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Age Concern Twyford & District
Polehampton Close
RG10 9RP
0118 934 4040

Welcome to our 2013 Blog

Blogs for previous years





On these pages we will be writing about the events that take place at the Centre and from time to time we will record our thoughts about matters that affect us - whether for good or ill. If you would like to contribute to this blog, or comment on posts that others have written then email us and let us know what you think!

Days of fun

Members at the Day Centre have been having lots of fun and games recently. On Friday 27th September we had Jim Allgrove playing the mandolin and if people weren't singing along to the old favourites, they were up and dancing – it was a real party atmosphere. Friday 4th October had Eddie's Fashion show, where members could buy good quality clothes at good prices and on Monday the 7th, we had The Frantic Theatre Company do a one hour comedy performance. A one man cast entertained the members with quick costume changes, comedy and singing, one member was heard to say "I haven't laughed as much for years - he was just wonderful".

Person dressed as bumble bee

The bumble bee entertains

Entertainer posing

Members enjoy the antics of the one man cast

Posted 9 October 2013 by Gordon Holmes

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Wedding Anniversary Celebrations

This week we celebrated a 50th wedding anniversary. Arwyn and Connie G celebrated 50 years of marriage and shared this with other Day Centre members. It was a double celebration for them as Connie also celebrated her birthday. The members enjoyed a great meal, pudding, and wine for lunch, as well as cakes for tea. This was all followed by wonderful sing along music provided by the Reading Accordion Group (known as "RAG"). RAG played a selection of songs from different parts of the world and everybody sang along or danced to the well known tunes.

The members do enjoy sharing their special occasions with each other as this adds to the joy of being at the Day Centre.

Arwiyn and Connie picture 1

Celebrating 50 years of marriage

Arwiyn and Connie picture 2

Friends join the celebrations

Posted 27 September 2013 by Gordon Holmes

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New Manager at the Day Centre

Gordon Holmes picture

Gordon Holmes

The Age Concern Twyford and District recently appointed a new manager. Gordon Holmes joined us as Centre Manager from the 1st August this year. He comes from a commercial background with a business and human resources background. He has been on the board of trustees for the Day Centre and has a good knowledge of the operation. Gordon will be working hard to continue with current projects at the Centre and will be pursuing new projects to ensure the ongoing wellbeing of the members and is looking forward to the challenges the day centre faces in the current times.

Gordon has already made an appeal to the local community for volunteers as the day centre always needs help, both in the centre and with driving members to and from the Centre at Polehampton Close. If you think you can help in any way, please give him a call on 0118 934 4040 during the office hours of 9am to 5pm, Mondays to Fridays.

Posted 27 September 2013 by Gordon Holmes

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Half Marathon runner raises £1200 for charity

Cecelia Csemiczky recently completed the Budapest Half Marathon in honour of her deceased husband, who had been a member at the Day Centre. She used the opportunity to raise funds for the Day Centre and was successful in raising just over £1200. After being a bit nervous at the start of the race she soon relaxed and settled into her rhythm, completing the half marathon in just over two hours in very hot conditions. She commented that she had thoroughly enjoyed the race, everybody had been very friendly, the city was lovely to run through, especially over the Chain Bridge and along the banks of the Danube with people cheering them on towards the finish and bands playing along the route. The donation will be put towards projects to improve the facilities for Day Centre members - thank you Cecelia.

Posted 25 September 2013 by Gordon Holmes

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Age Concern Day Centre goes green

Solar panels on Centre roof

The panels on the Centre roof

The Age Concern Twyford and District recently installed Solar PV panels as a way of reducing their monthly running costs. With energy costs always on the increase we are looking at ways of economising, and the Solar PV Panel installation will certainly help us. The savings we achieve through projects such as this will enable us to continue providing a good service to our members, says Centre Manager Gordon Holmes.

The solar PV panels work from sunlight allowing us to benefit from clean green energy during the day and reduce our energy bill, whilst also reducing CO2 emissions. The installation was smoothly done by the suppliers and in no time at all we were producing clean green energy for the Day Centre.

Posted 21 August 2013 by Gordon Holmes

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Birthday Celebrations at the Day Centre

Birthday celebration

93rd birthday party at the Centre

We had a very special event this last Thursday when a number of members got together to celebrate a friend's 93rd birthday. The Thursday luncheon group joined together to wish a long standing member all the best for her birthday and the future.

The lounge/dining room was full of people celebrating and the laughter was clearly indicative of the good time being had by all. Everybody had a really good meal accompanied by a glass of wine or two.

The Thursday luncheon club is proving to be very popular and if people wish to join, they should just call the Centre for information. We have a luncheon club on Wednesdays as well, so anybody can come on either day, when a two course meal is served.

Posted 16 August 2013 by Gordon Holmes

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Garden Tea Party

The members of Age Concern Twyford and District were guests of Lady Elizabeth Godsal at a recent garden tea party. A hot summer day in July had the guests sitting under a huge oak tree after a walk through the gardens.

