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.


New adventures in an old town

Originally posted on The next big journey:

ColchesterWith another exciting holiday approaching fast, I thought it was about time I posted up some pictures from this year’s winter weekend away, in Colchester. It’s Britain’s oldest recorded town (as the publicity never tires of telling you!) and on paper looked a great choice for families with a castle, a zoo, a big playground about two minutes from our holiday cottage and plenty to see and do. On Sunday afternoon, after a roundabout train and rail-replacement-bus journey that had taken us via Ely and Ipswich followed by a less than pleasant trek through congested streets, we were not really warming to the place. Thankfully, between rants about the slowness of pedestrian crossings and car-packed roundabouts, we caught a few intriguing glimpses of the town’s history and architecture: a stained glass window on the top floor of a terraced house, ornate carving on a church tower, the huge clapboard mass…

View original 508 more words


At a recent meeting of the Tendring Older People’s Forum, members discussed the alarming rise in incidents of fraud.  Jean Allen from Home Instead who was guest speaker at the Forum, illustrated how older people were particularly vulnerable to scams and in many cases are facing a daily onslaught. People are under constant attack  through the post, telephone, email and door to door callers.  “Fraudsters play on our weaknesses” she stated and went on to describe the ways in which salesman can persuade people to give them money.  She said “They are very good at their job and target us according to our weak points such as those who may have early onset dementia, those who are lonely or those in need of extra income.  They either play on people’s emotions or are aware that many are too busy to read the small print”.  Jean described the “suckers list” which is a list of vulnerable people’s contact details which is being passed around companies in order to take money from vulnerable people.

Fraudsters adopt many kinds of ways to attract people. For example through competitions and ‘free prize draws’ where people are asked to send money to get to the next stage of the competition.  Everyone was asked to ‘think Jessica’.  This woman’s plight was reported in the national press as she was found to have received 30,000 letters over 2 years and ended up paying out £3,000 per month.  People who have been defrauded lose their confidence dramatically. Another scam is where an email is sent appealing for help for a relative or friend who is stuck in another country and need help and this should be ignored.  Or it could be that a missed telephone call prompts the householder to use the call back service and are then charged £50 on their telephone bill. There are swindlers who target an older persons house by offering to fix a broken gate or mow the lawn and build up the relationship so they become ‘friends’ only to cheat on the person later on. There have been many examples of theft through fraud in the press and people should use this as an example of how it could happen to any one of us.  Jean Allen said individuals must ensure they protect themselves and this can be achieved in a number of ways.  Through caller identification on the phone or use a screen/block calls service. “Don’t answer calls that you don’t recognise” she said. It is essential that people increase their IT skills as most services now are automated and computerised.

The Forum members discussed the problems facing local people and agreed that there needs to be constant awareness raising and all organisations should be sharing this information with their clients and members.

There will be two opportunities to learn more about how to spot fraud and how to build up protection at the following FREE events:

2.00pm on Tuesday 28 April  2015 in Sam’s Hall, 22 Rosemary Road, Clacton on Sea or

2.00pm on Wednesday 29 April 2015 at Soken House, the Triangle, Frinton on Sea.

Contact Jean Allen, Home Instead to book a place by calling 01255 672269 or email jean.allen@homeinstead.co.uk

The Tendring Older People’s Forum exists to bring together representatives from local organisations who provide support services for older people.  The aim is to share information, network, raise issues of concern and make recommendations for service delivery. To continually seek the views of older people and to promote older people being treated with respect and dignity.  To raise awareness of the conditions which most affect older people and to promote active lifestyles.

Older People Forum March 2015Further information about the forum can be found at http://www.cvstendring.org.uk/our-services/tendring-older-peoples-forum.html  or by contacting admin@cvstendring.org.uk  Tel: 01255 425692.  Wally Bensilum is the Chairman of the Forum and CVST provide the administration and secretarial service.

Harwich- one of the Haven Port

Gransnet Local Colchester:

Somewhere to visit this Summer!

