July/Aug 2013; Once again, the Forum members come to the aid of the poor unfortunate children who are still affected by the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster of 1986. A group came to Nottingham on 13th July - 10th August so they can eat fresh food and breath fresh air. They live in a radioactive polluted environment and eat food that may harm them.The impact on the children born after the disaster gives cause for concern with genetic blood disorders, leukaemia and cancers  Their health problems are compounded with economic and social hardship. The break each year is four weeks recuperative holiday of fresh air, uncontaminated food, fun, love and attention as well as dental and eye check ups. The children chosen to visit, are the poorest children, several orphans, who sometimes arrive with just the clothes on their backs and maybe one change of pants/knickers. Generous Forum members have given desperately needed toiletries which are not available in Belarus; tooth paste, tooth brushes, creams, soap, shower gel etc and wonder gifts of hand knitted garments for the severe winters they encounter back home.

Blenheim Allotments
June 2013; The Forum achieved plots at Blenheim Allotments for the its  older members where the beds are currently weed free and ready to start planting, thus making it easier for older people to renew their love of gardening.

May 20th/24th 2013;  A great 5 day holiday in the lovely resort of Paignton Devon with stunning views across the Bay was enjoyed by 35 members - mainly single - who feel able to join the friendly group where many are afraid to go on conventional holidays on their own.

December 21st 2012;  32 members attended the Christmas Dance despite the icy weather and being so near Christmas. It was great with a party spirit with fun and games for all to join in whether dancers or not.  

December 11th 2012; This years Christmas Dinner took place in the highly recommended Stadium Leisure with good entertainment and a dance to shake down the four course dinner. 150 people had a fantastic afternoon.

November 2012; Member Tom Ryan was nominated by the Forum in the City Council’s Sports Award in the ‘Older Persons’ category. Tom had overcome a very disabilitating accident caused by a tree felling company which left him in great pain unable to hardly walk. He persevered however and is now a very active volunteer in the Irish community and has resumed dancing and gardening to keep fit. Congratulations Tom on winning the award.

New Police Commissioner; Our Chairman Dennis Andrews was asked to be part of the panel with Radio Nottingham when they broadcast the meeting from the University Building, which was full to capacity and proved to be a very interesting event.  

October 8th 2012;  Launch of the Age 4 Action’s innovative Ice Skating for the Elderly project in the National Ice Arena. It was televised and well covered in the media, as the manager of the Ice Arena and the Notts County broadcaster Colin Slater as well as the famous keep fit and Dancing on Ice star Rosemary Conley all helped to launch the scheme.  Homemade cakes and drinks were provided by the Arena and a fantastic and very different event was enjoyed by a large number of people.

August 2012; Anderton Boat Lift a once in a lifetime trip, when we visit the unique Anderton Boat Lift. It is also known as the 'Eiffel Tower of the Waterways' and was built in 1875 to transport boats 50 feet from the Trent and Mersey Canal to the River Weaver. It closed in 1983 but was reopened in 2002 after major structural improvements at a cost of £7m. It is set in landscaped grounds with minimal steps and many picnic areas. There are exhibition areas and a maze, and one may marvel at this Victorian masterpiece from a truly unique vantage point.  We travelled in a glass topped boat and had a trip on the canal plus a conducted tour of the Weaver Navigation A truly memorable day         

July 2012; The Forum has been very successful in being granted a £8,350 “Sports England” award for our Age 4 Action programme to purchase equipment and get several activities started to keep the older citizens of Nottingham fit and active. There will be indoor bowls and boccia which is bowls that can be played whilst seated. This gives the less able bodied a chance to exercise whilst having a really good time. Next there will be a chance to shine as a table tennis champ!  Remember the good old days when we could all race around like mad?  Now we can play at our own pace whilst having fun and getting fit at the same time. Line Dancing and Belly Dancing both of these activities are such great fun and can be hilarious as some of the best belly dancers are quite big ladies. Make those tassels rattle with Gabriella. Aqu Aerobics is another activity planned and is a great way to keep fit.  We are starting Ice Skating for the elderly, which is believed to be a first in the Ice Skating field, and the Nottingham Ice Centre is very eager to be part of this venture and will of course provide professional coaches. 