Whilst relaxing under the tree they were treated to a few songs by a Polish choir, led by the son of one of the Age Concern's trustees. The choir provided wonderful entertainment through some creative and imaginative singing, all delivered without the aid of music instruments.

After this most entertaining singing, the guests were escorted through to the dining hall and were served a scrumptious tea, all prepared and served by Lady Elizabeth's staff. We had a great time and everybody was reluctant to leave such a fine house to go back to normal life.

Our special thanks to the family and the staff for this wonderful occasion.

Posted 9 August 2013 by Gordon Holmes

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Crisis in Care

I heard from Theresa May with a totally unconvincing response from Jeremy Hunt's department (DoH). Probably a standard letter penned by a civil servant. Suggested I write to the CQC, but it deals with specific complaints not general concerns. Focused a lot on Mid Staffs and missed or avoided the point of my letter, which was about investing in care staff and the greed of some private owners of care homes. Setting aside the voluntary sector, it makes you wonder who in authority cares these days. The only bright aspect of this is the commitment of the voluntary sector as shown by the contribution of organisations like the Twyford Centre.

Posted 26 April 2013 by Colin McCulloch

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Charvil Village Tea Party

On Saturday 6th April, we took our members to the Annual Charvil Village Tea Party where they were treated to home made cakes, sandwiches, and entertainment.

Thanks go to all our volunteer drivers who volunteered their time to drive the members to and from the event.

Posted 9 April 2013

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Health, Wealth & Wellbeing Fair

We were present at the 2013 Health, Wealth and Wellbeing Fair on Saturday 6 April at Hare Hatch Sheeplands. The Twyford Health & Wellbeing Group is a sub-group of Twyford Village Partnership. TVP is a community organisation bringing together parish councils, businesses, residents, schools, charities and youth groups to help implement the Parish Plan and make continuous improvements to life, work and relaxation in Twyford and Ruscombe.

Posted 9 April 2013

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Looking ahead

We are planning for the future. We are a value-driven charity but we have to be business-like to attract members, secure our future and provide a range of services. Please blog any ideas by emailing us.

Posted 27 February 2013 by Colin McCulloch

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Crisis in Care

Overall standards of care for the elderly in England are poor compared with our European neighbours. Colin McCulloch, a Trustee, has written to Theresa May, MP as follows:

Dear Mrs May,

The Mid-Staffordshire NHS crisis is a tragedy and a scandal. I do not doubt that the government is determined to protect the public form any re-occurrence of these dreadful circumstances.

However, the likelihood of a re-occurrence, particularly in the care sector is very great. I refer to residential and care homes. The scale of any one incident in this sector will be smaller but the cumulative effect (and this could well be happening now) will be greater and more continuous.

I can do no better to illustrate this by attaching a copy of a letter that was published in the Alzheimer's Society's magazine, Living with Dementia.

This letter corresponds with the impressions that I gained while working with the elderly. I am also currently a trustee with Age Concern Twyford and District. It is vital that care staff are well educated, carefully selected and expertly trained as well as being well paid and cared for themselves. Generally speaking, this is simply not happening. The fragmented nature of 'community care', the interests of many home owners, and the drive to the bottom in wages is inimical to high quality, effective and sensitive care for the elderly.

I am able to compare the situation in this country with elsewhere as my mother-in-law is currently in a nursing home in the Netherlands and we visit her regularly. She has no savings or property and is very well cared for. She would probably not receive this standard of care in England.

Yours sincerely,

Colin McCulloch

Posted 25 February 2013

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Christmas VIP visits to the Twyford Centre

Theresa May visits

Theresa May was one of the guest visitors to the Centre before Christmas

The Centre welcomed a number of VIPs in the run-up to Christmas - Bob Wyatt (Mayor of Wokingham), Lady Elizabeth (our Patron) and Theresa May (MP for Maidenhead). Mrs May wished everyone a Happy Christmas and said grace at lunch.

Entertainment throughout the week included members from the Piggott School Choir, High Voltage singers, Matt Willis, Jane Gascoigne and Cynthia Crane who encouraged the staff to sing The Twelve Days of Christmas much to the amusement of members. Servers of lunch included members of staff from Waitrose, Interserve, Hare Hatch, Piggott School and Tywford Village Partnership. Presents were given out - The Piggott School children had made up 60 beautifully wrapped boxes filled with little individually wrapped gifts for each member. The joy on their faces when they were handed out was priceless!

Posted 13 March 2013

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Pancakes were made, tossed and enjoyed by all members on Shrove Tuesday and the following day at the twice monthly Wednesday Group Coffee morning. Never have pancakes tasted so good!

Posted 19 February by Lynn Palmer

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Volunteers' evening

Picture of volunteers

Sandy Poncia, Maddie Boyce and Kay Hickman were among the guests at the volunteers' evening in January

On 24 January we held a 'thank you' evening in appreciation of all the support and dedication shown throughout the year by the unpaid helpers who contribute so much to the Centre's success.

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