Venue: Council Chamber, Fourth Floor, Easthampstead House, Bracknell. View directions
Contact: Lizzie Rich 01344 352253
The minutes of the meeting on 16 December 2016 were agreed as a correct record.
Mira agreed to follow up the invitation to the Council’s Transport Manager
Phil Cook corrected the minutes to note that the Voluntary Sector Emergency Planning Role was more about how the voluntary sector could get involved in emergency situations such as a a flu pandemic rather than in ongoing crises. It was reported that Phil had discussed with the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead on this issue, but that they were at the same exploratory stage as Bracknell Forest. The focus was on existing services, and how existing volunteers in services such as the ambulance and police services could be trained together to assist in a crisis. A significant factor in this was the new Volunteer Passport Scheme which was being developed by the Community Resilience Partnership chaired by Inspector Jon Goosey.
The Partnership asked Phil for regular updates on the Volunteer Passport Scheme and on progress with the Emergency Planning work.
Forestcare introduction and demonstration
Hayley Maunder, Forestcare, attended the meeting to give an introduction and demonstration of Forestcare’s new products.
The new products were:
· A falls pendant which activates itself in the event of a fall. This pendant works with the lifeline
· A wrist worn epilepsy sensor which covered the user for 24 hours of the day, and reduced the necessary number of carer visits
· The Pocket Pal, which was a roaming device able to make calls to a nominated number from anywhere in the world. This was suggested to assist people with dementia who may find themselves lost.
It was reported that Forestcare had services as far as Henley, West Berkshire and Pangbourne. There had been bags given out in hospitals including some basic Forestcare equipment to self-install at home. This equipment was free for 6 weeks, followed by a visit from Forestcare staff offering further services. It was noted that the Forestcare equipment would help to keep these people out of hospital. Forestcare aim to get out to all requests for equipment within 24 hours.
Hayley also commented that Forestcare also offer daily care calls, first responder services and key safe services.
The Partnership was asked to contact email@example.com to find more information on Forestcare’s work.
Digital Inclusion Plan Update
Amy Neal, Age Concern, reported on the progress of the Digital Inclusion Programme.
In 2015, the Digital Inclusion Steering Group had agreed to proposals of a Digital Champion Training Course, Digital Tea Parties and Drop In Sessions. It was agreed that these would be funded by the remaining Bracknell Forest Homes budget, along with a grant from Berkshire Community Fund obtained by Age Concern.
The Digital Champions project had now resulted in a 6 week training course for volunteers. Nine volunteers had attended the first four sessions on using a tablet, and another four volunteers who already knew how to use a tablet had joined the course for the last two sessions on training styles and safeguarding adults. Feedback from the course showed that the majority of attendees felt more confident in using a tablet after the course.
The first Digital Tea Party had taken place on Monday 29 February and had been a success. 21 guests had attended, with 10 volunteers to assist them. EE had provided the internet at the venue, and had sent 4 members of staff to assist with the event. EE had also supplied the majority of the cakes for the event.
Attendees were asked about their current skills and how they would like to learn, and it was reported that:
· 11 attendees would prefer one-to-one training
· 7 attendees would prefer small group sessions
· 1 attendee would prefer formal training
In response to a question regarding location of training, it was heard that:
· 12 attendees would be happy to attend sessions in community centres
· 5 attendees would like the training at their sheltered housing scheme
· 2 would like the training in their home
Volunteers had fed back that they had realised that they could assist others more than they thought, and had been really pleased with how much they achieved through the course.
The majority of attendees had requested further assistance, and Amy reported that further drop in sessions were being organised for attendees and volunteers.
The Partnership noted that the next challenge was to reach the ‘unconverted’ and reluctant. Amy reported that Age Concern had conducted a leaflet drop at Martins Heron Tesco, and hoped that this would help to spread the word.
The Partnership discussed sustainability of the programme, as Amy’s role was due to end shortly. It was reported that there was a Steering Group Meeting on 22nd March to discuss the future of the project, however the Partnership were asked to remember that this project was a pilot. It was recommended that Amy should write her report and recommendations earlier rather than at the end of her role, so the full scope of the project could be discussed.
