Newsletters come out every two months, around the 10th-12th. Members expecting postal copies will receive them within a few days afterwards. E-mails go out sooner. It’s very helpful if you can tell us your e-mail address, if you have one, so that we can save postage.
Members’ contributions to the newsletter are welcome – photos, news about events and classes you like to go to, poems or stories. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message on 07915 477009 to discuss what you would like to offer. We can also accept announcements from other organisations (e.g. NHS, TfL, council departments) with relevant services to offer or consultations they want to publicise. For commercial advertising, we’ll ask for a modest contribution to our costs.
To download the newsletter as a pdf with pictures, click here
January to February 2024
Meeting you just missed – Winkfield Centre, 2pm Tuesday 23 January
Andy Jeffreys of Coffee and Computers opened up the mysteries about how the NHS is doing so many things now online, including about how to sign up to the NHS app and get faster, easier doctor’s appointments. And a few words from Polly Frayne about plans to combat loneliness amongst seniors – see below about February meeting.
We’ll put up links soon for you to catch up on what you missed.
February 27th meeting – Winkfield Road Centre, N22 5RP.
Polly Frayne of Reach and Connect will tell us about follow-up actions they are planning about loneliness, to continue the theme of the Loneliness Awareness Week conference they had last summer. Some exciting new projects are in the pipeline and they are seeking ideas from groups like ours, so we’ll probably have a discussion in small groups. Polly will ‘trailer’ the plans at the January meeting so we can think about them in advance.
In March we expect to move our main meetings to a new venue off Wightman Road:-
Epione Wellbeing Centre, Denmark Road, N8 ODZ. (The building is on the corner of Denmark Road and Wightman Road. Wheelchair/walker users should pass the steps to the main entrance and find level access about 4m further along the road). The March 26 meeting will be about social care; a Q and A with Cllr. Lucia das Neves.
Christmas lunch at Bracknell Close
Our first Christmas lunches went without a hitch. About twenty people turned out for the ‘bring and share’ lunch at Bracknell Close sheltered housing scheme. It got off to a slow start, but it was on fire when we had to call it to a close. There were chicken dishes, veggie dishes, crackers, some singing and lots of laughs. There were leftovers too and some people were able to take food home with them. A big thank you to all who came.
Lunch at Capital Restaurant, December 30
Our lunch at the Capital Restaurant in Wood Green was attended by around 13 people. Huge portions, great company and everyone left full. The rice pudding was delicious. I may have even had a third helping It was great to see people out on a Saturday. Once again, that’s those who came out for a good Turkish feed.
Harringay Ladder Safety meeting – from James Cowling
As a resident of the ward of Harringay, I attend monthly ladder safety meetings. These are meetings include the police, ward councillors and council workers. They are supposed to be in every ward, but that has yet to happen. We talk about safety in the community, anti-social behaviour, traffic issues and more. In the last couple of meetings the police have said that phone theft is on the rise. People on bikes grabbing the phones of people using them or having them in their hands while they walk on the pavement. They also said that blue badge theft is continuing and suggest registering it online so that you don’t have to display the badge in your car. If you’re not on the internet perhaps someone can do this for you. Also, please be careful taking money out of an ATM on the street. If you can, ALWAYS, go into a bank, shop to take your money out. They are thieves targeting ATMs. One man I helped recently had almost £500 pounds stolen. A couple of years ago, I had the same amount stolen. In both cases we were able to get our money back. But PLEASE, be careful.
What’s lost is sometimes found by helpful honest folk!
A couple of weeks before Christmas, Anne had a message on the group phone from an unknown lady, who said she had found a wallet that seemed to be associated with the Forum. Anne phoned back and the lady said she had found this wallet in the street and was keen to get it back to the owner. But all she could find inside by way of contact details was – wait for it – an over 50s Forum membership card with our organisation’s phone number on it! So a member was gratefully united with her credit card, Freedom Pass and cash.
News about your state pension
The good bit; it’s going up by 8.5% in April! If you’re still hard hit by the ongoing high cost of food and energy, consider if you might be eligible for pension credit. It’s given by the government to anyone whose income is less than £201.05 (individual) or £306.85 (married couple). To apply just phone 0800 99 1234.
But the bad news is that the government has made lots of mistakes about calculating how much pension people are entitled to. They have to consider your national insurance record over your lifetime – and in some cases your husband’s too, if you’re a woman – to work this out. In many cases, they’ve got it wrong and several thousand pensioners could be losing out by as much as £5000 each. This applies mainly to women who have taken time off work to raise children since 1978. Underpayment might also happen to some who took time off as carers of adults, and some widows or people over 80. The DWP will be sending letters out to mothers they have discovered are affected. But this started only in October 2023 and it will take them 18 months to get round to all those they know about. Here’s how you check:-
Step 1: check on the government web site. https://www.gov.uk/check-national-insurance-record . The web page tells you how to do this and what documents you need. You need to set up an online ‘tax account’. You can then get your record online, or phone or write for a printed statement of your NI record – that same web page tells you how. You might get through on 0800 731 0175, but the web page is not very clear.
