Agenda and minutes

Older People's Partnership
Wednesday, 16 December 2015 10.00 am

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

Contact: Lizzie Rich  01344 352253

No. Item


Minutes and Action Points from 16 September 2015 pdf icon PDF 89 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 16 September 2015 were agreed as a correct record.


Matters arising


Kieth reported that a new joint commissioner, Reuben Colton, had been recruited, and was being given time to settle in. The updated action plan would be added to the forward plan.


Minute 37

Tracey agreed to circulate details of paid gardening services that had been vetted.

(Action: Tracey Hedgecox)


Mira to follow up on the invitation to the Council’s Transport Manager.

(Action: Mira Haynes)


Social Isolation - issues, mapping and solution finding pdf icon PDF 125 KB

Including a short video on Social Isolation and Loneliness


Kathryn Mullen, Public Health Programme Officer, gave a report on the Council’s work to combat loneliness and social isolation in the borough.


Kathryn showed a short animated video which discussed issues of social isolation. The video focussed on the impacts of social isolation, and also highlighted the Befriending scheme which matches volunteers with isolated people.


Kathryn explained that Public Health were aware of many formal arrangements to prevent loneliness and social isolation, but were not aware of all work going on in borough. She asked the partnership to use the circulated questions to feedback on what services are already doing and any gaps in services in support.


Linda Wells, Bracknell Forest Homes reported that they ran Swoop Days where members of staff go out in pairs to visit the elderly and lonely in their homes. On the last Swoop, staff had spoken to 150 people in their homes, primarily to offer help with benefits claims and fuel allowances. Staff members also subtly asked about support networks. People without networks were identified and invited to attend activities and enabled to take part with transport. Activities on offer included Zumba, arts and crafts, and Tai Chi.


Angela Harris, Bracknell Forest Council suggested that carers, particularly elderly carers, should also be a target group.


The partnership agreed that lack of transport and lack of location or venue could lead to feelings of isolation. It was also heard that organised groups found it difficult to book venues as many community centres and other venues are often busy. Kieth Naylor commented that formal, organised activities were not the only solution to loneliness and that meaningful, purposeful, everyday connections to the community in which people live also played an important part to reducing loneliness and isolation.


Kieth Naylor encouraged the group to use the iHub to promote services, organisations and activities. Community organisations can also promote their one off events on the Council’s Community Events Calendar.  


Kathryn asked the group to consider the document for agenda item 4, and to email responses and suggestions to her.

(Action: all)


Digital Inclusion Project Update pdf icon PDF 116 KB


Amy Neale, Digital Inclusion Officer, reported the final results of the Digital Inclusion project survey and next steps agreed by the Digital Inclusion Steering Group.


296 surveys had been completed at 34 locations. Of these responders:

  • 35% were offline and not interested
  • 10% were offline but interested
  • 25% were online but restricted
  • 30% were online and active


The survey had asked whether the internet could improve quality of life. The results for this question showed that:

  • 54% either agreed or strongly agreed
  • 12% neither agreed or disagreed
  • 34% either disagreed or strongly disagreed


Amy reported that the barriers to digital inclusion included:

  • A lack of interest
  • A lack of knowledge, and no one available with the patience to teach
  • A lack of internet access at home or in communal spaces in sheltered housing
  • The cost of purchasing the necessary technology


To address these issues, a number of plans had been agreed by the Digital Steering Group.


  • 10 Digital Champions would be recruited as “trusted sources” and would represent “people just like me”. The training would be a 7 week course including sessions on tablet and internet use, learning styles and safeguarding. Thanks for grant funding were offered to Bracknell Forest Homes, together with the Open Learning Centre which would host sessions


  • Digital Tea Parties would begin in January to expose people to the technology and how it might be used


  • Drop In Sessions for people to ask for support to help them overcome information and technical barriers from the Digital Champions


Jo Hawkins, Involve offered support with recruitment of volunteers for the scheme.