It was noted that the volunteers who had received training were a stable group, but that a one off group would not be enough to sustain the project. Amy commented that this one off group was due to a lack of funding, and agreed that further volunteers would need to be trained. ... view the full minutes text for item 50.
Planning for Later Life Event Update
Tracey Hedgecox, Age Concern, reported on plans for the Planning for Later Life event. The event was reported to tackle issues around retirement, pensions, promoting longer life, changing relationships, social isolation, and care.
The Forest Suite and Balcony at Bracknell Forest Leisure Centre had been provisionally booked on 4 October 2016 for the event. The Leisure Centre had granted a discount on the cost of catering. It was hoped that the event would run from 10am until 4pm, with set up for an hour before and after.
Representatives from the voluntary sector, parish councils, health services, charities and the local business community had been invited to participate.
Tracey reported that she was due to meet David Hilton who had run the Ascot Retirement Fair to seek advice.
It was reported that a working group for the event would need to be assembled, and any Partnership members were welcome to join this. Several members volunteered at the meeting.
The Partnership recommended that Tracey looked at agendas and plans for previous Older People’s events in Bracknell Forest.
Update on the Green Gym
Janet Berry, Head of Community Learning and Skills updated the Partnership on the Green Gym project at Jeallotts Hill.
It was reported that the project had been funded by a joint bid by Bracknell Forest Council and Bracknell Forest Homes to the CCG Innovation Fund, which had been granted. The Green Gym principle focussed on exercise outdoors, including gardening based activity such as wheelbarrowing and planting. The level of exercise could be tailored to suit individual fitness levels.
The grant had awarded £53,000, and the majority of this had been used to appoint a co-ordinator for the project. This co-ordinator had now been appointed on a one year contract, and his name was Alex Rawle. Janet reported that Alex was particularly keen to develop a community around the Green Gym to combat social isolation. It was suggested that Alex could attend the June meeting of the Partnership to update on progress.
Janet commented that exercise outside was particularly beneficial for people with mild to moderate mental health needs and Dementia.
It was hoped that after Alex’s one year post, the scheme could run with volunteers. Janet reported that the CCG had been clear that their funding would only last for one year, and that any necessary funding would need to be found for the scheme to continue in its planned form. The Partnership suggested that Janet and Alex could approach businesses in the area for funding. Phil Cook, Involve commented that he had access to a directory of funds to which the Green Gym could apply for further funding.
Alex would be piloting the Green Gym approaches with people without mental health needs before inviting people with mental health needs and Dementia in to the scheme.
Janet reported that someone who also ran a business called ‘Green Gym’ had contacted the Green Gym team to request money to share the name. Therefore, it was likely that the name of the project at Jeallott’s Hill would change.
Janet Berry, Head of Community Learning and Skills reported that the Open Learning Centre had received information on their funding for the next 4 years. The Open Learning Centre would be refocussing on Employment Skills and getting people into work, and it was noted that this could jeopardise the ongoing work with Older People.
Madeline Diver, Citizens Advice Bureau reported that the CAB model had changed and that customers accessing the service by phone could now use Adviceline, resulting in a quicker response.
Phil Cook, Involve, advised the Partnership of the upcoming Bracknell Forest Cultural Festival on 19 March and the Community Awareness Event in April which would focus on the issue of Loan Sharks. All Partnership members were invited.
Phil also advised that the Befriending service had been funded for the coming year, and may even grow as a result of the funding.
Councillor Thompson asked the Partnership about the future of the Senior Citizens Forum which had not met for some time. It was agreed that as it was difficult to rely on enough volunteers to run the event, and as it would be costly to source a co-ordinator for the event, there was not currently a need for the Senior Citizens Forum to be revived. If more enquiries were received in the future regarding the group, the decision would be reconsidered.
The next meeting was scheduled for the 15 June 2016.