July 2012; The Forum was invited to join the Indian Centre for a meal by a branch of the Masons who also made a generous contribution of £100 to our funds.  It was very good meal and we were pleasantly surprised to see several of our other Forum Member’s there.

June 2012; A fantastic holiday at Eastbourne was enjoyed by 48 members.

August 2011; Another accolade for the Forum. Yvonne Eicher a graduate from Berlin is to start work from the office this month and is being funded by the Berlin University. Yvonne is studying social care for the elderly and had seen our website with the kind of work we did and our   hopes and aspirations for the future so chose the Forum to continue her studies. After investigations by the Berlin authorities, they saw fit to fund  her time with us until the end of March next year.

August 2011; Success with the repeal of cheques abandonment which NEF have been actively campaigning for. A blessed relief to thousands of people that the crazy idea to abandon the use of cheques and find another way of making paper based funding available was so flawed it failed. Obviously some clever person sitting behind a desk trying to justify their existence with another ridiculous idea without even contemplating the catastrophe this would cause to thousands of individuals, small businesses and charities that rely on cheques to manage their affairs.

July 2011; Many thanks to the following members who through their own initiatives made financial contributions to the Forum in an unusual way. Beryl and John Martin who kindly asked guests at a birthday party to donate to the Elders’ Forum instead of giving presents and Jean Mills, a widow who very kindly collected spare change in a jar in memory of her dear husband to give to charity and NEF were the fortunate charity.

Thursday 14th July 2011; The kindness and generosity shown by our members has been breath taking, both by the donations of toiletries etc and by knitting some wonderful items for the children.  We all remember the Chernobyl disaster and the resultant radiation fallout which is still affecting children twenty five years later. These children live in very deprived conditions. During July and August a group of these children will be on a four weeks visit to Nottingham and will be hosted with Nottingham families. The Forum will host the leader of the party. In an endeavour to make their stay memorable, an appeal was made to our members for donations of knitwear and toiletries. The response has been breathtaking not only in quantity but in quality, the knitwear 'brigade' have produced socks, scarves, gloves, helmets, hats, jumpers and soft toys that would be a credit to any designer range. The range of branded shampoo’s, shower gels, toothpastes and talc will ensure they all stay clean. Each child will be given an extra luggage bag so they have the means to take home to their families what they do not use; they will also get extra baggage allowance for the flight home. Our members should be very proud of their skills and generosity also their compassion for these children and families who are still suffering through no fault of their own. Their actions once again demonstrate how the older generation can contribute to the benefit of others who are in greater need. Thank you all, YOU are the Big Society 

June 2011;  Merging Day Centres. The Forum was horrified to learn that the Nottingham County Council were to close  Day Centres and update others to be multi centres to house older people, disabled people and people with learning difficulties together.  All these people need different specialised care and are some of the most vulnerable in society. Being amongst people in similar circumstances and who they are familiar with is very important, and disrupting the conditions they are used to, is most distressing and disturbing to the elderly and people with learning disabilities in particular. Many have much longer journeys to reach their destinations which will be very upsetting and uncomfortable for both the frail elderly and disabled. Don't these decision makers realise that this section of the community are some of the most disadvantaged individuals who need more care and protection than most and are not just commodities they can move around and fit into any little box deemed convenient, regardless of the inconvenience and hurt they may impose upon them? A little TLC when decision making could make the difference of living or simply existing to some poor souls who already have an unbearable burden to bear and that is why we had to make clear to the council our great disappointment in their proposals.  Certain decisions were revoked.

Tower at skegness
June 2011; Free Holidays at Skegness A great opportunity for older Nottingham members to be picked up and have a free holiday at Skegness. To qualify for this great opportunity, members had to be over 60, on a low income and have not had a holiday for 3 years. This was a very successful and enjoyable holiday where every care and attention was given to members to ensure they felt the huge benefit when they arrived home.

May  2011; Member Hillary Yates and her husband very kindly gave a free 2 hour course in Emergency Life Support . Hillary is an expert trainer in first aid. Donations were given towards the British Heart Foundation.

