THIS year the Hastings and St Leonards Seniors’ Forum, the first of its kind in East Sussex, is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
Set up by John Appleyard in 2004, the forum has been representing the views and opinions of the over 50s in Hastings and St Leonards for the past decade.
The Seniors’ Forum is a voluntary and independent group which represents the views of its some 1,000 members by attending meetings, taking part in consultations, and being involved in projects. It also runs various events for its members including coffee mornings and activity evenings.
Pam Brown, the forum’s president since 2006, said: “The forum was set up by John Appleyard who passed away about four years ago. It is thanks to him, and his efforts and commitment that it all got going.
“It started in St Leonards and Hastings but extended right out into East Sussex.
“It was the first one in East Sussex, and John was the leading light in all that. John was an exceptional person and it needed an exceptional person to do it.
“We’ve have manage to hopefully go from strength to strength. We try to get stuck into the matters that are important.”
The founding of the Hastings and St Leonards Seniors’ Forum in 2004 led to the establishment of the East Sussex Seniors Association, set up by East Sussex County Council in 2007 to be a voice for the over 50s, and to be heard by service providers, such as the council.
Since the creation of the county’s first seniors’ forum, there are now several across East Sussex, including the Rother Seniors’ Forum which covers Battle, Rye and Bexhill.
Michael Rose, one of the original committee members and the forum’s former treasurer, said: “The forum was John Appleyard’s brainchild.
“Personally I have made a lot of friends and it has been a united voice for the elderly.” For more information about the Hastings and St Leonards Seniors’ Forum or to become a member visit www.hssf.org.uk