Events and News

 

AGM 2017 – for details click here

DOES ANYONE EVER LOOK AT THIS WEBSITE? YES!

Over 500,000 hits between opening in  February 2013 and June 2017!

We keep a check on our website statistics.   

In 2013, a total of 5433 Unique Visitors (which means no matter how often they visit, they are only counted once) looked at our web site.  Our visitors read 30,605 pages.  On average, 83 pages a day were being read.  

Half of the visitors are from Great Britain.  The Internet is a world wide thing so perhaps our example is doing people good in other parts of the world?

On average 115 pages of our website are read every day by people all round the world.

 

EVENTS CALENDAR

Please check with organisers that events are happening before you travel.

We will be attending events all over the Sevenoaks District during 2017.  These normally begin in the Spring so keep your eye out here for news of where we will be and when we will be there.  Come and tell us your concerns so that we can lobby the decision makers for you.

 

There are more Kent Sheds in the Sevenoaks District

see http://www.kentsheds.org.uk/network.html 

 

Help in Westerham

Westerham-Flyer-web

Pams-classes-web

SECOND CHANCE ANIMAL RESCUE (SCAR)

composite SCAR has now applied for charity status and is currently looking for volunteer helpers.  Their website at www.scar-crockenhill.org  is filled with useful information.  They are looking for; Foster mums for cats and kittens in their own home (this does involve perhaps hand rearing kittens and trips to SCAR’s vets); Help with SCAR’s expansion and rebuilding programme (you need to be fit!); Collection of donated food from local farms and bread shops (you need an estate car or one with a biggish car boot); and help with fund-raising events.

If anyone has experience with large horses they would be very warmly welcomed as sadly this area is expanding so much that SCAR have had to rent another site.
 
Please contact Jeanie on 01322 669242 for an application form.

PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THE SEVENOAKS DISTRICT SENIORS ACTION FORUM IS FOR THE WHOLE DISTRICT.  IF THERE ARE CHANGES IN YOUR AREA THAT YOU FEEL NEED A CAMPAIGN FROM SDSAF LET US KNOW WHAT THE ISSUES ARE.  IF WE CAN WE WILL JOIN WITH YOU IN YOUR CAMPAIGN.

  Dr Hannah Swift from EURAGE (European Research Group on Attitudes to Age) emailed asking for our help with The Everyday Ageism Project set up by the University of Kent. Ageism is stereotyping people and discriminating against them on the basis of age.  Dr Swift writes ageism ‘is the most commonly experienced form of prejudice in the UK and Europe but relatively little is known about how it is experienced, who experiences it, or the situations which may leave people vulnerable to age discrimination.’ The Project seeks to understand more about the consequences of ageism and the ways in which age discrimination can affect people’s lives.  They are particularly keen to hear from people who have direct experience of ageism themselves, or have witnessed ageism.  All experiences can be shared anonymously and will help build a picture of ageism and the many ways it can affect people of all ages. Dr Swift asks us to visit the project’s website, submit our experiences, and encourage others to do the same at www.everydayageism.co.uk or contact her for more information at H.J.Swift@Kent.ac.uk  The Twitter link is @hanaswift @Eur_Age #EverydayAgeism. Have you experienced ageism or know someone who has?

BUSES4U Have you heard of this bus service?  There is no fixed timetable and the route and the timing of the service depends entirely on what the customers want.  The buses go anywhere within Sevenoaks District.  Buses4U also do excursions! You have to become a Member and you must live where you don’t have access to other bus or rail services.  The buses are fully accessible with a passenger lift or a ramp.  This looks like it could be a lifeline for lots of people so for full details call 01883 732791 or go to http://www.buses4u.org.uk/areasOfService.htm#Sevenoaks . Buses run from 09:30 to 15:00 Mon – Fri on school  days and 09:00 to 17:00 Mon – Fri on non-school days but not on Saturdays or Sundays. As well as the annual Membership charge of £15 adult fares are £2.50 single/£5 return up to 14 miles and £3.50/£7 for a longer journey.  The service is supported by Kent County Council. Unfortunately, you can’t use your bus pass on this service although I understand that for similar services elsewhere in the country, bus passes can be used – but not this one.

www.e-watch.co 

It’s worth being aware of this website.  You can register there to receive their emails which warn you of what’s going on in law and order, or perhaps disorder, in Kent.  The latest edition  talks of DISTRACTION THEFT and gives some local examples in recent days.  A 76 year old woman in Tonbridge was distracted when she was advised by a man that there was a screw lying on the ground next to her tyre.  When she went to have a look, someone else stole her handbag from the passenger seat.  She lost £550 from her bank account within moments.  Clearly she had not protected her pin number – or her handbag.  It’s easily done.  Don’t get conned.  Click here for more details on e-watch

