Agenda and minutes

Older People's Partnership - Wednesday, 18 June 2014 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Fourth Floor, Easthampstead House, Bracknell. View directions

Contact: Amanda Roden  01344 352253

No. Item


Minutes and Action Points from 19 March 2014 pdf icon PDF 58 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 19 March 2014 were agreed as a correct record.


Madeline queried which healthcheck programme the action on page 2 of the minutes was referring to. Kieth would check with Lisa McNally but it was thought that it was the healthcheck for over 75s.


Regarding the action on page 3 of the minutes, in relation to Healthwatch, a report was due at the end of June and Healthwatch might be invited to a future meeting of the Board.


Home Share Scheme and Freespace Relocation Service


Simon Hendey, Chief Officer: Housing, gave a presentation on the Freespace Relocation Service and the Home Share Scheme.


A freespace scheme could involve an older person who owns their home outright but it was no longer manageable, so they were helped to move to a suitable home. In return they agreed to lease their home to the Council and the Council would house a household in need of housing. The Council would manage and maintain their home and give them the rent as a net payment. At the end of the lease or sooner the Council would give back the property in its original or improved condition. This scheme had been piloted by the London Borough of Redbridge.


Issues involved in the scheme included: availability of suitable alternative housing, the need for upfront work before letting and how it would be financed, the older person might need help arranging to move and who would pay for this or undertake this, and whether independent financial advice was required.


There was no age restriction on who could participate in the Home Share scheme. It was mainly aimed at people living in properties which were too large or unmanageable for them. There had not been a big demand for the Home Share scheme in Redbridge so far. The lease payments to the home owner would be slightly below market rate minus maintenance costs. There was approximately a 10% difference between the market rate and what the Council would pay. There was a six month clause; either party could break the lease with six months notice, and unless any improvements had been undertaken the property would be returned in the same condition as it was originally.


Payments would be made to the owner regardless of whether there were tenants living in the property, and independent financial advice could be sought if needed. The person living in the property needed to have made the decision to move, and the property could be let furnished or unfurnished. If the owner had a mortgage, then they would need permission from their mortgage lender to participate in the scheme.


Improvements needed on a property could be financed from the lease payments and with equity growth on the property; the owner could purchase a smaller home. House clearance could be a grant funded activity, and the Council provided a guaranteed income with monthly instalments, so there was less risk than with the private sector. The level of rent the Council would charge a tenant would be based on the maximum they could charge with the tenant being on full housing benefits.


It was thought that the lease payments would not cover the total cost of residential care, should the owner need to consider this. There was uncertainty about the practicalities of the scheme and Board members expressed an interest in hearing case studies from people who had participated in the scheme. Further information from Redbridge would also be useful. No other authorities had undertaken the scheme that the Council  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.


Adult Learning Opportunities

  • Community Learning Service


Janet Berry, Head of Community Learning and Skills, gave a presentation on adult learning opportunities.


The Open Learning Centre (OLC) in Bracknell had training rooms for hire, including two ICT suites, and provided office accommodation for Berkshire Maestros, the National Careers Service, Speech and Language Therapy, and school special needs and behaviour support teams.


Work at the OLC was funded by the Skills Funding Agency; £500,000 had been received this year and £420,000 had been received in the previous year. This funding was used to provide subsidised courses and to fund other partners to deliver courses to adults. There was a need to make up the shortfall by securing funding from elsewhere, gaining income from charging for courses, and gaining income from hiring rooms at the OLC.


There were six different types of training provided: employability, digital inclusion / ICT, health and well-being, ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages), arts and crafts, and family learning. The course programmes involved tutors and staff, learners and stakeholders.


Volunteers were needed for ESOL provision at Bracknell and Sandhurst English Language Cafes. Local services could be accessed via the internet at the cafes and EIF funding was used to provide ESOL. Older third-country nationals were one of the target groups: Nepali, Filipino, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan and Ghanaian. Third-country nationals were typically any country other than those in the European Union (EU) and people needed to be living in the EU for three years to be eligible. There was funding for one year for third-country nationals and after this, funding sources were unknown. A descriptor of the type of person ESOL was targeting would be provided for circulation to networks.

(Action: Janet Berry)


There was a Digital Inclusion open session very Friday for people using computers for the first time. It included use of Word, Excel and PowerPoint, file management, and Facebook. There was also an introduction to using iPads and Android tablets, as well as how to sell things on eBay, how to use Skype, Wordpress, HTML, Dreamweaver, and search engine optimisation.