Originally posted on Places to visit in Essex:

Is located on the Coast with The North Sea to the East and according to http://www.localhistories.org/harwich.html it is believed that the name Harwich means army camp. The town received its charter in 1318, becoming a significant port with a strategic position and a lot of maritime history in time. An imposing landmark is The High Lighthouse, listed as a grade 1  ancient monument built in 1818 to serve as a leading light for the port.

High Lighthouse 1818 High Lighthouse 1818

High Lighthouse 2014 High Lighthouse 2014

The picturesque Harwich is highly regarded in terms of architectural heritage, connected by smalls alleys the town’s medieval origins around 17th and 18th century that are worth visiting.

Harwich, 2014 Harwich, 2014


View original

St Botolph’s Priory- The first Augustinian monastery in England

Gransnet Local Colchester:

St Botolph’s Priory- The first Augustinian monastery in England

Originally posted on Places to visit in Essex:

The priory of St Julian and St Botolph was founded in 1103 and it was the first Augustinian monastery in England by a group of priests with saxon origins. 10943358_794776957260221_825350693_nThe full religious life was embraced in 1090s and in 1100 two priests who were sent to study in northern France introduced the monastic Rule of St Augustine to their fellow priests. As a result Colchester became the first Augustinian monastery in the country and in time, the number of Augustinian monasteries grew to a total of some 200 across England and Wales.

The original structure of the monastery was build much reused brick and stone from the Roman town, where the west end can be dated from 1160 and the eastern half of the church does not survive.


By the 1530s, the monastery was home to a much reduced community and t was closed on the orders of Henry VIII…

View original 38 more words

Shop at the Co-op…

Gransnet Local Colchester:

Do you have any Co-Op memories?

Originally posted on Prairie Jottings:

This entry has been a long time in forming ,into what I had intended, due to some research into the history of the Co-operative Society in my old home town of Colchester, Essex, England. This research led me by the nose onto a different path which, as a history buff, I found very interesting. A hint of that will be found further down in this entry.

“Shop at the Co-op” was the cry by the working class,often heard in my my village of those immediate years of post-Second World War England.

Not all villages had a Co-op grocery shop but my village of Dedham, Essex, had one probably due to the size of population of 1,500 and closing in on 2,000 before long as council house sub-divsions were built. The earliest made mention of the Co-op grocery in my village was from the late 1920’s.

The Co-op had a system…

View original 1,143 more words

Getting around in Essex

IMG_5248Essex County Council has launched its bus strategy and consultation. The consultation, called Getting around in Essex, will help the council to listen to residents’ views on how to improve the county’s bus and passenger transport network.

The consultation runs until March 31st 2015.

Buses still provide a vital link between communities and help the day-to-day running of the county’s businesses, education and health services. The questionnaire will help the council and its partners to review the bus service currently delivered across the county to shape the service to deliver greater economic and social benefits for the people who travel around and work in Essex.

Essex County Councillor Rodney L. Bass, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: “This strategy will focus on building long term and sustained partnerships with bus operators to strengthen the network and grow passenger numbers.  It will help to review current services, look at getting better value from the transport services Essex County Council supports and reduce overall costs without significantly impacting services.”

The consultation focuses on eight areas:

  • Better partnership working
  • A clearer commitment to quality
  • Measures to grow passenger numbers
  • Better targeted support for those services that are taxpayer funded
  • Better information for customers
  • Services that are better tailored to local needs
  • Integrated and smart ticketing
  • Focused local planning

To read the strategy go to www.essex.gov.uk/busreview.

To answer the survey questions visit consultation on bus and passenger transport strategy. Alternatively, contact Healthwatch on 01376 572829 between 10am and 2pm, Monday to Friday except for public holidays to complete the survey over the telephone.

Hard copies of the strategy will be available at local libraries or to request copy of the summary, which includes a paper copy of the survey for you to complete, please call 0845 743 0430 or email contact@essex.gov.uk.