THE SILENT CONSPIRACY OF GENEROUS DEDICATION

Public Statements Concerning Older People Norman Lamb, then the Liberal Democrat Care Minister, said in an interview with the Telegraph (published 1 Jan 13) that too many pensioners are being pushed into care when more could be done to help them to stay at home living independent lives.  ‘We all have a part to play’, he said, but nothing in the interview suggests that the Government (as opposed to individuals who happen to be senior politicians) sees a great role for itself.  He suggests that local councils should be helped to rebuild a ‘neighbourhood resilience’.  He wants a ‘less neglectful society’ and for local authorities to play their part.  It seems that Mr Lamb sees the problems of older people as being the responsibility of everyone else and not the Government. The Government appointed the Dilnot Commission to report into care costs.  The commission suggested to Mr Lamb that the fairest cap on care costs would be about £35,000.  The Telegraph reports that the figure to be announced soon is likely to be £70,000.   Meanwhile, The Archbishop of Canterbury used his New Year message to praise the volunteers in society.  He called the Olympic Volunteers – the key people.  He then went on to look at others who volunteer in society and help to look after the community around us.  He stressed the importance of volunteers – the people who make the wheels go round.  He suggested we should ask of ourselves ‘What can I do to join this silent conspiracy of generous dedication?’ I think we would suggest that people like our Members have already helped to create a resilient society – and still do!  Without the volunteering spirit and actions of so many of our Members, where would our communities be!  At least the retiring Archbishop has understood this.

FIXING A BROKEN SYSTEM Roger Gough, one of our local County Councillors, sent some information to Diana Beamish who sent it on to me.  It concerns how Government funds local authorities – and how very unfair it is.  There is no even-handedness here.  Take a look at this link to see the full report which is published by ‘South East Councils’ with a forward from the Leader of Kent County Council.  II don’t have room for much detail here but what stands out a mile is that here in Sevenoaks, we are not being given our fair share.

PROJECT DEFIBRILLATOR It was great to get the grant that kick doff our involvement in this. For full information about the project, see Project Defibrillator on our Campaigns tab.  More and more awareness is being created of the need for action on the provision of defibrillators and the training of people to use them.  On top of this, those of us who knew nothing of these things are beginning to understand the value of Community First Responders (CFR)  and a trainee CFR has just been appointed to cover Swanley Village, Farningham, Eynsford and West Kingsdown.  Well played those who have successfully pushed in this direction.

FANCY SOMETHING INTERESTING? As SDSAF has grown, our needs have grown too.  With over 550 members, there have been changes in the workload on Committee Members and we could do with a few more volunteers to help.  Would you like to get involved?  We have scored some real successes and we would like some Members to share in the successes to come.  Are you busy?  Fancy some ‘job’ satisfaction?  Contact any of the Committee on the Contact page

A quote from conservativehome; “…the moderniser-of-all-modernisers, Nick Boles, has given a speech in which he calls for certain pension-age benefits (namely, the Winter Fuel Allowance, free bus passes, free prescriptions and free TV licenses for the over 75s) to be terminated for better-off pensioners. He says that this should wait until 2015 — which means, of course, that Mr Cameron wouldn’t actually break his 2010 promise — but it’s a striking proposal nevertheless. Mr Boles may not, I’m told, be speaking for Downing St here, but surely his words aren’t entirely divorced from political possibility.” http://conservativehome.blogs.com/thetorydiary/2012/07/nick-boles-calls-for-new-approaches-to-spending-cuts.html

WE ARE FAR TOO EXPENSIVE         I don’t much like quoting newspapers on this website, because of their doubtful accuracy, but a couple of articles in the Evening Standard this year caught my eye.  One was headlined ‘Ageing population will cost an extra £80bn a year in half a century.  By then I will be 116 so I might not be too bothered personally but you never know!  The Independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) says that the ‘proportion of national earnings needed to look after the elderly will soar by more than 5 per cent.  By 2062 long term liabilities ‘such as pensions’ (and a host of other things that don’t get a mention) means that the public debt will rise from 57% of GDP in 2025 to 89% unless spending is ‘reined in’.  If you want to slant an article, it’s not difficult, you just have to use words and phrases like ‘soar’, ‘reined in’, ‘surge in cost’.  There is a problem and I am sure we all know that but this article is definitely slanted against people who are of pensionable age  now and those around 50 and younger who will be taking their pension by 2025.  It’s not an article or a policy drift which will endear itself to people old enough to join the SDSAF.  It’s older people who vote.

GENERATION JAMMY Rosamund Urwin’s article in the same paper begins by setting up a divide between Generation Jammy, that’s you and me folks, and the ‘Youth’ which seems to include her.  Nick Boles, a Conservative backbencher, used a speech last week to question the benefits (in a broad sense) that pensioners are given.  He seems to be quite a young person too.  He also seems to have forgotten that pensioners vote and that, very often, young people do not.  There is a genuine argument about universal benefits and a discussion on how well Governments have changed all kinds of rules over the years without producing far more casualties than the benefits that were meant to accrue.  Westminster politicians also seem to forget that there are many of us older people who don’t get the benefits that our colleagues in London get – the Freedom Pass for instance.  At the top of the page, I quote a page from the website conservative home (their grammar not mine).

The Great PPI Scandal You must have seen the millions of television adverts about Mis-selling Payment Protection Insurance!  Today the second person in a couple of weeks told me that they had just received a big pay out.  Today’s was for £3408, a couple of weeks ago someone else received nearly £5000.  They did NOT go through one of those companies that advertise.  They simply went to their bank’s own website and filled in an easy form.  You don’t have to give away a chunk of what you are owed to some company who will do everything for you.  I’m told it’s easy and the banks play ball and the cheque arrives.  It’s your money don’t give it away. When will the Government ban these companies who try to fool you into paying a fee for something that is free or easy to do.  If you have any trouble with the forms, and you don’t have someone to help you, contact Frank McConnell by the Contact page and I’ll see what I can do for you. PS  The person who has just received the £3408 pay out had only paid out about £1700.  The rest of the payment is interest at 8%.  Your case could be different of course!

Staying Safe from Scams We’ve had reports of a scam in Sevenoaks known as the Nottingham Knockers, don’t ask me why!  In this one,  doorstep sellers posing as ex-convicts trying to go steady, are in fact sizing up an opportunity for theft.  This one is difficult as telling the real thing from the fake is  a problem.  The scam has been reported to us by ‘This is Kent’ but I can’t find  anything referring to it on the Kent Police site. If you want hard information, the best Encyclopaedia of Scams I know is http://www.safefromscams.co.uk/   This website is linked to Kent Police so it should be genuine.  There is a host of scams there… you wouldn’t believe…

Transport to Hospital Survey Members have certainly been responding to this survey with a huge number of responses.  With comments on Transport itself, how Hospitals communicate or don’t, Appointment systems and several more, this survey is producing evidence that the health authorities should not ignore.  Take a look at the latest report. The local press has now followed our lead on the report and how important it is.  Take a look at what they are saying here .  Do keep the survey forms  coming in. Project Defibrillator This project has been gathering pace lately, take a look here.

So, how big is the world? Take a look at http://scaleofuniverse.com/ and this is clever www.selfcontrolfreak.com/pakken.html .  When the man stops running, hover your mouse half an inch above his head. A Modern Heath-Robinson Another web experience!  How to turn a newspaper page.  www.josephherscher.com Fancy Guiding Walks in Knole Park?

Jeni Smith helps to organise guided walks around Knole Park for visitors from the UK and overseas.  The walks are in the park and the volunteer walk leaders explain something of the history and the nature of Knole and the Park.  Walks take place every day from 12:00 and last about 1 hour. Jeni urgently needs to recruit more people as volunteer walk leaders.  It does not mean taking on an excessive commitment: whatever anyone can offer – e.g. once a week or even monthly – would be welcome. The guided walks are conducted in English, so foreign language skills are not required (though I imagine could be useful).  Obviously, training and information is given.  Call Jeni on 01 732 465 777 From Steve Plater                                                                               photo, from Jeni Smith, taken in Knole Park

Telephone Scam Yours truly, your website editor, has just had a phone call.   A gentleman (!) from a distant place told me that he was from Microsoft and that they had discovered problems with my computer but that I was not to worry as they were already on the case.  He told me to go to Google, tap in a particular web address and his company would be able to see into my computer and fix it for me.  I asked him what country he was in – what I really meant was ‘What planet are you on?  He told me, then went on to explain how to transfer £90 from my credit card so that he could ‘authorise the work’.  I again asked where he was and in seconds he had moved several thousand miles to another country but if I put my credit card number into the box on the page, they would take £200 and do the work.  Within moments he had magic carpeted himself back to the first country and the money suddenly went up to £240 and then £500 presumably to cover his Tardis fare.   At that point I asked him what he knew about Far Eastern Comedians. A very obvious and very amateur scam but if you watch Cowboy Builders and Dominic Littlewood’s TV programmes you will know how shocking it is that people do get scammed all the time, on their doorsteps, in their living rooms, and on the web.  My comedian used the phone.  I hope no one tries to scam you.  Do be aware!

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