Mar 152016
 

AND THINKING ABOUT SINGING…
Famously, the Military Wives Choir began with Gareth Malone persuading a number of women who had never really sung before to give it a go! One of our new Committee Members waved a piece of paper about WiTunes, a singing group that came together as ‘inexperienced but enthusiastic’ singers nine years and they’re still going strong. Well now!…The SDSAF Choir? An interesting idea!
LONELINESS
Are you aware of the Campaign to End Loneliness? Latest research says that 17% of people are in touch with family, friends, or neighbours less than once a week and 11% less than once a month. 51% of over 75s live alone and 40% of older people say that the television is their only company.
Isolation like this is worse for our health than obesity and physical inactivity. If you would like to know more including how you can help ring 020 7012 1409 or see the website above. Have you thought about volunteering? www.campaigntoendloneliness.org).

OLDER WISER
The Sevenoaks Volunteer Bureau has been in touch. They have a campaign running from the 16th to the 21st of November promoting volunteering opportunities to/for older men. Members who attend SDSAF meetings will have heard from several speakers over recent times that there is an increasing shortage of volunteers of all sorts. Theories abound that this may be to do with the lifting of the retirement age but also perhaps because people may not know just how useful they can be! Sevenoaks Volunteers are on 01 892 530 330. North West Kent Volunteers are on 01 322 272 476. You can make a difference.
If you would like to meet Cassie Callaghan from the Sevenoaks Volunteer Bureau, she’s coming along to our meeting at Westerham.
THE PERMANENT SCAM COLUMN
Just had a call, interrupting my typing of this newsletter, from Michael who asked me how I was. How polite. He told me he was calling about my computer and that it might have a virus on it, how polite, and could he help. I thought I should be polite too and courteously asked him (honestly, I was very well mannered!) if he was a scammer or just a thief and he rang off! What did I do wrong!

The next Members’ Meeting will be held at Westerham Hall, Quebec Avenue, Westerham, TN16 1BG. Guest speaker Tony Searles will talk on Dementia. 20th November at 10 am.
SCAR
Second Chance Animal Rescue in Crockenhill suffered a devastating arson attack in October (www.secondchance-rehoming.co.uk). The volunteers there are looking for help to replace their burned out buildings. Sainsbury’s in Orpington have now made them their charity of the year. For more info or an appointment to speak to someone call 07804 026 773. SCAR is quite hard to find, and therefore has to have been the subject of a deliberate attack.
MEMBERSHIP STILL RISING . . .
We had about 640 members at our AGM in late May and with one major recruiting event to come, the switching on of the Sevenoaks lights on the 27th of November, we stand around 200 stronger with some 831 colleagues. Perhaps we can get to 850 by Christmas and maybe a thousand for the 2016 AGM.
2016 AGM The 2016 AGM is scheduled to take place in Swanley in late May 2016. SDSAF Members present at the Town Meeting in Swanley held recently will know that on behalf of older people in Swanley who seem to run most of the community organisations and our 120 plus Swanley Members, I suggested that the Town Council might reconsider their decision to impose huge increases in room booking fees on local community organisations. I emailed the Chief Executive to ask if any further decision has been made but no further information on my proposal was available at the time of printing.
DEFIBRILLATORS
In case you were wondering, Geoff Parsons continues to beaver away at the Defibrillator Project and his knowledge of where defibs are increases by the week. One or two other organisations are also mapping their location and if you find one in our area that has been recently commissioned, do let us know so that we can check that that knowledge is being shared.
CHANGES TO FINANCIAL REGULATIONS
Members will no doubt know that up to £85,000 of their savings are currently protected if there were to be another bank meltdown but remember that from January this figure will reduce to £75,000. This subject is more complicated than we have room for here so the best advice is to go to your bank or building society and check what this change might mean for you. Some banks seem to be quite separate business from other banks but they may not be because some are owned by the same parent company. Depending on exactly how those banks are related to each other, you may not be properly covered by the £75,000 guarantee. Please check!
LIVE ON
I couldn’t help but notice that LIVE ON backwards says NO EVIL.
PIECE OF MIND
West Kent Mind are asking people to join them to ‘raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing, raise funds and to have some fun too’. They have lots of tips and ideas on their website for example if you are holding or attending a Christmas party perhaps you could have a raffle for Piece of Mind or include some games as a fundraiser. Contact Jill Roberts the CEO of MiND on 01732 744 950. www.westkentmind.org.uk
Piece of Mind – what a brilliant expression!
HOSPITAL PARKING
This sad story is difficult to grasp clearly as the media seems to take a political stance on almost everything and so the truths and realities can be very hard to get to. What is definitely true is that not all hospitals make a charge. Hospital authorities choose to make a charge. Across the country this is said to pull in millions for the NHS but where the car park is not owned by the hospital, the millions seem to go to private companies. We also know that our local hospitals charge for parking – and it’s not cheap.
LOCAL GROUPS AND EXPERT GROUPS
We are still keen on SDSAF local groups. These groups can pull in local information from the towns and villages and can give an opportunity for SDSAF Members to get to know each other and perhaps work together. Contact any of the committee if you would like to offer.
FACEBOOK and TWITTER
Do Members use these? We have been having a little discussion lately as to whether we need to use our accounts with these two – yes we have them! We’ve never really had much feedback on them so we’re not sure whether we should maintain them. Any thoughts? If we want them, we certainly should use them more.
AND FINALLY – FROM ONE OF OUR MEMBERS, FRANK O’PHILE
HIM Darling! Have you changed the password on the
computer? I’ve spent ages here trying to get in and I
can’t get in and I’m REALLY busy!

HER Oh yes! Sorry, I meant to tell you.

HIM What’s the new password please? I’m REALLY, REALLY,
BUSY! Do give me a clue!

HER It’s the date when we first met!

HIM (Some hours later) *”!^*+***

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