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Melksham Seniors’ Forum end of year report

Our New Year message provides an excellent opportunity to reflect on the past year and to be able to tell you more about our aspirations for the future.

Melksham Area Board have endorsed our nominee Chris Pickett as Melksham’s Older People Champion; we wish Chris well in his new role.

Personally, as the Wiltshire’s Older Peoples Champion I look forward to having Chris’s support.

2015 was a good year for our Seniors Group in that in spite of public sector cuts in grants and spiralling expenditure, we have still been able to increase our range of activities and also help many of our own peer group suffering from loneliness.

Much of the gratitude goes to a small group of dedicated people who unselfishly give up their precious leisure time to help enhance the quality of life of others.

What a fantastic Christmas Party we had once again. I would like to mention some very special businesses and individuals who helped to bring such great fun and happiness to so many local pensioners.  Michele Reader and her band of helpers from Medvivo Care and a great thanks also to them for the Christmas crackers. Super support also from Selwood Housing and Mihome Care and Wiltshire Police.

The fantastic table prizes were donated by four of our highly respected retailers, they were Gompels, Leekes, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose. These are four retailers who well deserve our support for the way they support our community and demonstrate their support for the Seniors.

Many thanks also to those businesses and individuals who also provided such superb raffle prizes.  We were also able to bring some happiness to a number of older  citizens living alone and normally very lonely, by simply arranging a visit from a neighbour with a little gift. Our sincere thanks to Age UK (London) for their kind support for this new venture.

Our activity club that meets on the 1st Monday of the month at the Forest Community Centre at 1.30pm is now well established and increasing it’s range of activities.

The Film Club has had an excellent year with good attendances and we have been able to watch some great films. 2016 could be even better, for we have lined up some really great films that should suit all tastes.

The 3rd Monday in the month at the ‘Pics’ is now becoming a MUST for many Melksham pensioners; they enjoy the social atmosphere and company of others and the Assembly Hall staff help to make it a happy occasion.

Again a small band of volunteers are at the very heart of this successful monthly event; also those who do a great job in looking after the afternoon refreshments, and I am sure would appreciate offers of help with some of the small tasks. The help of Peggy and Olive looking after the admittance and donations at the door, Ann organising the raffle and Terri and others supporting and doing those other essential little tasks all make up for essential team work.

A very special thanks to all who support us in making Melksham Seniors’ such a friendly and happy group who always welcome others to come along and enjoy what’s on offer.

On Monday 25th January, which happens to be ‘Burns day’, we are experimenting with another little project that a number of people have suggested. This is by way of an afternoon tea event, at the United Church in High Street starting round 2.00pm, with speakers and round table discussions on a range of interesting topics. On this occasion Wiltshire Wildlife Trust will be amongst the presenters.

The events are intended to provide a range of short presentations on subjects we so often hear about but often don’t really get to know very much about. If the event is well supported and proves to be successful we shall hopefully, make it a regular event but will need the help of two or three volunteers to help plan the programme and identify the right speakers. More information about this event and others will be in the next edition of the Melksham News

In the coming weeks and months we shall be increasing our range of activities and also providing an active voice for local Seniors to communicate their views to local and national decision makers on issues that are important to them. They will include the Area Board, the Local Authority, NHS, HealthWatch and others in the Public Sector along with those businesses that are commissioned to provide services for older people but so often fail to consult.

Your Senior Forum’s ethos is to strive to enhance and improve the quality of life of older people in our community; do help us to achieve that goal.

A very Happy New Year to all the oldies in Melksham. Remember the Senior Forum is run by older people for older people, so come along and help us to help you to improve and enhance your own lifestyle.

Brian Warwick.

Chair Melksham Seniors’