Hastings and St Leonards Seniors Forum

HASTINGS and St Leonards Seniors’ Forum could play a key role in helping lonely people in the town, said treasurer Ken Hales at a meeting of the organisation.

He said a project was being led by Hastings Borough Council to improve loneliness and isolation among older people in our town.

“The ‘expression of interest’ has been sent to the Big Lottery Fund who will be assessing which areas of the UK are most in need of funding and which applications show the most active and sustainable objectives,” reported Mr Hales at the forum committee meeting.

If they had a positive reply he would report back and the forum could play a key role in suggesting who were the seniors most at risk, what the most appropriate solution might be and how it should be dealt with.

Mr Hales said: “In Hastings we have lots of local areas where there is a lot of problems and a lot of consequential loneliness of old people. There is a whole host of reasons why people can’t get out. We can’t deal with it on our own – the object is working together with other groups.”

President Pam Brown commented: “We want to be a catalyst to bring everybody together and discover these people and we would be nationally acclaimed if we can do that.”

One of the regular events held by the forum for older people to socialise is the monthly free coffee morning, with the next one planned for June 25 at the Friends Meeting House, South Terrace.

Ann Lowndes, chairman of the quality of life group, reported that bookings were coming in for the forum’s big event, the craft fair at the White Rock Theatre, Sussex Hall, on September 25.

Paul Broadhurst, new chairman of the transport group, gave an update on plans for the transport open day at the town hall on July 12 in which British Transport Police and Sussex Police would be taking part.

Members of the health and social care group had asked questions at the Clinical Commissioning Group meeting at Rye, reported chairman Aubrey Ingleton.

A recent meeting of the group discussed the importance of children’s measles vaccination with Dr Cameron Duncan suggesting it could take place in schools which would be better than mothers or fathers having to take time off to go to the surgery.

Members agreed it would be a good idea to check out if the chief executive regularly visited wards speaking to patients and staff at the Conquest Hospital and if not to send a letter suggesting it.

As also chairman of the planning and regeneration group, Mr Ingleton flagged up problems including the plans for student flats near Sussex Coast College.

He has fired off a letter to planners saying that 61 homes per hectare is above the normal figure of 40. “Good quality student accommodation properly laid out ion the site would be of benefit to the local economy by being able to be let to visitors when the students are away,” said Mr Ingleton.

He said he had also written about the Aldi plan for the former B&Q site at Ore – “This scheme is really bad,” he commented.