webpage last updated 03 March 2013
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Police warn of bank card scam on elderly

Police in East Sussex are asking people to be aware of a bank card scam in which the latest victim was a 90 year old visually impaired woman from Bexhill.
Detect Sergeant Tony Webb from East Sussex CID said: "The modus operandi is as follows: The fraudster will make a phone call to an elderly person, referring to them by their name and asks them if their new bank card has arrived. When the victim replies that they haven't received a new card the fraudster says that they will arrange to have one delivered. A male delivers the new card shortly afterwards and they take the victim's old bank card and ask for the PIN as well, claiming they will destroy/deactivate the card. However, the new card that is handed over to the unsuspecting victim is just a top up bank card with no money on it.
"Please do not ever reveal your PIN number to anyone who asks you for it. Banks do not operate in this way when sending out new cards to customers. If you have an elderly family member or elderly neighbours please make sure they are aware of this recent fraudulent tactic concerning bank cards and of course it's important to call the police immediately if you have been the victim of a similar fraudulent act."
Be Aware of Distraction Burglaries

Sussex Police are urging local residents to be vigilant after a series of distraction burglaries across the County. Several reports have been made involving bogus officials knocking on doors and claiming there is an emergency which they need to be let into the house for. Once inside valuables have been stolen before the culprits have fled. Thieves are specifically targeting elderly or vulnerable residents and will work both alone and in pairs.
Police are advising anyone who has an unexpected caller to their door not to let them in unless they can prove they are genuine. Genuine officials will not mind waiting outside until a call is made to verify their visit.
Tips to remember are:
1. LOCK – Keep your front and back doors locked, even when at home.
2. STOP– Before you answer the door, stop and think if you are expecting anyone. Look through the spy-hole or the window to see who it is.
3.CHAIN – If you decide to open the door, put the door chain or bar on first. Keep the chain or bar on while you are talking to the person on the doorstep.
4. CHECKCheck their details and identity before you let them into your home. If it is someone claiming to be an official, ask for and carefully check their identity card and make a telephone call if necessary.
If you are in any doubt about a suspicious caller in your area then call Sussex Police on 101.

Three events held by LDSF in celebration of Older People’s Day 2012

We held a very successful (sold out) main event celebrating Older People’s Day in Lewes on 18 October with speakers on “NHS services offered by pharmacies” and a Fair Trading Officer on security in and outside the home, including doorstep selling, cold calls, inviting offers in letters and emails. Anything to help peace of mind, especially for those who live alone. Followed by Qs & As. Afternoon tea was interrupted by the drawing of the raffle with many great prizes, all kindly donated by locals to whom we say ‘many thanks’, then time to talk with representatives from the Red Cross, Parity Trust, STEPS and the East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service. The chatter and laughter testified to the success of the afternoon in bringing people together

The East Sussex Record Office and the Libraries worked hard on a project collecting the stories of people from diverse cultural backgrounds in Eastbourne, Hastings and Lewes. The resultant exhibition of “Shared Journeys” was launched as part of the Older People’s Day celebrations and we all came together to celebrate this and Black History Month at Lewes Library on 6 October.

On 12 November, our third celebratory event, an enjoyable Coffee Morning in Ringmer village Hall with a therapist demonstrating types of massage and representatives from Age UK East Sussex, with information about their “Home from Hospital Service – Helping people in later life to remain independent in their own homes”; an NHS Health Promotion Specialist on “Handling Alcohol as you get Older”, and a Police pcso with a variety of items for safety and security.

We discussed possible ways to combat loneliness, had new members join us and set up a fledgling ‘email chat’ group for elderly LDSF members with internet access, possibly lonely or housebound, who might enjoy an informal ‘email chat’

Again, our thanks to all those who contributed items for the raffle

JGP – 27.11.12

Newsletter Autumn 2012
MP supports call for new bus shelter (Sussex Express, Friday 3 August 2012, p. 2)

A REQUEST for a bus shelter outside Waitrose in Lewes should be approved by East Sussex County Council, said the town's MP Norman Baker.
  The MP has written to the county council after meeting representatives of Lewes District Seniors' Forum to support their request for a bus shelter at Eastgate Street.
  The bus stop outside Waitrose is well used by residents travelling into town from throughout the district and beyond, as well as [by] residents of Lewes using the town centre and the supermarket itself.

  While some seating is available outside the supermarket, the benches are not covered and provide no protection from the elements.
  Norman said: "I am more than happy to support the request made by Lewes District Seniors' Forum to erect a bus shelter outside Waitrose in Lewes.
  "This is a very popular bus stop, but where seating near the stop is available, it is not protected from the elements.
  "I think that the erection of a bus shelter at this location is a sensible request and I am hopeful that the county council will respond to the Lewes Seniors positively."

held a successful coffee morning on Friday 22 June 2012 at the Cliffe Hall in Lewes, attracting over 40 members. Norman Baker MP dropped in and gave an impromptu talk on the history of the Lewes Bus Station and the current uneasy situation regarding it. To see the petition promoted by Cllr Stephen Catlin, return to the events page or CLICK HERE. The Sussex Express has been carrying stories about the station in recent issues.

