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

Welcome to our 2014 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!

Outreach Programme Launch in January 2015

We are pleased to announce the appointment of an Outreach Programme Manager with effect from the 1st January. Debbie Heffernan, previously of Age Concern Woodley, has joined us to drive this programme as outlined below.

Outreach programme

Members playing seated volleyball

Members playing seated volleyball

Our objective is to assist elderly residents in the area to maintain their independence and quality of life, and to help elderly people avoid social isolation . We wish to help those who are frail, lonely or isolated. We wish to do this by ensuring they are kept up to date with information and assistance where appropriate that could affect their lives.

We serve the local villages of Twyford, Hurst, Wargrave, Sonning, Ruscombe and Charvil. We will provide assistance in the following areas:

Posted 23 December 2014 by Gordon Holmes

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Christmas Lunches

The week of the 15th December saw us serve 110 Christmas lunches to members and guests. Each day we had a different sitting, some people (the lucky ones) had the lunch on each day with entertainment afterwards. It all provided a wonderfully cheerful and happy environment.

Meals were provided by the following Twyford Village Partnership members: Bridge House Nursing Home, the Duke of Wellington Pub, Hare Hatch Sheeplands Nursery, Buratto's Pub, Stanlake Winery, Bingham's Breweries, The Bird in Hand and Frostings of Twyford.

The year 8 class of Piggott School also made up Christmas presents for all our members and these were handed out at the end of the day.

Theresa May talking to members
Theresa May talking to members

We had a number of very important guests on each day, including Theresa May our local MP and Home Secretary, who spent about 40 minutes chatting to the members at lunch.

Posted 23 December 2014 by Gordon Holmes

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Be a Santa to a Senior Christmas Party

On the 11th December we arranged a Christmas Party for 140 seniors at Hare Hatch Sheeplands. This was done in conjunction with Hare Hatch Sheeplands, who provided all the cakes and other party goodies, the Twyford Village Partnership, who provided a lot of help in wrapping and distributing hampers, Home Instead Senior Care who gave us the idea and did a lot of wrapping and delivering as well.

We had to find volunteer drivers for 70 people, to get to the venue and back home, so thank you all the drivers who volunteered to do duty on the day.

It was a fun filled afternoon, which started at 3.30pm and was all over by 5.30, when the guests present were presented with a huge Christmas Hamper. Those people who couldn't attend had their hampers delivered by either a volunteer or the Twyford Round Table when they did their annual sleigh ride around the village.

Members at red table Christmas dinner
Members at blue table Christmas dinner

Posted 23 December 2014 by Gordon Holmes

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The Twyford Christmas Fayre

3 people behind stall at Age Concern Christmas Fayre
2 men at Age Concern Christmas Fayre

The 5th December saw hordes of people descend on Twyford for the annual Christmas Fayre, organised by the Twyford Village Partnership. Age Concern were there selling hot mulled wine and mince pies from the stand in front of the Age Concern Shop. Our mulled wine was so popular we sold out of everything by 7.40pm – roll on next year, when we are sure to have more available.

Posted 23 December 2014 by Gordon Holmes

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Fundraising Results

Confessions of a scallywag poster

We have recently held two fund raising events, one was at the Mill at Sonning where 53 of our supporters attended a play entitled Confessions of a Scallywag. Everybody had a good time with an excellent meal and a very good comedy.

We had several raffle prizes and two items on auction, which were auctioned off at the end of the play. We managed to raise £1146.49 from this event.

In addition to that we held a door collection at Waitrose in Twyford and the 11th and 12th October and raised £1028.52 from this collection.

I would like to thank everybody who has helped us raise £2175.01. These funds will be put to good use at the Day Centre where we are always striving to improve services and facilities for our members.

Posted 16 October 2014 by Gordon Holmes

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Dementia Friendly Village

Dementia friendly logo

The Wokingham Borough Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) steering group was formed in February 2014 by representatives from a diverse range of businesses, groups, people with dementia, shops and organisations in and around the Wokingham district.

Age Concern Twyford and District have registered with the DAA as an Alliance member and one of their actions was to join forces with The Twyford Village Partnership Health and Wellbeing Group to help make Twyford a Dementia Friendly Village.

We have achieved our first goal, which was to launch the Dementia Friends Campaign to businesses in Twyford. On the 22nd May we hosted 32 people from business as well as the public to a launch at the Age Concern Day Centre. Guests were introduced to the DAA and the work it does and a Dementia Friends session, which was well received by all.

The next step will be to train the staff of shops and offices in the village on how to recognise and assist people with Dementia and to become Dementia Friends. Dementia unfortunately has a stigma associated with it, for all the wrong reasons - by understanding the types of Dementia and some of the causes, helps people to realise that there are many simple things they can do to help people live better lives with Dementia - if anybody is interested in becoming a Dementia Friend they can contact the Manager of the Day Centre for more details.

Posted 4 June 2014 by Gordon Holmes

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Seated exercises

We offer seated exercises for members on Monday mornings. Anna from the organisation SHINE comes in to give everybody a good workout. This is a noisy and lively session and members love the activity. This is so good for people's mobility and flexibility as well as their wellbeing; we encourage as much movement as possible as we don't want people to be sitting for too long. We often sing along to the music that Anna uses.

Anna is experienced in working with older people who have limited mobility and is sensitive to the individuals needs during these exercise sessions.

Here are the members enjoying themselves with pom-poms.

Members with pom-poms
Members with pom-poms

Posted 10 February 2014 by Penny Rymer

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Rogue Traders

On Monday the 3rd of February we had more than 40 people attend an awareness day at the Day Centre on "How to Protect Yourself against Rogue Traders". This was presented by members of the Trading Standards Bureau of West Berks and Wokingham Council, the Thames Valley Police and Matt Allwright from the BBC TV Programme "Rogue Traders".

Some tips that were provided for recognising rogue traders were as follows:

If anybody suspects something or somebody they know is in danger of being taken advantage of, please take the following steps:

Some of the guests and members were given lots of tips and useful gadgets and were then invited to participate in role play sessions and practice the techniques with Matt Allwright, who played the part of a trader.

Role playing exercise

Role play


Interested spectators

Posted 7 February 2014 by Gordon Holmes

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Pets as Therapy

Spanish Water Dog

Hattie, the Spanish Water Dog, visits the Centre regularly

We have recently introduced Pets as Therapy to our members. Elderly people struggle to afford a pet or may not be allowed to have pets at their residences. Pets as Therapy allows them to experience the joys of a pet without the responsibility of having one. Hattie, a Spanish Water Dog, with a wonderful temperament comes to visit us on a monthly basis for an hour on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays.

Spanish Water Dogs are a lively, athletic and versatile breed. They are incredibly intelligent, willing working dogs and are easy to train, having the ability to learn quickly and remember for a long time. They are faithful and bold but can be wary of strangers. Their memories are amazing.

Spanish Water Dogs are very cute! With their curly coats and sparkling eyes they look adorable but in reality they are serious workers in sheepskin coats! They can be easily trained to do a variety of things, but they are very sensitive, they are good guard dogs and they do like to be in control. They can be independent when working and will often work things out for themselves.

In Spain, they are the 'all purpose' dog and can be trained to herd, hunt, dive and guard. In the UK they are trained in a variety of disciplines including water work, gundog work, agility, flyball, search work and obedience. Spanish Water Dogs make excellent family pets. Hattie has proven to be all of that, the members love her as she walks around and greets each person individually.

Posted 31 January 2014 by Gordon Holmes

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