and improve wellbeing.

Currently based in the North East, with a national roll out in progress, Hen Power helps vulnerable older people gain a sense of purpose and being part of something worthwhile. It isn't just about looking after hens. Hen-keeping is the catalyst for further creative and meaningful engagement between active older people, care setting staff and residents and schools.

The scheme works by enabling care settings and sheltered housing schemes to become HenPowered Homes. Supported by Equal Arts they receive guidance from the project leads on the practical side of hen-keeping as well as how best involve residents and others in the daily activities. This process offers skill transfer with care staff and builds project sustainability.

With the hens as a focus Equal Arts then develops a creative programme with residents and people living with dementia. The project is an excellent opportunity to engage with those at risk of loneliness, care home residents, their families and friends.

A number of residents from HenPowered Homes have been engaged in taking the hens on out 'Roadshows' taking hens out to schools and other care settings.

An initial pilot in 2012 was carried out with Big Lottery Silver Dreams funding of £164,000.

HenPower received £34,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund from January 2013 to July 2015 and in May 2014 was awarded £1m from the Big Lottery Silver Dreams Flagship fund till March 2018.

Northumbria University conducted a 12-month independent evaluation of HenPower in 2013.

  •  Significantly improves the health and wellbeing of older people;
  •  Significantly reduces depression among older people;
  •  Reduces loneliness among older people;
  •  Reduces the need for anti-psychotic medication.

HenPower aims to be part of older people's lives in over 100 care homes across the UK by 2017.

Tommy, 89, cared for his wife for 25 years. After her death he felt he'd become isolated from society. He said: "I've made some great friends through HenPower. What I like about HenPower is that you're not entertained, you're involved. You make decisions for yourself and you work as a group. I love to tell people how it's changed my life, about how it's changing older people's lives." See www.equalarts.org.uk

Are you well organised?

Are you a member of our forum?

Do you want to make a difference? If the answer is yes, please read on!

We are looking for a volunteer secretary for our forum. Duties include arranging and taking minutes of meetings, dealing with correspondence and booking venues and equipment for meetings. You'll be working as part of a team. Additionally, if you would like to join our Management Committee, please email us at any time, after joining. We welcome all members to apply; new Management Committee members are initially "co-opted", until the election of a new committee, at the Annual General Meeting, when they can stand for full election for another year.