As this was National Falls Prevention Week, the main speaker was Ellen Cranton who gave a lively talk demonstrating her ideas as she went along. She was very keen that as we get older we should keep as fit as possible, given the inevitable general decline as our body parts age. Her advice was very practical and delivered in an amusing way.

A variety of gadgets was displayed that are available to summon help should the owner have a fall or need to get help quickly – the most well known being the red button on a necklace.

from the Sussex Express Parish Pump (Rodmell & Southease), Friday 11 May 2012:

VISIT: I did... manage to get a day off to go with friends on the Lewes District Seniors' Forum (LDSF) visit to the Festival Theatre in Chichester to see Penelope Keith in The Way of the World, which was rather like a Brian Rix Medieval farce.... It was... a great day out and we enjoyed a very tasty lunch in the Cloisters and a walk around the town. All in all it was very successful and I would like to thank all the organisers. As it was heavily subsidised at £15 per head I don't suppose we can expect a lot of outings like this, but we'd like more even if it means paying a little more. Thank you so much LDSF.

Newsletter Spring 2012
Newsletter Autumn 2011
to see Home Safety publicity, click here

held its 2011 Annual General Meeting on 13 April in the Cliffe Community Hall in Lewes. The Forum chair, Jean Gaston-Parry, reported on the Forum's events and the Management Committee's actions during the previous year. David Glen, Elizabeth Newton-Price and Hazel Sargent were elected to the Commitee, joining Keith Baker, Jean Gaston-Parry, Richard Kemp, Ann Johns, Wendy Johnson, Ann Thomas and John Wingate. Arnold Goldman resigned, remaining as the Forum webmaster. The Committee now has 9 members out of a possible 12. It will be electing its officers and other post-holders at its next meeting, at 1030am on 27 April in the Phoenix Centre. Members were invited to attend this or any meeting of the Committee and if they subsequently wished, be co-opted to it.

After the AGM, Isilda Almeida-Harvey, Outreach and Learning Officer, East Sussex Record Office introduced the ESRO schools project, If it wasn’t for the War, to which LDSF members had contributed. The members shared their experience of the project.

LDSF members (l. to r.) Roger Murray, Arthur Chapman and
Brian Leaney (standing) speaking to Queen's Park Primary schoolchildren
about their experiences of WWII

East Sussex Record Office worked with Queen’s Park Primary School in Brighton and three LDSF members exploring the impact of the War on people’s lives, beliefs and perceptions. Photos and documents used in the project were exhibited and there was oral history recorded by the school. See the website for the project at www.theirpast-yourfuture.org.uk.

Newsletter Spring 2011 with Key Tips (also included in hardcopy Newsletter) with tips on Lasting Power of Attorney
held a coffee morning in the Southover Church Chapter House for representatives of minority groups on 8 December 2010.

from l.: Mebrak Ghebreweldi (co-organiser), Ann Thomas,
Shashi Rawal (LDSF member) and
Jean Gaston-Parry (LDSF chair and co-organiser)

celebrated National Older People's Day 2010 on 21 October 2010 at the Cliffe Hall, Lewes. Forum member Baroness Andrews of Southover, Chairman of English Heritage, spoke about English Heritage and Older People. The talk and a question-and-answer session were followed by refreshments.

Newsletter Autumn 2010 with Key Tips (also included in hardcopy Newsletter) with tips on Keeping Warm in Winter
held a coffee morning at Ringmer Village Hall on 24 June 2010. About 20 local residents attended and met seven members of the Forum Committee. Ellen Cranton, the NHS Falls Prevention Trainer spoke. Various leaflets and brochures were taken.
held its 2010 Annual General Meeting on 15 April in the Cliffe Community Hall in Lewes. Some 45 people attended. David Glen, who had resigned from the Committee during the year, was thanked for the work he had done in helping to found the Forum and acting as its first chairman. Ann Johns, Wendy Johnson, Richard Kemp, Ann Thomas and John Wingate were elected to the Forum Management Committee, joining Keith Baker, Jean Gaston-Parry, Arnold Goldman and Elizabeth Newton-Price. After the Forum business - including a revised Constitution - was concluded, officers from East Sussex County Council Adult Social Care spoke and answered questions about the new ways in which care is funded and advice provided both for those whose care is funded and those who pay for their own.
 held a coffee morning at the Cliffe Hall in Lewes on 18 February 2010. Despite the rain throughout the morning, over 30 people attended and it was felt to be a great success.
had a stall at the Lewes Farmers' Market in most months to February 2010, recruiting new members, discussing issues with members and others and following them up.