Older People’s Day was on 1 October 2014 and the OLC could do an iPad session on this day, which could be held at the OLC or elsewhere depending on preferences. Work was being undertaken with public health and the CCG in relation to health and well-being.


Arts and crafts for the autumn term included: chocolate truffles, bead jewellery, mini gift photo albums, up-cycling greetings cards, watercolour, calligraphy, learning to draw, gift wrapping and bows, and chocolate Christmas cake.


The reasons for cancelled courses could include: wrong course, wrong time, wrong price, wrong venue, wrong communications channels, and wrong communications methods.


More information could be found at: or .


‘Open Learning Centre’ would be added to the front of ‘Community Learning’ brochures in future so that people recognised what was being advertised. Courses provided by the OLC were low cost compared to competitors and were at the budget end of course provision. People participating would need to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Digital Inclusion Group Update


Kieth Naylor gave an update on the work of the Digital Inclusion Group.


An action plan was being developed and the group were in the process of plotting existing activity, rather than just delivering information. The aim was to extend knowledge and to work with the Economic and Skills Development Partnership and local businesses, and to make information available and to give people choice.


There were many good ideas but not the capacity to deliver them at present. The initial costing of a person for one day a week to facilitate a digital inclusion programme for one year was £10,000. Tracey suggested that Age Concern may be able to assist and the Age Concern brand could be used. Public Health could be involved regarding health and well-being. Any funding available from agencies around the table would be a useful contribution. A proposal would be made and comments sought regarding this. The proposal would be forwarded to Tracey Hedgecox.

(Action: Kieth Naylor)


The minutes from the last Digital Inclusion Group meeting would be circulated to Board members.

(Action: Kieth Naylor / Amanda Roden)


If anyone had any ideas about media which could be used to facilitate a digital inclusion programme, they should be forwarded to Amanda Roden.

(Action: All)


It was suggested that someone with the right skills could be seconded to facilitate a digital inclusion programme. Kieth would provide details to Janet of support to the OLC.

(Action: Kieth Naylor)


Older People’s Day - 1 October 2014 pdf icon PDF 58 KB


Bridgewell open days were being opened to the wider community but there was a need to know when people were attending and for them to make appointments rather than just walking in as other people were having appointments there.


An idea for the Older People’s Day on 1 October 2014, was to create awareness of assisted technology. The aim was to find people already engaged with technology to recruit people to give ‘slice of life’ stories. It was suggested that there could be a fitness challenge but volunteers were needed to promote the Older People’s Day.


A retirement fair was being held on 21 August 2014 and many Board members were due to attend this event. Fitness challenge would need to be seen as continuous, maybe involving work with leisure centres and would focus on practical changes to lifestyle such as taking the stairs instead of the lift, changing attitudes, and keeping people motivated. If fitness was a social occasion, it could be fun and this could be used to send positive messages regarding fitness.


The Older People’s Day event could be a carrier for a particular message. It was queried when self-care week was. There could be a range of activities at the event and food provided. People in residential care should not be forgotten. Ideas for Older People’s Day should be forwarded to Kieth.

(Action: All)


Volunteers for Older People’s Day should respond to Amanda Roden or Kieth Naylor.

(Action: All)


The contacts from communications teams of Board members’ organisations would be forwarded to Kieth. Mike Morrissey was the contact for Bracknell Forest Homes.

(Action: All)


Details of the Older People’s Day event could be forwarded to Yvette Hockley at BFVA for inclusion on their events calendar.


Members Updates


It was a statutory obligation to invite people over 75 years for health checks but you could not force people to undertake the checks. Cllr Thompson suggested that the Health and Wellbeing Board could look into this.


Tracey mentioned that Age Concern Bracknell Forest held weekly events on a Wednesday afternoon with a mix of social activities and exercise sessions with an element of digital inclusion, at the Priestwood Community Centre where there was a large elderly population.


Linda Wells mentioned that there had been a second swoop day and people had been identified who lived alone. A pack of information had been taken round 100 people, and there was a trip to Eastbourne in July for social isolated BFH residents. Volunteers had been sought to help support the trip. There would be a picnic at Jealott’s Hill Land Share project. Joanna or Danielle should be contacted at BFH regarding collection of non-BFH residents for trips.


Future Meetings

Future meetings of the Older People’s Partnership will be held at 10am in the Council Chamber at Easthampstead House:


Wednesday 17 September 2014

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Wednesday 18 March 2015


Future meetings of the Board would be held in the Council Chamber at Easthampstead House:


Wednesday 17 September 2014        10am

Wednesday 17 December 2014         10am