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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.

 

A Time for Celebration of Our Gurkha Stories Project!

Gransnet Local Colchester:

I was there with my husband, who is an instructor with 308 Colchester ATC, and we had a fabulous time and learnt a lot. Happy to help you spread the word.

Originally posted on Gurkha Stories:

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The stunning Colchester Castle was a-buzz with our vibrant and colourful party of Gurkha veterans, their wives and families yesterday along with our supporters from the community of Colchester. We were celebrating our project’s amazing achievements and I can honestly say I couldn’t have wished for a better atmosphere and outcome.  We have all worked very diligently and meticulously for the last 12 months to achieve all our outcomes and now we are deservedly celebrating the Gurkha community in Colchester and their life stories!

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We’d like to give a massive thank you to our Army Covenant funders for coming along and taking part in the celebrations and to Colchester’s local dignitaries, Will Quince MP and Sir Bob Russell, for showing their support. And, of course, thanks goes to the hardest-working museum team in the country at Colchester Museum for giving us the amazing venue for the…

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Jaywick 60 plus club receives grant from money raised by HealthStrength.

Jaywick 60 plus picture 1A Jaywick group that has been running activities for people over the age of 60 for over 50 years has received a £12,050 grant from money raised by HealthStrength through The Health Lottery.

The funding will enable the Jaywick 60 plus club to continue to run its weekly sessions which have a membership of over 80 people. The club also organises day trips, events and other activities to prevent older people living in Jaywick from becoming lonely and isolated.

The club meets every Monday between 2 and 4pm and is open to any local resident over the age of 60. Trips and other activities take place throughout the year.

Club Chairman, Lyn Hutchins said: “This grant will help us expand our work in the community with local people. So many older people are living on their own and our club gives them the opportunity to meet other people, make new friends and most of all to have fun!”

The club were contacted by Community Voluntary Services Tendring who provide funding support to local groups and who informed Jaywick 60 plus about the grant programme.

Lyn said “We are really grateful to our local CVS for sharing information about this grant with our group and would recommend other groups looking for any kind of support to contact them”

The club has also used some of the funding from the grant to purchase a new music system.

Quote from Donald Macrae, Director of HealthStrength “This project brings real value to the health and well being of the local community and we are delighted to be supporting it.”

For more information about the project contact Lyn on 01255 420641

For more information about HealthStrength contact media@healthstrengthCIC.org or call 0203 384 8309 or visit www.healthstrengthcic.org.uk

Litter Is No Longer a Problem!

A community litter pick which took place recently by Clacton town centre residents was hailed as a ‘A good deed and well done’ by all concerned.

Residents from The Grove and Hayes Road, Clacton on Sea, collected four bags of rubbish with resources supplied by Tendring District Council. “Litter is always a problem in our road. People don’t think before they drop it, then it blows off into someone’s garden and they just walk off.” Stated Douglas Neil who was one of the residents participating.

The residents are all part of Good Neighbours, a local group who hold their monthly coffee mornings on the last Saturday of every month in Clacton town centre. Residents get together, make friends, and if there are issues of concern, they talk about how best to resolve it. They do this by either working together such as the litter pick or in other ways for example, by contacting other agencies to help.

“The day went really well” said Emma Hazleton, HILL Community Development Officer at CVST. She went on to say “It was great to be working with the local community on a project that makes a direct difference not only to the people who took part, but to neighbours and to the immediate environment. The area look so much better and the residents had a real sense of achievement which they talked about over coffee and biscuits after the litter pick. A few minor issues were reported to Tendring District Council who thanked the group and there were some different ideas agreed for future activities and for fundraising.

We’re looking forward to supporting local people with more events like this. Anyone can come along to the coffee mornings to meet other Clacton residents and share ideas – the group are moving forward!” she said.

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Contact Emma Hazelton, Community Development Officer for further details on 01255 425692. The Good Neighbours group is part of the Lottery funded project Healthier, Independent, Longer Lives (HILL) run by CVST.

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…

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TENDRING OLDER PEOPLE’S FORUM SPEAKS UP AGAINST SENIOR FRAUD

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.

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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.

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