January 2011; We are very sorry to lose the excellent young graduate who has worked tirelessly on the projects for the Forum. The research proved to be a much larger job than had been envisaged, as replies to requests for information had taken much longer than anticipated therefore work on these projects will need to continue within the Forum, as there are many people and agencies eagerly awaiting these vital results. It has been a refreshing experience working alongside a bright young man who has certainly taught staff in the office a thing or two- whether or not our old brains wanted to learn.  He has worked with great enthusiasm both at the office and at home in his own time. Thank you Andrius. With his great personality, extremely polite manner, sharp wit and brains, may the future shine bright for him.  

December 2010; Once again the Forum delivered over 6,000 calendars to the older citizens of Nottingham, many in the biting winds and freezing weather on the Old Market Square where it took volunteers all their efforts to stand on the icy surface.

December 2010; The Forum found it necessary to join with other organisations to protest in front of the Council House about the massive increases in costs for Adult Social Care for the most vulnerable in society. 

September 2010; We are very pleased to announce that the Nottingham Elders Forum was successful in its bid to obtain the services of Andrius an economics graduate from the Nottingham University on a work experience programme. 19 people applied for the post, but Andrius from Lithuania stood out from all the rest. He is an extremely enthusiastic twenty two year old and is already proving to be a great asset. Andrius will be with us for a period of nine weeks when he will be doing a vast amount of research on both the latest government policies on older people and how local councils are implementing such policies. Another very important part of his work will be obtaining details and comparisons of how each council throughout the country involve and value their Older Peoples Forums. This information will then be processed into relevant formats and this research will assist the forum in its' contact with the Nottingham City Council, as at present, there is a vast amount of difference between councils attitudes towards the elderly. This valuable information could be very useful to Government departments, national organisations other councils and forums who have similar aims and aspirations as the Nottingham Elders' Forum. A really exciting venture!!

September 2010; Following the offer at the last meeting by a partner of Martin Smalley Solicitors, they have agreed to extend the offer of cheap wills until the end of October. These start from a basic at £55.00 for forum members on production of their membership card. Members who wish to take up this offer but have mislaid their card, can call into the office for a new one 

April 2010;  Saint George’s Day Gazumped. A tremendous amount of  hard work has been put into making St George’s Day an event that the whole family could enjoy, by volunteers giving their time and efforts freely. It has been so successful that the council want to take it over now. Paid officers are now going to organise it, thus escalating the costs. We were invited to a meeting at the beginning of February with the Lord Mayor and a council officer supposedly to discuss St George's Day, but instead we were told what they had planned to do. It was pointed out that certain people had been booked since the previous year and that as St George was the patron saint of several countries, we had contacted their embassies last August and invited them to attend. Five embassies had accepted and others said they would like details to put on their website. What a truly international event it would have been with everyone in their traditional costumes and certain dancing schools taking part, putting Nottingham on the map. Instead we were informed they were having an English Market on the Square. When asked where they envisaged the Elders’ Forum fitted in, the reply was “if we’ve got spare space you could have your people there”

March 13th 2010
Caring couple up for Reach Out award Dennis Andrews and Glenise Martin (CORR), pictured at the weekly tea dance held at Sherwood Community Centre. If anyone deserves a bit of good luck, it's Dennis Andrews. The pensioner's run of bad fortune began in December when he caught swine flu. A few weeks later he needed an operation on his ear for skin cancer. Then a break in the Algarve turned into disaster when his wallet was stolen. And, after all that, the 86-year-old arrived back in Nottingham to find his home had been burgled.

March 2010; Edna Starr at the weekly Tea Dance she regularly attends celebrated her 90th birthday with champagne and a lovely cake provided by the Forum.

March 2010; A spectacular three hour Cruise down the River Trent with history of old Nottingham. This was a great day bringing back many memories and enjoyed by all. 

Chairman launch with Police
February 2010; Launch of the new police non emergency number. Our Chairman helping the Chief Constable Julia Hodson to launch the new police non emergency number of 0300 300 99 99 at County Hall in November. This number is for the whole of Notts and the local police station numbers are now no longer valid. Apparently, when people rang the old numbers, a portion of the cost went to the police fund, but the new number is totally free. With all the adverse publicity our local Police are receiving at the moment with their difficult job, and the “help and advice” they have to pay for, let’s hope the results are well worth while to the citizens.