Step 2: (assuming you’ve got your NI record) fill in an online form on https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-home-responsibilities-protection . You then have to print it out and post it.
Step 3: read the web site of a pensions consultancy, Lane, Clark and Peacock, on https://www.lcp.com/is-your-state-pension-being-underpaid They wrote a report saying that not only mothers described above had lost out, but also widows whose pension didn’t go up or didn’t go up enough when their husband died, divorced women who didn’t get the extra bit of pension based on their husband’s record, and some people over 80 who can get £85 pension even if they never paid NI. There’s a lot of information on this web page about how to work out a woman’s entitlement if you were ever married.
Our campaign for better public toilets – update
Since our last report, much has been achieved. But the latest bad news is that the council plan to make major cuts in library services, involving some closures of toilets in libraries. Please respond to the consultation about this ,which closes 15 January. It’s online at https://haringeybudget2024.commonplace.is/. You have to refer to the proposal to replace library staff by volunteers in some libraries and for some hours in 2025, and to close toilets when there are no paid staff. There are paper copies of the consultation in libraries to pick up. More information on https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uXTp01kWDSvIb3UAmQog7Xm581W5_wqtpamSGMjwAhc/edit?usp=sharing.
You can also write to Cllr Emily Arkell who’s in charge of libraries; Emily.Arkell@haringey.gov.uk.
Gordon Peters had a great piece in the Ham & High in December. James Cowling and Rosemary Dunne surveyed all the toilets listed on the Council’s website, proposing numerous corrections. The Toilet Strategy Working Group met again in December and we’re analysing questionnaires completed at People’s Day. We’re working with Public Health to extend this survey soon. We’ve been pressing for action about the lack of toilets on Tottenham Hale Retail Park, and their continued closure at Morrisons and at Turnpike Lane station. The NHS are looking into a possible access card for people with continence problems. They think some NHS premises (like GP surgeries) could make their facilities available to the public.
We’re making some progress and not giving up, but we need more help! We’ll be the guests of Tottenham Pensioners on February 13th.
John Miles, 07817 424356, Toilet Manifesto for London Group
Social care – one campaigning focus and a suggestion from Anne
Due to further government cuts in the Council’s budget, social care is likely to be more squeezed than ever in 2024/25. Already plans for improvement of the Osborne Grove nursing home have been shelved. We’ll be trying to dialogue with councillors about care services in coming months. But meanwhile, a suggestion and request from Anne, who is writing a book about social care of older people. She’s looking for personal stories about good or bad care, problems in getting council services, experiences about private agencies, issues about your experience of caring for a relative or friend. Anything that goes into the book would be carefully anonymised of course. Have a chat to Anne if you would like to take part in this.
A thought for 2024!
Ordinary people have more power than they think to make a difference
Things to do – events in January and February
This section will list ‘once off’ or new events. Please see the Calendar at the end for regular events, including our Cinema Club and our Wetherspoons meetups.
A celebration of Robbie Burns’ birthday. Saturday 27 January.
Arrive by 7.30pm. Event starts at 8pm sharp.
£25, concessions £20. Meal plus complimentary glass of whiskey.
Tottenham Leisure Centre, 1 Phillips Lane London N15 4JA.
For more information contact Sheila Peacock Tel: 07791018106. Email: email@example.com
Holocaust Memorial Day
Sunday, 28 January, 2pm – 3.30pm.
Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium 782 High Road N17 0BX.
FREE. To book tickets go to: https://buytickets.at/londonboroughofharingey1083204
Bruce Castle Museum.
Lordship Lane (located in Bruce Castle Park) London N17 8NU.
Open Wednesday- Sunday 1pm – 5pm.
For information phone 020 8489 4250. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Buses 243, 123, 318 (stop ‘Bruce Castle and Museum’).
Free Walking Tours –
Jewish History Walking Tours of Tottenham. Meet at Bruce Castle:
Tour 1 Sunday 21 January 10.45am – 1pm.
Tour 2 Tuesday 23 January 10.15am -12.30pm
Lauderdale House, Waterlow Park Highgate Hill London N6 5HG
Free lunch time live classical music. Performances are on a Tuesday at 1.15pm once a month. For details and to book see: www.lauderdalehouse.org.uk. Tel: 020 8348 8716 Also art exhibitions and other free activities. Bus 41 towards Archway (change at stop Archway Station).Then Bus 210 towards Brent Cross (stop Waterlow Park)
William Morris Gallery, Lloyds Park House, 531 Forest Road, E17 4PP
Free entry. Permanent exhibition; also temporary exhibitions and free workshops. Current exhibition is ‘Radical landscapes’ – paintings about the land and nature since the early 19th century, including some famous artists like JMW Turner and Derek Jarman. Nice garden and two cafes, cheaper one is in the park behind. Bus 123 towards Ilford (stop Lloyd Park / William Morris Gallery)
READING GROUPS There are a number of Reading Groups in Haringey Libraries. To find a reading group see www.haringey.gov.uk/libraries-sport-andleisure/libraries/find-library or ask in your nearest library.
Antwerp Arms, 168 -170 Church Road, N17 8AS Tel: 020 8216 9289. Every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month 1.30pm – 3.00pm . Booking essential; email@example.com or 07968 727278.
Hornsey Vale Community Centre, 60 Mayfield Road, N8 9LP. The Lunch Club is on the first Wednesday of every month, except August. You need to book on 0208 348 4612. £5 if paid in advance.12.30pm gentle exercise; lunch served at 1pm.
Bus 41 towards Archway (stop Hornsey Police Station) walk to Mayfield Road
Jacksons Lane Art Centre 269A Archway Road London N6 5SS.
There is a social lunch on the last Tuesday of every month. Also various activities and performances. For more information phone 020 8340 5266
DANCE CLASSES/ KEEP FIT – Phone Candy Fernandez on 07961 044079 to find out about dance and chair exercise, some free, N17, N8 or N22 venues.
At Goan Community Centre, Apple Tree Road, N17 6SH (off Keston Road; bus 41 to Phillip Lane or 230 to Summerhill Road):-
Tuesday 2pm – 3pm Chair based exercise, 3.15pm -4.15pm Dance, both FREE.
Also DANCE Weds. evening 7-8, £5.
From the bend in Keston Road, look for the gate, turn right; Centre is at the end of the path.
At Community Hub Caxton Road, N22 6TB:-
Wed 3pm-4pm Dance £5 ; Thurs 2pm-3pm Chair based exercise, FREE.
At Hornsey Vale Community Centre, 60 Mayfield Road N8 9LP .
Fri 2pm-3pm Dance £5 Bus 41(stop Hornsey Police Station) or (closer) W5 stop in Weston Park.
For Calendar of things to do see Diary page
Latest newsletter arrangements
The newsletter is every TWO months for the time being, so after this one
the next will be in January. We would welcome help with writing
articles, researching what events and consultations to put in it,
proof-reading and envelope stuffing for the mail-out. Please get in
touch on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would be up for doing any of these
Meeting Baroness Young of Hornsey
Our meeting to hear
Baroness Lola Young of
Hornsey packed out a room
at Wood Green Library with
over 45 people. Probably
the biggest Form meeting
ever! She didn’t say very
much about the House of
Lords, but told her life
history, about which she is
writing a book.
Members warmed to her memories of being left behind in Britain when her
mother returned to West Africa. She was fostered by an English family
and told us about the difficult experiences of being a Black child in 1950s
London. She was very modest about what followed – her achievements
as an actress, as a professor of cultural studies, as judge of the Man
Booker and other literary prizes, and her work as a cross- bench peer.
James’s travellers’ tales
In October James told us about his recent journeys to West Africa and to the Canadian Arctic. He showed several dozen photos on screen, with a story about each one. If you’re curious and missed it, ask him…he modestly suggested giving up space for a picture and a report here, in favour of the important report about our toilets campaign, below.
Campaigns and consultations
You probably heard from the media that the government asked the railway companies not to close ticket offices after all! Our letters contributed to the thousands of protests that for once seem to have worked.
Bus services around Wood Green
TfL want to withdraw the 123 from Wood Green High Road so you would have to change buses at either end. But 91 will go along the High Road and services around Haringey Heartlands will improve. They propose to:-
- Extend route 91 to Wood Green Station via Haringey Heartlands from its current terminus on Tottenham Lane in Crouch End
- Re-route N91 in parallel, to serve Hornsey Park Road area to Wood Green station instead of running on Wood Green High Road
- Withdraw route 123 and 232 from Wood Green High Road and extend 232 from Wood Green Station to a new terminus in Haringey Heartlands
You can find out more and have your say on the proposals up to Sunday Dec. 10 in the following ways:-
- Visit TfL consultation website: tfl.gov.uk/haringey-heartlands
- Email: Haveyoursay@tfl.gov.uk
- Telephone: 020 3054 6037 (call back service) please quote ‘Haringey Heartlands’
- Write to us at: FREEPOST TFL HAVE YOUR SAY (no stamp required)
- Come to our drop-in event at: Wood Green Central Library, 187-197A High Road, London N22 6XD on Tuesday 28 November (13:00-18:30)
Following our successful Deputation and the campaign led by the Over-50s Forum and Age UK London, Haringey Council has set up a Toilet Strategy Working Group. We’ve met three times now, with Councillor das Neves and the Director of Public Health, Will Maimaris, (the lead officer). The lack of publicly-accessible toilets in important places (like Tottenham) and the poor condition of many of them is being taken seriously, not just here in Haringey, but in several other London boroughs. But it’s going to take a lot of work to change things. Once you’ve established a decent facility – and they don’t come cheap – you have to be able to manage and maintain it and defend it against vandalism and misuse. So the council, recognising public toilets as an essential part of a caring public service, needs encouragement and public pressure if it’s to make improvements. Although this campaign benefits everyone it’s right that older people take a lead because so many of us are affected. If you want to work with Loos for Haringey and raise issues that matter to you or to your neighbours please get involved. We’re particularly looking for support from people affected by the lack of provision at Tottenham Hale Retail Park, which members of the Over50s Forum highlighted last year. But every part of Haringey counts!
John Miles, Toilet Manifesto for London Group
Food banks are increasingly a lifeline for those hit hardest by the cost-of-living crisis, including even some in work! And even in work in the NHS! An ex-member’s son asks us to support Little Flame Cadets Food Box, a local group which you might remember – it collected for Children in Need in the Mall in Wood Green in 2015. It supports vulnerable young people with hundreds of hampers. Please phone 07719 211835 if you can help.
Subscriptions and new members
The subscription remains at £8 per year, but this doesn’t quite cost our costs, so if you can manage an extra donation as well, that would be really helpful.
New members from now till December 31 can pay £10 up to the end of 2024. Do ask your friends to join!
You can pay in cash at the AGM, or by post to us c/o Public Voice (address at top of page 1), or by bank transfer.
Bank details: Coop Bank, account name: Haringey over 50s Forum (use full name). Sort code: 08 92 99. Account number: 65525931
Any difficulties or queries – tell us by text or phone to 07915 477009.
Subscriptions now run from January to December, although if you set up a standing order to pay every year in a different month, that’s fine, please carry on but do make sure your bank knows we finally changed the account name from Haringey Forum for Older People to Haringey over 50s Forum.
Join our WhatsApp Group by using this link: https://chat.whatsapp.com/IXwugWAZqEX5vuPOo2h8Zk . Or email email@example.com, or call our mobile number 07915 477009, give us your mobile and we will add you to the group.
Interesting events coming up
New Welcome Space in Wood Green
Every Wednesday beginning November 1st, 12-3pm
Everybody welcome, join us for a free simple lunch and good company, pop in for half an hour or stay for the whole session.
St Paul the Apostle, Station Road, Wood Green (N22 7SZ)
Free weekly 45min Wellbeing Guided Walks for Haringey Residents across the borough, with 15 walks to choose from every day of the week. This includes 2 men’s walks.
Contact Anita, the walks co-ordinator, to join, receive a newsletter or to be trained as a walks leader: phone 0797 3571 921 or 0797 111 3463. Or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hornsey Vale Community Centre Christmas Lunch;
Wednesday 6 December from 1pm; £10 payable in advance.
Turkey (or vegetarian option) and all the trimmings followed by Christmas pud, crackers, a few treats and a glass of wine. Plus gentle Christmassy exercise from 12.30
Booking is essential; email email@example.com or call 020 8348 4612.
Pop-Up Lunch Club; Antwerp Arms, 168-170 Church Lane, N17 8AS
Every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month 1.00pm – 3.00pm
2023: 18th Oct, 1st & 15th Nov, 6th & 20th Dec
2024: 3rd & 17th Jan, 7th & 21st Feb, 6th& 20th March, 3rd & 17th April, 1st &15th May
We make cheap and easy to prepare meals which we cook and share together. Come along, have a chat over a cuppa, have lunch or go home with a free takeaway and recipe, so you can try and make it at home!
CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY, BLACK PRESENT AND BLACK FUTURE
As we enter the final week of Black History Month celebrations, Bernie Grant Arts Centre still has comedy, dance, art and workshops for you to look forward to.
Tottenham Literature Festival 2023, from Monday 13 – Sunday 19 November, will have a stellar line-up of authors, poets and artists including Gary Younge, Liv Little, Chloë Pierre, Kehinde Andrews, Bolu Babalola and Dr Ronx
See https://www.berniegrantcentre.co.uk/whats-on to learn more.
SEASON’S GREETINGS TO ALL OUR MEMBERS