Andover and District Older People’s Forum

THE annual meeting of Andover and District Older People’s Forum was held in April at the RendezVous.
All officers were re-elected unopposed but the need for ‘new blood’ in the executive committee was highlighted and interested members were encouraged to chat to the chairman or other committee members about shadowing the work undertaken in order to consider standing for election next year.
In year achievements reported by the chairman included:
The ‘Full of Life’ event last October at Andover Leisure Centre which was well attended and focussed on arthritis and help and support available.
A December Christmas lunch for older people in Andover’s Guildhall.
The distribution of ‘Phone a Friend’ village information directories across parishes in Bourne Valley ward and the compilation and distribution of a new directory for the Pentons.
Continued lobbying on the calculation of pensions and the index used.
Attendance at meetings of the Hampshire Association of Older People’s Forums and the National Pensioner’s Convention (Wessex Region).
The guest speaker at the meeting was Paul Francis from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service who gave an informative and enjoyable talk on safety in the home.
After a delicious tea with homemade cakes the meeting continues where possible new names for the forum were discussed and events to commemorate the Great War were shared.
This year had seen the launch of a ‘Dignity Code’ by the National Pensioner’s Convention and this was distributed and discussed. The code contains important principles in relation to respect of and communication with older people and members voted that the chairman, Haydn Watkins, should sign up to the code on behalf of Andover and District Older People’s Forum. It was agreed to encourage other organisations working with older people to consider this code over the next six months in the hopes of further commitment to the code by signing up at our October ‘Full of Life’ event.
The theme for this year’s event was then proposed and it was agreed by members that in an election year they should focus on the campaigning part of their role in relation to the importance of adequate income, support and housing for older people. A ‘Full of Life’ conference would be planned for a date in October in order to share their needs and involve input from political parties in respect of their plans and policies relating to adequately supporting the growing numbers of older people in the  country to live independently for as long as possible.
The next meeting will be on 24 July at 2.15pm in the RendezVous when the progress with these plans will be discussed further.