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Melksham Seniors announce their vision for 2020

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MELKSHAM& District Seniors Forum 55+ has announced its plans for the year ahead.

The group has said that as part of its ‘Vision 2020 ’it will continue its work to combat loneliness and social isolation in the community; explore the possibility of opening a ‘Melksham Drop-in Centre’ for seniors; and continue to run its regular weekly and monthly meetings for the older community.

Explaining their vision, chair of the group, Martin Pain said, “After a successful 2019 Forum 55+ will now concentrate on its ‘Vision 2020’, which aims to increase both the scope and frequency of activities for our membership, increase our active membership and attract additional, much-needed, volunteers to assist in programme delivery.  

“We acknowledge that many groups in Melksham are suffering from a dearth of volunteers but once the social benefits and personal fulfilment via volunteerism is known, it can become a very rewarding and enjoyable use of one’s spare time. 

“Our film shows at the Assembly Hall and the wide range of Thursday morning activities at the Riverside Club and those nice Monday Club social activities will continue and be expanded as volunteers and resources become available.

“We intend to continue to work in close tandem with the Age Friendly steering committee. We look forward to the results of the consultant’s report on what is needed to make Melksham a truly age friendly community and what resources will be required to accomplish the recommendations.

“As a 2020 priority we have specific projects in mind to combat the severe instances of in-voluntary loneliness and social isolation in our community. We want to identify these hereto hidden individuals and provide them with a menu of relevant entertaining and social activities so that those who want to can engage and access the wide range of activities offered by Melksham’s many hobby and social groups.  In this respect we will endeavour to cooperate with community transport and service agencies to maximize opportunities for all our senior citizens to share their wealth of experience through social interaction and this includes intergenerational activities.

“2020 will see us focus upon examining the viability and sustainability of opening a ‘Melksham Drop-in Centre’ solely devoted to providing a place for seniors to call their own, a place of entertainment, a place where they can access information and where they can broaden and enrich their social horizons. We will devote ourselves to speak up and lobby those responsible whenever we feel that policies, both local and national, will negatively affect the health and wellbeing of our membership. 

“We will continue to work with our town and parish councils, with the area board and Wiltshire Council, all of whom have, in the past,  provided us with valuable advice and resources which we hope will continue.  We will maintain and enhance our links with regional and national seniors’ groups.

“We take this opportunity to remind Melksham’s seniors that they are the owners of Forum55+ and without their active involvement and taking ownership to drive us forward, we will struggle to continue to provide our current services and flounder in our attempts to broaden our programmes.  

“Melksham, this is Forum 55+’s ‘Vision 2020’, will you join us? Will you help us achieve it? Please don’t waste that enormous wealth of knowledge and experience you have, come and join us.  Contact us on Thursday mornings at the Riverside Club to find out how you can start your 2020 with new rewarding and enjoyable opportunities.”

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