The partnership explored what was meant by ‘lack of interest’.  Whilst the most elderly were genuinely not interested in digital technology and information, it was determined that respondents lacked interest because they did not understand the benefits of getting online. Councillor Birch re-inforced the point that trainers would need to focus on the human benefits of using the technology so that it was practical and purposeful, for example looking for health and social care services.  An App Map exploring how different people / age groups used digital technology to access things that were meaningful to them was also being developed to ensure the training was realistic and meaningful.


The project would also like to map postcode data across the Borough to identify pockets of digital deprivation so that focussed work could be done to ensure everyone could access online information.

Kieth Naylor re-iterated that the project was a research pilot.  The principal output would be a report available next year. This would help providers considering using digital channels to better understand the user needs and how to overcome barriers to ensure equal access to information and making informed choices.



Self-Care - Where we are now and plans for the future pdf icon PDF 616 KB


Matthew Clift, Project Manager (Prevention and Self-Care), gave an update on Prevention and Self-Care.


Matt gave an update on the events of Self-Care Week 2015 held between 16-22 November which had been promoted in Princess Square shopping centre, and through a number of community based self-care activities. Compared to 2014, the project had reached a good level of traction with a considerable increase in support from stakeholders, volunteers and most importantly people seeking support.


Volunteers were trained at a session at the Open Learning Centre. Almost 80 people had attended. Attendees had heard talks from local health professionals, and had the opportunity to speak to organisations in the marketplace, including Talking Therapies, Involve, Falls Prevention and Healthmakers.


A focus on consistent communications had established a brand identity across traditional and digital media including posters, advertising, website, email and social media platforms. This had been picked up and onwardly promoted by local media including BBC Sport, Get Reading and Get Bracknell websites as well as a wider range of locations around the borough, including GP surgeries, leisure centres and local businesses and pubs.


This year, engaging young people had been a key aim and the School Poster competition received three times the entries received for Self-Care 2014. Matt praised the 15 Health and Social Care Student volunteers from Bracknell and Wokingham College for their help.


Five Patient Group Events were held in North Bracknell, South Bracknell and Ascot which were attended by 200 people in total. There had also been free taster sessions for different sports, exercise and health activities running through the week.


The report on Self-Care Week 2015 would be available in January 2016, and the partnership were invited to let Kieth know if anyone would like a copy.

(Action: all)

Plans for Self-Care Year 2016 were in preparation, and there were several key themes to be promoted over the course of the year, including information on staying hydrated and information about alternatives to A&E.


Councillor Dale Birch commented that the success of Self-Care Week 2015 had led to the creation of the Self-Care Year, and that Bracknell Forest was the first borough in the country to implement a Self-Care year.


Voluntary Sector Emergency Planning Role


Jo Hawkins on behalf of Philip Cook, Involve, reported on a scoping project for a Voluntary Sector Emergency Planning response.


It was reported that this role was still in the concept stage, and that Involve were looking into ways to provide for people in crisis situations, such as extreme weather conditions or admission to / discharge from hospital.


Jo reported that different options were being considered, including asking the Befrienders and other community groups to extend their work into this area. One option was to create a new group for this purpose, however, Jo was conscious that there were already groups providing similar services, including the Red Cross, Good Neighbours scheme, local churches and Foodbanks. A co-ordinating approach would also be an option.


With this in mind, Councillor Thompson suggested that the Louise Osborn, Emergency Duty Service may be a useful contact to find out what else goes on.  Councillor Birch also suggested that the proposal should seek to align with and not duplicate existing hospital discharge and community care arrangements. With regard to emergency response in periods of extreme weather, the partnership suggested that there might be synergies with the Year of Self-Care winter and summer themes and that this might be discussed further with the Council’s Public Health team.


Jo indicated that Philip Cook, General Manager at Involve, would be looking at a similar scheme being run in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead to explore their issues and challenges.

(Action: Philip Cook)


Angela Harris hoped the discussion was helpful and invited Involve to bring their final proposal to the partnership for further consideration.

(Action: Jo Hawkins / Philip Cook)


Planning for Later Life Event


Kieth Naylor, Joint Commissioning Officer, brought a draft specification of the Later Life Event plan to the meeting for ideas and suggestions from the partnership.  He set out the proposals and limitations and the need to be creative with the £3000 granted to Age Concern Bracknell Forest.


