|You may have seen posters recently in local shops
announcing that a column on matters of interest to older people
will appear monthly in the Times.
Sean Bryson, a volunteer with Sixty Plus, a Kensington & Chelsea
agency for the older person came to realise that older people often
do not know of rights and benefits they are entitled to and that
the public generally is also largely unaware of the difficulties
or for that matter the achievements of older citizens.
He contacted the editor of the Times and he agreed to include a
column to raise the profile of this group. I have been asked to
do it as I have been involved in producing a similar weekly column
in the Ealing Gazette for some three years.
We hope that you, the reader, whether a private individual, or on
the staff of agencies for the older person will write to us about
any difficulties you may have or good news you would like to share,
information you want to pass on or to raise local or national issues
for consideration. In addition I'll bring news from visits paid
to organisations, conferences or to other centres for senior citizens.
Mention was made of Sixty Plus in the first paragraph - how well
is it known ? It is a project of the Notting Hill Social Council
(An advisory body for new charities) concerned with meeting the
needs of the older people in the Borough to enable them to be as
independent as possible. It sprang from Pensioners Link, now defunct.
it has three full-time staff and a number of trained volunteers
who provide a range of valuable services - they have a welfare rights
advisor on the staff who covers benefit claims, pensions, council
tax, disability and housing benefits, advice on budgeting and debt
If you are housebound the worker will visit you at home, but
ring first on 081 969 9105.
There is a volunteer Befrienders scheme when someone will visit
you regularly to alleviate loneliness and help you get out and
There is a possibility of a Professional Decorating Service, part
of the borough-wide scheme to provide low-cost decorating. Sixty
Plus also runs a weekly shopping trip and gentle keep-fit classes,
an outing in the summer and, last but not least, a grand Christmas
party for 100 housebound pensioners with a full dinner and a whole
day of entertainment. There is a volunteer car scheme in the borough
to get you to the shops, your doctor, or to visit a relative,
this is if you have difficulty using public transport.
( All visitors carry identity cards ) The agency also produces
an excellent guide to activities and services for pensioners.
This agency which does so much to enable the older person to remain
independent sorely needs more volunteers. If you would like to
help contact Sixty Plus on 081 969 9105 . Their address is 7 Thorpe
Close, the green door facing portobello green, under the Westway,
just across the road from Ladbroke Grove station.
Please send contributions to Helen Zach, The Third Age, c/o
London Weekly Times, 134-136 The
Broadway, London W13 OTL
Ms Helen Zach can still be contacted via Age Concern / Ealing 135
Uxbridge Road, London W 13 tel 020 8567 8017