Promoting the interests and welfare of senior citizens in Wealden

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING THE CORONAVIRUS

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus.
The UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public from moderate to high and health professionals are working to contact anyone who has been in close contact with people who have coronavirus. If you think you may have the virus, stay at home and call NHS 111 for advice. DO NOT GO TO YOUR LOCAL DOCTOR’S SURGERY.
The symptoms of coronavirus are:
a sore throat – a cough – a high temperature – shortness of breath
but these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness, and are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu. Because it’s a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person, but similar viruses are spread in cough droplets. It’s very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food.
Advice is as follows: wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds; always wash your hands when you get home or into work; use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available; cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze; put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards; try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell; do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
If you are unsure of your symptoms please go to https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19 and enter your details for further guidance.

PENSION CREDIT

Exactly what is Pension Credit? Well, according to AgeUK, it is a benefit for pensioners which is not being claimed by 1,200,000 (1.2 million) Pensioners who are entitled to receive a few pounds extra to their income! This means that, according to our rough calculation, amongst our total East Sussex Seniors Association membership, there could be up to 1,000 pensioners who could be receiving this benefit, but are not claiming it. Are you one of them?
Independent Age have issued a pamphlet which explains everything. Click one this link: https://independent-age-assets.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/2019-04/Advice-Guide-Pension-Credit_0.pdf to download it, or you can telephone Freephone 0800 319 6789 if you would prefer a hard copy.
The pamphlet gives you a Freephone number to phone and a list of details you will need to make a claim. It’s as easy as that, so, go on, have a go!
What you may not realise is that if you get only £1 per week extra, having this benefit opens many other doors to other savings. For instance, most Councils give a reduction in Council Tax (possibly worth many hundreds of pounds), or an increase in Housing Benefit, plus dental treatment is free and from this year, when the rest of us have to pay for our TV Licence fee, if you are over 75 then yours will continue to be free.
So, what’s stopping you? It’s very simple, so, go on, have a go!
We would also love to hear from you that you have been successful. Letting us know by phoning Linda on 01892 770487 would give us a great deal of satisfaction to know that this message has been successful and the knowledge that many more of our members are getting what they are entitled to.
SO, GO ON, HAVE A GO!

OLDER PEOPLE’S DAY 2019

We arranged two events for Older People’s Day in September and October 2019. A cream tea was held in the lounge at Holy Cross Priory in Cross in Hand – a new venue for us. Fifty people came and we wish the Priory could have accommodated more as some were disappointed when the event proved more popular than we expected, probably because of the beautiful surroundings that many had not visited before.
We welcomed 46 to our main event for Older People’s Day in October – a talk by Lady Crabtree entitled “Growing Old Disgracefully” – a highly entertaining presentation that had everyone chuckling. A delicious tea of sandwiches and cake bites was supplied by the Civic Centre’s Luxford Restaurant and we also managed to fit in a brief Annual General Meeting.
Altogether 114 people attended one or more of these events, and to judge from the evaluation forms that we asked people to fill in at the two Older People’s Day events, they were really enjoyed – about 95% of those present rated the occasions as “Very Good” or “Good” and wrote some very appreciative comments.

DISCOVER YOUR LIBRARY SERVICE

Anyone living in East Sussex can join online at eastsussex.gov.uk/jointhelibrary and your library card will be posted to you. You can also visit any library and with proof of name and address get your library card straight away.
East Sussex libraries offer a variety of learning opportunities. Online bite sized tutorials can be done at home or in the library and can help with everyday digital tasks, such as sending email, browsing the internet or writing a letter. If you need assistance or get stuck using computers, the Library Service computer buddies can help. You can also join a basic IT session. Phone the libraries enquiries line 0345 60 80 196 to book a session.
Books, including large print books, are free to borrow for three weeks. If you wish to extend the loan period you can renew online at eastsussex.gov.uk/renew or over the phone using our automated renewals line 0345 60 80 195
Ebooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines can be downloaded free to your own computer, tablet or smartphone. Visit eastsussex.gov.uk/eBooks for more information on how to choose from over 7,000 titles, with more added weekly.
Many libraries have DVDs which can be borrowed for a week (Hire charge applies).
All libraries have resources relating to their own area and the county in general. You can find out about the people, history, culture and development of East Sussex, plus research advice and suggested reading. Just visit eastsussex.gov.uk/localstudies.
For people wanting to research their family history, there is free access to both “Ancestry” and “Find My Past” websites on the library computers, plus books and eMagazines on genealogy. Some libraries also have family history volunteers who may be able to help with your research.

YOUNG AT HEART

Calling older people in Heathfield! Are you retired/widowed/lonely or just bored? Are you in retirement but would enjoy mixing with a wider community to include activities such as crafts/cooking/gardening and contributing to the education of primary school children aged between 5 and 11?
Young at Heart is a non-residential facility that supports the nutritional, social, and activity needs of older adults in a professionally staffed group setting. They also support older people to re-visit skills and hobbies they may not have engaged with recently, and to try new activities.
The organiser, Rachel Gibson, says “I got my inspiration for Young at Heart from the documentary set in Bristol with the care home being integrated with the nursery school, having seen the enormously positive results from the meeting of two generations. I have been a carer in the community for the last 5 years and knew I could do more than help one person at a time. I was looking after the wonderful 89 year old Margaret for the last 3 years of her life until she sadly died 3 months ago. She and I planned Young at Heart together and she came up with the name. Rob Laughton helps me with the business side of Young at Heart.”
The idea behind Young at Heart is to integrate the elderly with the local primary school, All Saints and St Richard’s, 100 yards from the venue, Old Heathfield Cricket Club, which has outstanding far reaching views to the Downs. Ultimately they aim to be open Monday to Friday from 10am-4pm but for now it is open on Tuesdays until numbers grow. Age Concern are helping with transport .
They have a website which is http://youngatheart.me.uk/ and are also on Facebook which is Young at Heart Heathfield Community Club. If anyone would like to join they would love to hear from you! Contact Rachel 07971 032667.

IVY ELSEY

The Wealden Senior Citizens’ Partnership Committee are very sad to report the death of our Chair, Ivy Elsey, who passed away on Friday, 27th July 2018.
Ivy had been a member of our committee since our launch in 2005 and had been Chair for about 8 years.
She was also Vice Chair of ESSA, and chaired the ESSA Health and Community Care Theme Group.
She had been fighting bravely against illness for a number of years and will be very greatly missed.
Ivy is pictured here at our 10th Anniversary Older People’s Day event in 2015, alongside the then Vice Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, Sarah Stonor.

HELP NEEDED!

The Wealden Senior Citizens’ Partnership is the Older People’s Forum for Wealden, a largely rural district covering roughly half the area of East Sussex. Membership is currently around 630.

Our aims are:

  • to represent the views, needs and interests of older people

  • to reduce isolation and loneliness amongst older people in Wealden

  • to promote the positive aspects of older age

  • to organise events throughout Wealden so that older people can come together to have fun, learn new things and pick up information that might be useful to them

  • to publish a quarterly newsletter “Grey Matters” to keep members informed about issues of interest to older people, and to publicise events

Contact number: 01892 770487

WSCP exists to encourage older people to live a full and healthy life. How do you think that could be achieved? Should we organise more outings or events? Send out more newsletters? Do something completely different?

Whatever the future, a few helping hands is all we need to make a big difference to the lives of many older people.

If you think you could help, get in touch as soon as you can. Ring Linda Graham on 01892 770487 or email lindagraham@wealden-scp.org