The partnership was reminded of the original concept to deliver a market place open to the public with talks on key topics to fill the gap left by the discontinued Retirement Fair at Ascot Racecourse. An event of that scale was not feasible within the current budget, and despite good value offered by the Open Learning Centre, the staff costs of organising the event needed to be covered. 


Councillor Birch commented that suppliers exhibiting at the Ascot Retirement Fair had helped to sponsor the event. Kieth will add this consideration to the specification and will take legal advice on concerns about the Council being seen to endorse specific commercial enterprises.

(Action: Kieth Naylor)


Kieth advised that the historical format of an Older Person’s Conference could be reconsidered, however, such an event would only reach a smaller number of pre-booked participants compared to an open market place. The number of issues under discussion would need to be considerably smaller and this format would not significantly remove or reduce event planning costs. 


As the proposals featured information and advice needs, cross over with Care Act requirements in this area were noted and a contribution might be secured from that source.  The Council’s healthcare partners might also consider investment.

(Action: Kieth Naylor)


The specification was agreed subject to the suggestions and Age Concern Bracknell Forest would look at what could be realistically delivered within the budget.

(Action: Kieth Naylor / Tracey Hedgecox)


Members Updates


Councillor Cliff Thompson reported concerns over the Nifty 50’s group which was losing its space at Edgbarrow Sports Centre.


The partnership recognised that Edgbarrow School was growing, and was in need of space to meets its responsibilities for statutory provision. Sports facilities would still be available during evenings, weekends and school holidays but a wider consultation on the way forward would take place in the new year and representations should be made at that time. It was understood that a formal statement would be issued by the school shortly.


Councillor Dale Birch detailed plans for the Year of Self Care, building on the success of Self-Care Week and referring to a presentation at the Health and Wellbeing Board.  This would bring together the wide range of programmes being run by partners to improve the Health and Wellbeing of Bracknell Forest residents under a single coherent common identity.  Beginning in January 2016, each month would be assigned a specific theme for example, mental well-being, physical activity, healthy ageing and workplace health. Partners would be able to focus collectively on the month’s theme and promote their activities as being another step towards improving well being.  The intention was to ensure Bracknell Forest residents were consistently made aware of and informed about factors of wellbeing to ensure they could make choices to help them live healthier for longer.  Details would come to the Board at a later date.


Jo Hawkins, Involve reported that they were seeking funding to develop the Good Neighbours scheme. The Befrienders scheme had been very successful, with 100 volunteers visiting 114 isolated people. The recent Christmas Party had welcomed 60 people.


Janet Berry, Open Learning Centre reported that the team had successfully bid for a £53,000 grant from the CCG Innovation Fund for a Green Gym at Jealotts Hill Landshare site for people with mild to moderate mental health issues. The money would be used to fund a project co-ordinator for one year. There would be an update on this at the next meeting.


Tina Stevenson, Citizen Advice Bureau reported that they were waiting for the results of outstanding funding bids, and should hear within 2 to 3 months. It was also mentioned that they would be involved in the Pilgrim Hearts winter night shelter opening 4January.


Madeline Diver commented that if any members of the partnership would like to see Clement House, she would be glad to show anyone around.


Linda Wells, Bracknell Forest Homes advised that Clement House was full, and very busy with activities. Councillors had recently had a tour of Clement House, and Dr Philip Lee was due to visit in February. It was also reported that the Hoarding Support Group had been very successful, with 16 – 18 people attending each session.


Tracey Hedgecox, Age Concern, reported that they would be holding a Christmas lunch sponsored by Santander in the next week.


Items for future meetings

Update on the Vision for Care project

Forestcare introduction and demonstration


Update on the Vision for Care project

Forestcare introduction and demonstration

Pilgrim Hearts Nightshelter

The Year of Self Care

Mental Wellness Green Gym

Carers Strategy Action Plan


Future Meetings

Date of next meeting 16 March 2016 at 10am


16 March 2016, 10am

15 June 2016, 10am

21 September 2016, 10am

7 December 2016, 10am