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Welcome to Haringey Over 50s Forum

October 2021 – In this edition:-

Pages 2 – 3         Ho50s AGM report by Anne Gray

Page 4                 Ho50s Member Rajes Bala has a book launch

Page 5                 Read and Connect reading Group

Generation Exchange – digital inclusion

                             Haringey’s Ageing well guide

Page 6 & 7           Lots of Information on Walking in & around Haringey

Page 8                 Public Toilet Manifesto – compiled by James Cowling

Campaigns about pensions, free prescriptions, GP appointments

Next Forum meeting Monday 25th October 2pm – 4pm at Hornsey Vale Community Centre Mayfield Road, London N8. 

Please note: A new committee was formed at last month’s AGM, so almost all of this October meeting will be committee business, (there will be no speakers).  Members are very welcome to take part via Zoom as usual. The room that we’ve managed to hire is very small so numbers are limited.  If you particularly want to attend in person at the Hornsey Vale Community Centre, please contact Anne via 07915 477009 or the Whatsapp group. The November meeting (Tuesday Nov 23rd) will be in in a meeting room in Tottenham Town Hall, with more space. As agreed at the AGM, we’re planning to hold meetings in a variety of places across the borough, so some meetings will be close to you wherever you live. ‘

The Zoom link is:

 Meeting ID: 999 3491 6127            Passcode: 558153

For any help needed with accessing the meeting on Zoom or by phone, please call Paulina on 0203 196 1901     

Your HO50’s Membership Subs may now be due

Please remember that if you receive your newsletter with an X on the envelope it means that your annual subscription is due.  It’s £5.00 for the year.  This will increase to £8.00 from January 2022

Report back from Ho50s AGM

Our AGM on 20th September was attended by over 20 people. It was good to see members face to face after such a long time. We had an excellent and lively discussion with Kirsten Hearn, Equalities Officer for Transport for London. Members raised several points about the public, and a few drivers, not being very helpful to wheelchair users or those carrying walking aids. Kirsten will take these back to TfL and encouraged people to complain about incidents that trouble them, whether caused by drivers or passengers. The driver’s work ID number is displayed in every bus, and the registration number of the vehicle can also be mentioned when calling or writing to TfL.

Kirsten issued an invitation for a group of 6 people to come to the bus garage in Wood Green on 8th October and talk to drivers. We’ll report on this in the next newsletter.

The meeting agreed to increase the subscription from £5 to £8 in January, and meanwhile to try hard to re-recruit 60 former members of the predecessor organisation, Haringey Forum for Older People, who have not paid for some years but continue to receive our newsletter.

James delivered his secretary’s report and also read Angie’s Chair’s report in her absence . They highlighted progress we have made since the 2019 AGM, with lots more contact with members through monthly zoom meetings, the Whatsapp group and phone calls, and an expanded newsletter now edited by our first paid worker, Saskia Schreuder. Thanks were offered to our many volunteers and to Paulina, our helper at Haringey Advice Partnership/Public Voice. The cinema club will hopefully start again in the New Year.

Ideas for future activities and venues are needed, including our main monthly meetings, outings or other events; and ideas for activities, including what people would like to do at the monthly coffee mornings every 3rd Thursday at the Lordship Hub. Members are encouraged to put suggestions forward to James or Anne.

We hope to return to face to face meetings. We will try to move around different venues for meetings if we can, so as to give members in all parts of the borough a chance to attend easily.

Committee and officers:

Angie, James and Anne were confirmed to continue for another year as Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. (Sadly, Angie was sick so sent apologies to the meeting; James stood in as chair).

The following kindly volunteered to join the committee:-

Penny Fraser (with brief for communications/recruiting via  social media including  NextDoor groups), Gloria Omotoso (membership secretary), Jayanti Patel, Lauritz Hansen-Bay, Joyce Sullivan, (and later after the meeting); Yvonne Denny.

Carphone Warehouse staff also addressed the meeting and described the features and prices of a range of mobile phones. At their store which is now within Curry’s at the Tottenham Hale Retail Park because the two companies are merging. They can offer tailored technical help free of charge with setting up and demonstrating features of phones, transferring data, etc. They can help with devices you have bought elsewhere as well as ones you buy from them. The manager, Richard Winthrop, will arrange a coffee morning for members to get advice on mobile phones and tablets during November. Look out for their sale towards the end of November !

Full minutes of the AGM are available to any member on request. Text or voice-mail 07915 477009, or e-mail if you would like them.


Book launch

Saturday 6th November 6:30pm

The All Good Bookshop

35 Turnpike Lane London N8 OEP

Space is limited

please contact Rajes to book your place on 07535 768 042

Cost of the book is £9.99

The Banks of the River Thillai, the first novel published in English by North London author (and HO50’s member!) Rajes Bala (Rajeswary Balasubramaniam), has been published by The Conrad Press.

This unique novel paints a picture of a bygone era, the changing society in Ceylon after Independence from the British in 1948. It is set in 1957-62, in Bala’s hometown, the village of Kolavil (Batticaloa District) near the River Thillai, where Gowri, Saratha and Buvana, three cousins, blossom into womanhood under the matriarchal thumb of Grandma.  Their idyllic village life is threatened by events beyond their control, the flooding of the River Thillai and the political conflicts and violence in the communities in 1958, and the villagers are drawn into the political struggle for Tamil rights.

Originally published in Tamil in India 1987, The Banks of the River Thillai (Thillai aatram Karai) won the Sri Lankan Writers Award. It was translated with help from the Greater London Arts Council.

Bala has published 8 novels and 7 collections of short stories, two health education books and a research book on the Tamil God Murukan in her native language. She has also published non-fiction works and many articles in translation. An ex-medical anthropologist, and a retired health promotion officer, she has given lectures and taught seminars, and produced a documentary film, Escape from Genocide (1986). She has won 9 awards in Sri Lanka and India for her work. She emigrated to the UK with her husband in 1970 and raised three sons and now lives in North London. She is a community leader and human rights activist.

The Banks of the River Thillai is the fourth coup for writers’ circle Bounds Green Book Writers. Susie Helme published The Lost Wisdom of the Magi in December 2020, and Elaine Graham-Leigh published The Caduca in March 2021, both also with The Conrad Press. Lynda Brennan published Looked After Boy in January 2021 with Matador.


Venue: Tottenham Town Hall, Town Hall Approach Rd, London N15 4RY
Date: Every Wednesday starting 6th October 2021 (for 8 weeks) 1:30- 3:00pm.     To find out more contact Paul 07308 964 901 or email

IT EXCHANGE- Online intergenerational digital inclusion project

Thanks to further funding from the Charity of Sir Richard Whittington, Generation Exchange are delighted to be able to run their online digital inclusion programme with their partner school in Haringey once again this year. This project uses the skills of young volunteers aged 16-18 from to support older people to improve their digital skills. The project will use zoom so you will be able to access it from home. Help will be provided to get you set up and confident using zoom before the project is in full swing! The programme will run once a week for 9 weeks and sessions will be an hour long with a mixture of group learning and socials in a fun and supportive environment. Sessions will be on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons 3.15-4.15 starting 3rd November. To find out more please contact Leonie ASAP as places are limited on 07713937811 or

Haringey’s AGEING WELL WEB RESOURCE is now live. You can access the Resource here. This more in-depth Resource builds on the shorter, downloadable Ageing Well Guide which has lots of useful hints, tips and local contacts on ageing well.  (There’s also a paper version of that which we will send out as soon as we can). Working together with residents, the Older People’s Reference Group, and other groups, including, the NHS and Haringey Council have developed these Ageing Well webpages to support people aged 50+ who may be fit and well and want to know what they can do to look after themselves, but also for those who may have had a crisis like a fall or a visit to a hospital.  The resource covers:

Active mind: keeping your mind sharp, memory loss and dementia 

Active body: staying active, dealing with falls & support with taking medication

Living well: diet & nutrition, skin care, foot care & continence & coping with change

Staying connected: loneliness & bereavement, local amenities, being a carer

Feeling safe and prepared: improving your home’s safety, assistive technology and equipment and housing options

Getting better: going home after hospital, feeling unwell & recovering after a crisis.

Each topic talks about:

  • Things we may face as we get older and what to look out for
  • Practical advice and ideas on looking after yourself 
  • Useful local contacts and links to organisations who can help



in & around Haringey

Both accompanied and DIY

Do it yourself walks 

Haringey has a range of publications on walks. There is a general walking guide here

Haringey offers regular weekly walks in their parks. Details here

You can also find other healthy walks by using the search facility here

Haringey publishes a booklet/map on the Moselle River, which you can download here

There is also an interesting route of a disused railway line from Palace Gates N22, which is not the Parkland Walk!

Finally there is a walk from Alexandra Palace to Bruce Castle

All need to be downloaded from your computer, or should be available in Haringey Libraries.

A free Spurs walk is coming up, if you want to trial it for them.

The Tottenham Hotspur Foundation (THF) is looking for participants to trial out a Heritage Walk: Spurs double cup win 1961.  The walk trial will take place in November, every Thursday between 10 to 12 noon where participants would walk 1 mile route located in Enfield and Tottenham. Each walk will have different meeting and finishing points with a post walk feedback session.   Please register your interest here

Organised Heritage walks

Oonagh Gay runs paid-for guided walks, if you would like to try one of these. You can follow her on Eventbrite here and see her selection of walks.

Alternatively, just drop her an email and she will add you to her regular mailing list, where she also covers free heritage walks in Islington.

Her fellow guides Julian and Sally also run walks around Haringey and their website is where you can find a range of walks and you can contact them direct.

Another colleague Paul Sinclair will be running some walks in Islington in October, which you can attend for just £5.  There is one on suffragettes in Holloway on 15 October.

Becoming a volunteer walking buddy in Haringey

Independent Age and Haringey Circle have joined hands to enable residents to enjoy new opportunities.

Their Walking Buddies collaboration supports people over 50 with day-to-day activities, while helping them feel more connected to the community.

You can volunteer for: walks to local parks and attractions, support with trips to shops, accompany to local community events

As a volunteer, you’ll not only support someone with these activities, you’ll also build new friendships. It’s a chance to get to know your community better and give back to it at the same time. 

You can also refer anyone you know with their consent. Our services are designed for those feeling lonely in later life and looking for regular companionship.



To learn more about making a difference as a Walking Buddy

call on 0800 319 6789 or email


Public Toilets in Haringey

This is an informal list compiled by James, so some facilities may not be open at all times and others may require you to be a customer.


  • Ally Pally Garden Centre
  • Ally Pally Park, next to café by the boating lake
  • Arthouse cinema, Crouch End (when open)
  • Chestnuts Park, next to the café (8 30-2.30?) St Ann’s Road, Tottenham
  • Coffee Republic, Muswell Hill (on request, someone has found)
  • Crouch End loos (horrible but functional) beside the library have been open since second lockdown
  • Markfield Park
  • Highgate village, Pond Square
  • Highgate Woods two (one by café and the other by playground, close at 4 30)
  • Jacksons Lane Community Centre, when open
  • Morrisons, Wood Green
  • Picturehouse Cinema, Crouch End (when open)
  • Priory Park, next to café
  • Queen’s Wood (only at weekends when café is open)
  • Sainsbury’s, Hornsey High Street
  • Turnpike Lane bus station (operated via Radar key)
  • Walthamstow Wetlands
  • Wetherspoons (Mossy Well), Muswell Hill, when open
  • Wood Green Mall, ground floor in market hall, near the butchers
  • Wood Green Shopping City upstairs near Primark (when open)




‘Triple Lock’ on pension increases
Silver Voices  have warned the Conservatives that if the triple lock on state pension increases is compromised in any way, they will campaign for older people not to vote for them. They will also interrogate the other political parties on their views on restoring the triple lock. Their public warning has received significant press coverage, including in the ‘I’ newspaper: . Silver Voices argue that a triple lock increase of 8-9% next April is justified, since the state pension would now be £50 per week greater if the link with earnings had been maintained throughout the 30 years between 1980 and 2011. The Triple Lock is needed to prevent  ‘pensioner poverty’ getting worse. 

Face to Face Appointments With GPs
Silver Voices are waiting for the House of Commons Petitions Committee to consider the Government response to their petition, which gained over 10,000 signatures. They have asked the Committee to refer back the Government response, because it does not address their call for the creation of a legal right for patients to receive a timely GP appointment if they request one. A series of articles in the Daily Telegraph in August  quoted Silver Voices extensively.  Nearly 1000 GP practices in England have been ordered by the Secretary of State for Health to improve patient access, so they are making progress!

Free Prescriptions
The Government is consulting on scrapping free prescriptions in England for 60-65 year olds. In July, Silver Voices urged all their English members to respond to the consultation. A month later, Age UK also urged people to do so. Now Age UK says 39,000 older people have responded to the consultation. This is great news! But will this Government listen?