June Pratley (ESCC) asks us to publicise information about
carbon monoxide poisoning

Dear All
The NHS Trust in Devon has alerted local authorities to a recent report following a coroner’s court verdict after the death of an elderly man through carbon monoxide poisoning.
I know that many of you provide information through your newsletters, at coffee mornings and other events and hence can offer numerous opportunities to get information out to older people about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and how to prevent it.
You may find the following links useful:
AgeUK provide some information and a ‘home safety checker’ leaflet on their website

Other useful information may be found on the Health and Safety Executive website
http://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/domestic/co.htm and on the Headway website http://www.headway.org.uk/prevention-of-carbon-monoxide-poisoning.aspx


 held a coffee morning in Plumpton on 19 November 2009.
celebrated national Older People's Day on 22 October 2009: at the Cliffe Community Hall in Lewes. Prof. Dorothy Sheridan, Development Director of the Mass Observation Archive at the University of Sussex spoke about Life on the Home Front, using archive material. After questions and answers, the full house of eighty persons who attended had an opportunity to remember, speak and hear about the War years and their aftermath. The event concluded with tea & refreshments.
 held a coffee morning in Ringmer on 23 April 2009. Points made by those who attended have been passed on to the Chairman of Ringmer Parish Council, among others.
The 2009 Annual General Meeting was held at the Cliffe Community Hall, Lewes, on Thursday 26 March 2009. Jean Gaston-Parry was elected to the Forum chair, Dr Arnold Goldman was elected vice-chairman. Keith Baker and David Glen (the outgoing chairman) were also elected to the Forum committee, joining Elizabeth Newton-Price. There were presentations from the police service and the fire service. They were much appreciated and many questions and comments were put to them. [Subsequently, Wendy Johnson, Richard Kemp and John Wingate have joined the committee as co-opted members, bringing its number to eight.]

On 18 March 2009, the The Pyramid Theatre Company presented BIG LITTLE HEART, a play about heart disease and stroke in the Main Hall at Meridian Centre, Peacehaven, followed by refreshments. The event was sponsored by  & Meridian Mature Citizens' Forum. Read the press release by clicking here.

Sussex Express published chairman David Glen's letter (Friday 6 March 2009) about age discrimination, drawing attention to the House of Commons Early Day Motion 458:

That this House notes the Government's manifesto commitment to bring in a single comprehensive Equality Bill within the lifetime of this Parliament; welcomes the Government's commitment to banning age discrimination in the provision of goods, facilities and services as part of this Bill; urges all hon. Members to support this Bill; recognises that health and social care is one of the key areas in which older people face unfair discrimination; is concerned that this discrimination has a major impact on their quality of life and, in extreme circumstances, can deny them potentially life-saving treatment; understands that the Government intends to introduce provisions on age discrimination in health and social care by secondary legislation; and is concerned that the provision for this and detailed guidance should be brought forward as soon as possible after Second Reading of the Bill and not be subject to a lengthy delay before enactment.

The Forum had asked Norman Baker MP to sign Early Day Motion 458, which he did. (There were 147 signatories as of 9 March 2009.)

had a stall at the Lewes Farmers' Market in February and March 2009.
The petition to make buses freely available to seniors at 9am (instead of 9.30am), signed by 150 people and presented to Lewes District Council in December 2008 - was successful. David Glen,  chairman, said, "This is important because it allows older people to use earlier buses to get to hospital and doctors' appointments. See www.directgov.uk/buspass for information about free bus passes.
The Winter 2008/09 Newsletter was sent to members.
 held a coffee morning in Cooksbridge on 2 December 2008.
The Autumn 2008 Forum Newsletter was sent to members with the ESCC Forward from 50 handbook.
 representatives attended the October Help the Aged South East Speaking Up for Our Age AGM in London.
 representatives lobbied Parliament (with Forum members from Seaford) about pensions on 22 October, in support of the National Pensioners' Convention.
 was in discussions about the development of the Phoenix Centre in Lewes.
 is participating in the AgeWell project in four residential homes in Ringmer.
 organised a petition over bus times - to get the hour at which bus passes are valid moved back to 9am - click here for the result.
 has had a successful networking at the "Bonkers" Peacehaven event in September.
members are actively involved with the ESCC Adult Social Care Independence First (POPP) initiative, currently on its Reference Group and with the Navigator Service and the MAST programme (Memory Assessment Support Team) projects.
members regularly attend Lewes District and town meetings and groups
they report back to the Forum committee - items are put forward to other meetings and are publicised in the
for forthcoming local meetings, CLICK HERE for forthcoming County-wide meetings, CLICK HERE for forthcoming national meetings, CLICK HERE

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