February 15th. 2010; Memory training for older people. This was part a Nottingham Loves Learning which the Forum got a grant for. The Forum has organised this event which teaches people in a fun way how to memorise things and events. Part of this innovative training begins with giving people the confidence to do juggling and plate spinning before actually getting on to the learning itself. Mind mapping was a very important part of the event and was led by a very experienced trainer

March 16th 2010;  Saltaire World Heritage Site was an experience not to be forgotten by members. This is a wonderful village that Titus Salt built for his workers. The large mill is sectioned off to a large variety of crafts, shops and even a restaurant. David Hockney has a delightful gallery within the mill for all art lovers. The unique village itself is totally unspoilt and well worth a visit after wandering round the huge mill in such delightful surroundings.

December 2009; The Forum once again distributed over 6,000 calendars produced and funded by Trading Standards and made specifically for the older citizens of Nottingham

December 2009; the Forums’ Christmas Party. A wonderful time was had by over 220 members at the Forums Christmas Party at the Britannia Hotel There was a welcoming drink on arrival followed by a three course dinner and then dancing, a game of bingo and a cabaret.

St. Georges day in Market Square
April 23/24/25; ( Thur, Fri, Sat ) Festival of St George The Elders’ Forum were the official organisers of this event and all the festivities are on the Market Square. This year sees another free celebration courtesy of the Forum and has been held in the city centre to celebrate St George’s Day. We strived to make each day different. Thursday which is St George’s day saw the Elders’ Forum distributing another 1,000 red roses to ladies of a certain age on production of their Elders Forum membership card or bus pass, plus 1,000 St George flags for the children All the forces were represented alongside several craft stalls. There were bands and also schools performing on the stage with a fantastic drumming band, dancers singers etc. and a competition for the best artistic version of St George and the Dragon. The art exhibition will be displayed in the Council House Foyer over the three day period. Friday has a definite “Victorian” theme with many old time items. Events also took place on the stage with music, choirs, dancing etc. Stall Holders dressed accordingly to help created the atmosphere. April 25th (Saturday) Grand Parade starting castle grounds. was an even bigger parade than last year with Mounted Police in their regalia and the Grenadier Guards, various forces personnel, stilt walkers, bands, several organisations and individuals plus 400 scouts to name but a few. On the Market Square there will be Clowns, Music, dancing, games, stalls, barrel organ, hog roast, Punch and Judy, Maypole dancing plus lots of stalls and free events for people to join in. 

April 2009; The Magnificent Neasden Temple in London with its breathtaking marble architecture, is the second largest and most extravagant temple after the Taj Mahal. We will be having a conducted tour of this wonderful building and the treasures it holds, but this will mean the coach will have an early start of 8.00am but it should be well worth the early rise.

April 1st 2009; April Fool Just to confirm that the little trick our secretary played along with Radio Nottingham about pensioners using their bus passes to travel all over the country acting as couriers for Fredex was indeed just an April Fool prank. Many pensioners rang up wanting to be part of the action.

March 2009; We actively campaigned to help Stop Fairham Closure. The City Council plans to close three Day Centres for the elderly and diverting the money into children and the disabled. As many of those attending these centres are disabled themselves, it seems a ludicrous situation. The users of Fairham centre refer to it as an extended family and the heartbreaking stories some relate about the difference it makes to their lives is incredible. Staff members state they first heard about the closure on Radio Nottingham.                                          

Bellydancers
November 2008; Belly Dancing at the Bodrum. A wonderful evening of fun and laughter plus splendid food and hospitality was enjoyed by members on our Belly Dancing event, with many actively participating in the dancing

October 1st 2008; International Day for Older People proved to be a great success despite the dreadful gales which forced us to dismantle the sixteen stalls due to the danger they posed. The wind actually lifted several stalls exhibiting items of interest to the older people many feet in the air before depositing them yards from where they should be. The Sheriff of Nottingham opened the event at 10.0.am accompanied by our Chairman.

Pampering
The pampering event in the Congregational Church on Castle Gate had a massive number of clients with five masseurs working tirelessly from 10.30 - 4.00pm giving many different types of massages. Several visitors just came to observe and get a hot drink and a biscuit to combat the bitter cold. The pampering was so successful that it was decided we must repeat it next year.

Sept 2008; Computer Training. We submitted a very large list of members wishing to go on the free six week training course which the trainers were prepared for. This is delayed the start time for a while whilst the providers had to find alternate venues and dates.

