Newsletter 13

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Dec 122013

Newsletter      Issue 13    September 2013 


Sevenoaks District Seniors Action Forum (SDSAF) has been awarded a £9350 grant from the Big Lottery Fund to buy defibrillators to be available 24/7 in public locations to help save victims of cardiac arrest.

The Forum’s project supports SE Coast Ambulance Service’s goal of getting more such ‘publicly accessible defibrillators’ (PADs) in the community. A defibrillator, like the one shown on the left, delivers an electric shock designed to get the victim’s heart back into proper rhythm, as in the case of footballer Fabrice Muamba. Every year in the UKsome 60,000 people suffer cardiac arrest away from a hospital – but only 7% survive. Early use of a defibrillator can raise that to 70%. So these life saving devices need to be widely available: they ought to be as common as fire extinguishers.

The device (about 10 inches x 8 x 4) is automated and talks you through what to do, rather like a car satnav, so no formal training is required and anyone can use it. 

Together with a £500 KCC Member’s Grant from Cllr John London, the Lottery award enables the Seniors Action Forum to buy 6 defibrillators to deploy across the District. We hope they will catalyse local interest in raising funds for more PADs in towns, villages, schools, sports clubs etc. The funding also covers some awareness raising events.

The proposed locations for the 6 PADs are: Sevenoaks town, Swanley, Edenbridge, Hartley, Ash cum Ridley, and Kemsing. We need community groups there to partner with us to identify exactly where to place the defibs, and keep an eye on them once installed.

Contact SDSAF Vice-Chairman Steve Plater on 01732 450 400 for more info.

SDSAF congratulates Steve Plater and Geoff Parsons for the work they have been doing behind the scenes to help increase the number of defibrillators in the District.  Well done both.  Steve has obviously become quite expert at filling in grant forms!  Would anyone like to help develop the defib project?      

2013 AGM

There was a good crowd at the AGM this year in Swanley where the Police and Crime Commissioner, Ann Barnes, spoke to Members on what she is doing for us.  Importantly, she asked for our help on lobbying the Government on her budget.  She clearly knew that the next budget round was going to be tight and wanted us to write to our MP and others not to cut the money available.  As predicted, that axe has now fallen and her Press Release suggests that the cut, at 4.9%, will take even more police officers off our streets.  Kent Police is already struggling with a 20% cut imposed two years ago and that is expected to cost 500 police jobs.  Members have expressed their concern about visible policing.  This cut is not going to help.


Currently, we have EXACTLY 300 Members but we would like to have 500 within the year.  Are your friends and neighbours Members?  Give Roger Bryan a call on 01322 664 754 for details.  The bigger we are, the stronger we are and the over 50s tend to be the people who vote!   


is on Friday 20th September at 3pm in the Council Chamber at the Sevenoaks Town Council offices.  Speakers include Janet Davies from Kent Libraries and, we hope, someone from SECamb (the South East Coast Ambulance Service) who will tell us more about the defibs and how our successful grant application is going to help local communities.  There will be a committee meeting at 1 pm in advance of the Members’ Meeting and Members are welcome to attend if they wish. 


We don’t normally promote any private businesses but if your local Waitrose has a café of some sort in it, then you can take out a Waitrose card and get a free tea or coffee every day!  That saves a few bob (for younger Members, pre 1971 a bob was a decent amount of money and a penny bar of chocolate only cost a penny!) Should I mention at this point that other stores offer other inducements? 

People in overcrowded or deprived communities are more likely to have a fire.

 People over 80 are TEN times more likely to die in a fire people under 30.

 People over 60 are 4 times more likely to die in a fire than people under 30.

 In 2010-11 some 8,900 people were injured in fires in the home.

  Kent Fire and Rescue will come to your home to discuss your fire safety. 

Call for free on 0800 923 7000.  All their services are free of charge.


The West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group is keen to find out what patients and their carers think about the services they receive, whether they think these services are ‘joined up’ and whether they feel actively involved in decisions about their care. You can talk to them on the phone on 01 732 375 200 or email  They have an online survey at




One or two of our Members are known to be sticklers on grammar and spelling and so I always send the newsletter to a couple of these very useful people to make sure that there aren’t any complete howlers in the text.  The howler pictured is from that upmarket retail outlet, Bluewater.  If you are keen on going down the zip wire I understand from younger members of my family that you can do this for free in several local parks.  If you’re not sure what a zip wire is, please do not go down one! 


KentCAN is the Kent Community Alliance of Networks and publishes a regular email calendar of events around the county.  Their website is a mine of information on volunteering.


Amongst the current crop of scams is the Roof Survey Scam.  Never mind what they say they are offering, what they are actually doing is taking a good look through your house and seeing what they can steal.  DON’T LET THEM.  Another is the TESCO Clubcard points scam where someone calls you up and offers you the moon in exchange for personal details like bank account numbers.  They do these things because people fall for them, but NOT you!


You may have seen recent news that thousands of Equitable Life victims may be missing out on compensation.  Did you have money invested in Equitable Life?  Do you know that you have to apply for compensation before March next year otherwise you will get nothing?  If you think you lost all the money you invested with Equitable Life, you may not have but you should apply soon to receive a compensation payment.  There are concerns that over 200,000 people will miss out altogether.  Call 0300 0200 150 to check that you are eligible for a payment or write to Equitable Life Payment Scheme, PO Box 4110, Glasgow, G58 1EL.  Internet users can see


If you have lost track of other pensions, call 0845 600 2537 – this call might be free if your calling plan includes it – or, on the internet –


Swanley as a dementia friendly community was launched on the 9th August in a meeting of some 25 representatives of community groups, local health and civic services, elected representatives, and residents.   Leading the event Tracey Schneider, of KCC SILK group, stated that Swanley was the third community to begin the path of becoming more dementia friendly after Northfleet and Westgate. Of course, she pointed out, being a dementia friendly community means a place which is more friendly for all who live, work or visit it – a point which will have a profound and lasting impact for us all!

Next is;      – Finding out what is dementia friendly about Swanley now; finding out what those with dementia, and their families and carers need to make Swanley more friendly for them; and,  Increasing everyone’s awareness of dementia.

 There will be a meeting on dementia in Swanley at the Clocktower on 15th October run by the patient group at the Oaks in Swanley.  No details to hand but I’m sure the Surgery will help.  Look out for posters.

© 2012 Sevenoaks District Seniors Action Forum Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha