About Us


What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘grandparent’? If it’s a little old lady knitting in a rocking chair, then you might want to think again. These days you’re as likely to see an octogenarian tweeting from her iPad as casting off her purl stitch.

Gransnet, the social networking site for the over 50s (don’t let the name fool you – all older people male or female, grandparent, parent or not are welcome to join us!), launched in 2011 and is now the largest social networking site for older people in the country. New members have been joining every day for the past 2 years, to talk about everything from politics to memories, books to relationships, snorkelling to, OK, yes, knitting. In 2013 came the launch of Gransnet Local, a network of sites across the country run by people aged 50-plus, offering listings of activities and events; a directory of services, from health centres to plumbers; forums for discussion of local issues; and the possibility of meeting up.

One of the joys of the internet is that no one has to know what you look like. The great thing about the web is that prejudices – about someone who has a disability, or is over 50 and living alone – don’t have to get in the way of who you are. Gransnetters value this anonymity. Even so, it quickly became apparent that many of them do want to meet offline, particularly once they’ve made friends. Members have taken it upon themselves to organise lunches and visit each other, including in hospital; some have even holidayed together.

Gransnet Local Colchester is the local site covering the whole CO postcode area and is thriving with new groups, businesses and events being added each day. Discussions have started on the local forums and a monthly newsletter is being sent out. Gransnet Local Colchester also has Facebook and Twitter pages for those wishing to take social networking for the over 50s one step further.

It is free to join and free to add to the local website listings, whether it’s to tell everyone about your fantastic hairdresser or inviting us all to your jumble sale. There is also the opportunity for local businesses to advertise to their target market or to offer promotions or competitions.

We want to hear from you if you have something to add to our local Gransnet community.


How to make shopping fun for the whole family this summer.

Finally, it seems as if summer has arrived. With long sunny evenings, the kids breaking up RWP_0101from school and the ice pops chilling in the freezer it is time to relax and enjoy the some quality family time. Clacton Factory Outlet prides themselves on being an ideal shopping destination for the whole family, so let’s look at why.

Easy to find
We’ve all been there, ‘debating’ whether its left or right, you drive down a long road and you know you should’ve seen it by now but you don’t want to turn around, just in case, and you end up in the middle of some housing estate that you’ll take hours to find your way back out of. Kids getting impatient “Are we nearly there?” We’ve all been there!

Free parking for up to 1000 cars
A day out shopping can be enough without having to worry about how much it’s going to cost you to park. Don’t worry about it and park free.

Separate baby changing and feeding areas
Baby changing is always appreciated but often over looked. Although being able to change your baby one handed in a sink while balancing an overflowing bag of nappies and wet wipes is a life skill that will be needed from time to time . . . not here.

Free wheelchair loan
Available for those who can get tired quickly or have literally, shopped until they dropped. Take advantage of the free wheelchairs, but no racing!

Full disabled access to all stores
What would be the point of lending wheelchairs if you couldn’t go anywhere in them?
The Clacton Factory Outlet is fully pedestrianised and designed to be easy to get around for wheelchair users with full store access.

Free kids play area
Could be used to tire the kids out early on or as a bribe for good behaviour. No matter what you decide, it’s free, so let the kids go wild while you sip on your well-earned latte from one of their marvellous eating and drinking options.

Throughout August, Clacton Factory Outlet has planned a Summer of Fun to keep kids of all ages entertained, so here’s a sneaky peek:

Circus Skills WorksAdventure Play Area 2hop and Face painter – 3rd August!
Carnival Craft Workshop – 8th August!
The Mad Hatter – 16th August!
The Lighthouse and Workshop – 17th August!
Summer Fun with the Dream 100 Roadrunners on various days!

This is just a small taster of the fun that’s planned during the summer of fun at Clacton Factory Outlet. As well as these activities, there are plenty of dining options and of course, fantastic savings available in the outlet stores. For full details and more information, please look at the website clactonfactoryoutlet.co.uk.

The Rights of Grandparents


The rights of grandparents

As far as family law is concerned, under the Children Act 1989, grandparents are grouped into the category of “any other person”. As a result, where arrangements about the care of a grandchild cannot be agreed, grandparents must apply to the court for leave, essentially asking for permission, to bring an application in relation to the child. A court will consider a number of factors, including the grandparent’s relationship with the child and the risk of disruption to the child’s life that court proceedings may have. There have been calls for this hurdle to be removed but, to date, it remains in place.

The role of a grandparent in any one child’s life can vary enormously, from living with the child full time, to contact once a year or no contact whatsoever (although this can also be the case for parents, that would be less common). For that reason, I believe it would be wrong to afford them the same status as parents and remove the need to seek permission before bringing an application. I believe that the role of a grandparent in a child’s life is often vital. The hope is, by having this requirement of applying for leave, only genuine applications by grandparents who play a positive and active role in a child’s life are heard.

This serves to increase awareness of grandparents’ rights and the positive role they can play in a child’s life. The current family justice system focuses on the best interests of the child, and rightly so. The best interests of a child can only be met, however, where all parties involved understand their own rights, the rights of others and, most importantly, the child’s right to have a relationship with their extended family.

Bronda Lohan

Phone  01268 824925

Email  familylaw@birkettlong.co.uk

Twitter @birkettlong

Website http://www.birkettlong.co.uk


Newsletter July 2014

gransnet-local-logo colchester frame                                                                                                Gransnet Local Colchester Newsletter – July 2014  is available here.

Is your computer running slow? Albion Support can help.


It can be the one thing that bugs all of us the most when we use computers on a regular basis. I find myself saying “I’m sure this thing was faster when I bought it, ?? years/months ago”.

You will be forgiven if you think you’re going mad. You are not!

Over time your computer will collect information or data and like an old toaster that slowly collects bits of old bread and toast as you use it. This information or data can be collected by just visiting websites or collecting photos or even the computer itself creating large error logs. It will eventually force the toaster to stop working as it should. So like a clogged toaster you need to clean a computer of its old crumbs before it becomes a problem.

The truth with computers is there can be various reasons why a computer can slow down and like car for example the solution can be small and quick or large and possibly expensive, but do not fear 9.95 times out of 10, they can be resolved.

I bet at this stage you’re just thinking “Yeah, Yeah. I’ll sort it out later”. This can indeed sound like a laborious task and something that most of us, would quite happily forget to do or just put off until later.

Please do not put this off. We can help with your slow PC, and we can help remotely also so all you have to do is call us and have a chat. You can speak to a helpful human, who can sympathise with any PC problems and help your resolve them, at your pace.

Our number is 09022 200147(Calls cost 31ppm 9am to 9pm, Monday to Sunday)

Yes we do use a low cost premium rate number but we are open 7 days a week from 6am to Midnight.

By Albion Support Ltd


Colchester Carnival 2014

Originally posted on Mumsnet Colchester & Harwich :


Colchester Carnival Organizers are looking for volunteers.

Following on from the success of previous years, Colchester Carnival returns to the town centre and Castle Park on 19 July 2014, organised by Colchester Round Table and Colchester Ladies Circle.

This year’s procession will have the theme ‘The Magic of the Movies’.  Organizers want everyone to have a chance to really get involved. That’s what they are aiming to achieve, a real community-centred event. Businesses can enter for a nominal fee on the condition they get into the “carnival spirit”.

You can add your interest in helping out here: http://vols.pt/q8s4ir or contact Brett at colchestercarnival@givelocalcolchester.co.uk

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A Day out with Elspeth in Colchester

Gransnet Local Colchester:

The Tourist Information has recently moved into Hollytrees Museum in Castle Park.

Originally posted on Elspeth's Naughty guides:

In 2008 I began a series of British towns – not guides, but personalised tours and reflections, eschewing the usual information and observation. This is another on my native East Anglia.

I wrote more on Colchester at http://elspethr.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/colchester/

The mainline North Station isn’t a great overture but you will have had sight of the town’s skyline – and how far it is. There’s little attraction around the station, though the retail park (especially the supermarket) may be useful if you are stranded or waiting for someone who’s delayed. Beware, ASDA is harder to reach and therefore takes longer than it seems, thanks to all the crossings.

Perhaps Colchester’s is not the easiest station-town route; it is basically go straight (south) for about 20 minutes, but some of the 3 roundabouts’ turnings are a little skewed. Keep sight of the tall Edwardian town hall and the Watertower to guide you.


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