April 2008; The weekly Tea Dance at the Sherwood Community Centre has received a wonderful report by our funders who helped financially to get it started. They judged it to be such an excellent example of what a huge difference a small amount of money could make to so many peoples’ lives, they intend to use the Nottingham Elders’ efforts in this area as a model for other organisations.

April 2008; saw the Nottingham Elders forum create the very first free St George Day on the Old Market Square for all the family to enjoy. We gave away 1,000 red roses to the more mature ladies and 1,000 flags to the youngsters that we had been fortunate enough to get donated for the event. On the following Saturday, the Market Square was heaving with people, and the parade was magnificent. We had jugglers, clowns, maypole dancing, hog roast, a dozen appropriate stalls and even a wonderful barrel organ plus much more

April 2008; It’s Good News Day!! The Charity Commissioners have examined the running and constitution of the Forum and have granted us registered charity status which should help in the future.

March 2008; Fantastic Easter Bonnet Parade and Dance plus buffet where over 70 members attended (Lots of photos via the photo page)

We don’t like to blow our own trumpet BUT we have yet another National accolade.  Help the Aged who receive copies of our Echo have apparently taken an article from the Autumn edition (unknown to us) and published it in their National Forum to Forum as a letter. You’ve guessed it, this was subsequently judged “letter of the month”.

February 2008; a very enjoyable Intergenerational Speakers Corner event was held in the Playhouse between the Nottingham Elders’ forum and the Youth Council where they were all given guidance how to deliver a speech.  It was amazing the difficulties encountered by both ends of the age scale were practically identical.

October 1st 2007; The Forum organised the first International Day for Older People on the Market Square. The event was opened by the Mayor along with Leon Unczur the ‘Older Peoples’ Champion’ and our Chairman Dennis Andrew.  We had 13 stalls and invited several different organisations with relevant information etc of interest to the older citizens. Inside the Council House, we held a wonderful display of the handicrafts made by our members (photo’s can be found on the photo page) It was a great success.

September 2007; As part of Local Democracy Week the Forum organised an event ‘Have your Say Day’ in the Council House, with the three Nottingham MPs and the Council Leaders from the three political parties. 54 members were chosen at random to attend this function and ask various questions to the guests on their tables. Each MP and Councillor headed a table with ten people on each and both the members, MPs and councillors learned something from each other. All together it appeared to be a very worthwhile event, with many asking for it to be repeated.

July 2007; Once again the Forum had their gazebo at the Mela which is an Asian festival held on the Forest. This is enjoyed by all nationalities and is a lovely family day out. Last year we recruited 55 members at the Mela and it was great to see so many different cultures enjoying themselves together.

July 2007; NEW DEAL FOR PENSIONERS’ The City Council are embarking on a new partnership to highlight the needs and aspirations of both the pensioners of today and the pensioners of the future. The Elders’ Forum are involved in these negotiations along with Help the Aged, Age Concern and other organisations, and hope to bring the real voice of the elderly to the forefront of any discussions and decisions that may be made.

Princess Anne in Nottingham
June 2007; Princess Anne with the Sheriff and Chief Executive talking to representatives of the Elders Forum who stood out in the freezing cold for three hours to chat to her and witness her unveiling the plaque on the new market square. She then came into the Council House and went round speaking in a very friendly manner to many of the elders who were in the ballroom dancing

June 2007; We had a stall on the Market Square at the Healthy Living event in the beginning of June which was quite interesting and at the end of June; we shared a gazebo with Age Concern, YMCA, the Fire Brigade and Telecare for “Falls Awareness Week” also in the square.               

May 2007; A private Muslim School asked if members would speak to them of their experiences in World War 11 instead of just reading about it, and several pupils never got the chance to speak to a non Muslim, so the school thought it was an excellent opportunity. Several members volunteered, and some continued their association with the school by   listening to the pupils read. This still continues in 2013.

April 2007; The Forum heralded the opening of their new office on Friar Lane Nottingham instead of working from the secretary’s one

bedroom flat which was so full of Forum documentation, there was hardly anywhere to lay her head down.

April 2007; A Mass Lobby of M.P.s was organised in Westminster where a coach load of members went down to London to lobby their M.P.s with the Help the Aged campaign “Just Equal Treatment”. Owing to roadworks on the M1 it took five and a half hours to get there and despite them having good notice of the event and agreeing to meet their constituents, several M.P.s failed to turn up. Nottingham took down the largest contingent in the country so there were a lot of disappointed people. Regardless of this, the day was thoroughly enjoyed by all and sundry as the spirit of the elderly can’t be beaten. Laughter abounds on all our outings. Lots of prominent ministers were there and Glenda Jackson made a point of coming over to one of our tables to speak to us even though some of our own M.P.s couldn’t be bothered.

March 2007; several member helped make lanterns, tabards and hats to hail the opening of the new Market Square. There was some dissention at the beginning but they all joined in the opening parade which was fantastic with floats and fireworks.

March 2007; The decision makers are recognising that the Forum is contributing greatly in areas where policies are being made that affect the elderly. We recently had a very constructive meeting with Michael Frater the Chief Executive Officer of the City Council who recognises that the views of 23% must be given a voice and must be part of the partnership when it comes to decision making. He outlined many areas in the council where the Forum should be on the board and actively involved. In pursuance of our objectives, we have had excellent support from Councillor David Trimble the ‘Older People’s Champion’. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but we appear to have laid the foundations.

Feb 2007; Members were kind enough to donate £125.00 the proceeds of their raffle to the ‘Bulwell Sons’ of Rest Bowls Club’ after their hut had been broken into for the fourth time and all their equipment stolen or destroyed even down to the last cup. The Bowls club kindly acknowledge this in the Evening Post.

Jan 2007; The Pint Size Theatre was doing a free hour and a half production specifically aimed at older people.  They had performed for many groups with about six to twelve in the audience in libraries and some Health Centres, and were amazed to find there were 400+ members who wished to see the show, so had to perform on the stage of the Theatre Royal in between the Pantomime.

December 2006;   The Forum is on the committee of Trading Standards ‘Doorstep Crime’ and distributed over 5,000 calendars designed exclusively for older people with monthly messages and warnings by Trading Standards. The first distribution was so busy, it meant the chairman and secretary were out even on Christmas Eve delivering them up until 9.30 pm to individuals and groups.

We started a campaign against the new horrendous and very dangerous pedestrian crossings. Unfortunately Westminster informed us councils had to adopt the new type of crossing or they would be refused finance for any other type. This was despite the fact that no one could see the green men if there was a person or wheelchair in the way.

After hearing the broadcast by our chairman on the lack of Life Long Learning for the elderly, an executive from the PDCL which is dedicated to learning for the elderly and is a partner with New College Nottingham, crashed our December meeting to invite the Forum to help develop a learning initiative suitable for our members.  It turned out a huge success.

Many members took up the opportunity to have a check of their electric blankets by the Fire Brigade at the December meeting, and many were overjoyed to receive a new one in exchange when theirs failed the safety test.

November 2006; The first Newsletter was such a success, we had to print a further 500 copies.

The Intergenerational Dance Fever in the Council House between the Youth Forum and the Elders’ Forum was a massive success where the accomplished and well acclaimed dance teacher and performer Joseph Hall demonstrated his own particular form of dance and ensured everyone took part. The elders’ demonstrated ballroom dancing whilst the younger element tried to teach them street dancing. The youngsters had to be escorted out at 9.0 so staff could close the building.

October 2006; The Forum distributed many thousands of free flower bulbs to older citizens of Nottingham courtesy of Woodthorpe Park.

The Forum is in regular contact with such organisations as Housing for the Elderly, One Nottingham, and the Library Services, Area Committees, Trading Standards, Cultural Diversity, Help the Aged, Primary Care Trust, Partnership Development Team plus many others.

September 2006; Prime Minister Tony Blair came to Nottingham to discuss the National Health Service, our Chairman Dennis Andrews was asked to speak on behalf of pensioners. When he questioned why, when older people needed help it was only people that was on benefits that got it for free, and people who had saved for their old age had to pay, but at a much higher rate therefore they were subsidising those on benefits.  The rather pathetic reply “Well it’s just a matter of finance” Where’s the equality in that?

Ċ
Andrius Druzinis,
14 Sep 2010, 12:25