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December 2012 • Issue 8

Ready for Winter? Winter Fuel Payments The Winter Fuel Payment is a tax free payment to help older people keep warm during winter. If you were born on or before 5 January 1951 you may qualify.

Energy and Consumer Advice For advice on energy suppliers and the ‘best deals’ then contact Age UK Colchester on 01206 368420

Colchester Borough Council Warm Homes We provide information and help to improve cold, damp housing within Colchester Borough.

Seasonal flu jabs – get yours now! Now is the time to consider having a flu jab for this winter. The Department of Health recommends that everyone who is eligible should arrange to have it done as soon as the vaccine is available.

Christmas Closure The Age UK Colchester Office will be closed from 4 pm on Friday 21 December and will reopen at 9 am on Wednesday 2 January 2013.

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Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA)… do you know the facts?


ther than a Will, an LPA is one of the most important documents that every adult should have. LPA’s come in two parts, Part 1 – Property & Finance enables you to nominate friends or family to manage your day to day expenses,when you are no longer able to. For example due to the onset of dementia, a stroke, accident or simply older age. Part 2 – LPA Health and Welfare enables you to discuss with your family your preferences for medical treatment and how you wish to be cared for whilst at home, hospital or in residential care. When incapacity strikes an adult in England and Wales the Banks and Building Societies etc are obliged to follow The Mental Capacity Act 2005. This means that no one, including your spouse, is allowed access to your assets and accounts (even those held jointly) in the individual’s name.

provided is correct and that attorneys are legitimate and have agreed to act on your behalf. One of the benefits of registering your LPA with the OPG is that they will investigate any allegations of abuse and that any improper management will be acted upon.

Once instructions have been taken for an LPA This article has been brought to you by Sacha and it has been signed it is then registered with Tiller of Age Legal Services. For any advice The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). The involving Estate Planning call: 01206 820638 or OPG will check that all the information you have email:

The letters stand for the name of a Christmas carol or song. For example O.L.T.O.B = O Little Town Of Bethlehem. The answers are on page 7 1. W.W.Y.A.M.C 2. L.D 3. O.C.A.Y.F 4. S.N 5. T.F.N

12. G.K.W 13. T.H.A.T.I 14. A.I.A.M 15. W.T.K 16. T.T.D.O.C 17. A.F.T.R.O.G 18. O.C.O.C.E 19. D.T.H.W.B.O.H

6. H.T.H.A.S

20. G.R.Y.M.G

7. O.I.R.D.C

21. W.S.W.T.F.B.N

8. D.D.M.O.H 9. J.B 10. R.T.R.N.R 11. W.C

22. I.C.U.A.M.C 23. G.C.M.R 24. I.S.M.K.S.C 25. C.R.O.A.O.F

Are you wrapped up this winter?


t’s that time of year again ....... the temperatures go down and utility companies are announcing that gas and electricity prices are going up. What can we suggest? Age UK , as part of its Spread The Warmth Campaign, has issued its Winter Wrapped Up Guide which contains thermometers to monitor room temperatures and is full of helpful hints and contact numbers of different agencies. Save Energy, Pay Less is another guide full of information about heating, insulation and utilities. Free copies of both are available at the Age UK Colchester office at George Street, Colchester or can be ordered free on 0800 169 65 65. Our top tip this year is to check that your house insulation is up to the latest quality standard while free funding for this still remains. If you have 65 mm or less of insulation at the moment you may be eligible to have installation fitted free to the latest standard of 270mm. The Warm Homes Project at Colchester Borough Council (01206 282541) will be able to inform you of the companies offering this. Free cavity wall insulation may also be available. This offer is due to end soon so do apply directly. The Government`s Warm Front scheme which can provide grants for boiler and other heating improvements in certain situations is also due to come to an end in early 2013. Further information can be obtained from the Warm Homes Project. Do you have problems with utility bills or do you want to switch companies for a better deal? Our Energy Advice Manager, Edward Pentney, may be able to assist you. Just ring our office on 01206 368420 to make an appointment. Almost everybody born before 6 July 1951 should receive a Winter Fuel Payment for the winter of 2012/13. If you`ve received it before, you should get the payment automatically. However if this is the first year that you`re eligible, contact the Winter Fuel Payments helpline on 0845 915 1515. If you receive Pension Credit, you may be entitled to a discount on your electricity bill. This is being offered by some utility companies but not all and is called the Warm Home Discount. The companies should be contacting their customers direct. And lastly, looking on the bright side if the weather deteriorates, those who receive Pension Credit or certain other benefits, will automatically receive a Cold Weather Payment when the temperature is at freezing or below for seven days in a row. Lin Roberts, Information Manager, Age UK Colchester

Age UK Colchester’s Robert Needham

Amanda Arnold In the summer, after many months of rehearsal, I had the privilege of being one of nearly 1,000 Pandemonium Drummers during the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics. I banged my up-turned bucket wearing dirty clothes (no expense spared!) during the Industrial Revolution scene at the start of the main ceremony, for 15 minutes, whilst that amazing transformation from a green and pleasant land to a hard, smokey landscape unfolded. Continued page 6

Robert is pictured with fellow Town Criers and Olympic Rower Matthew Pincent

Chair of our Trustees, Mr Robert Needham is also the Chairman of The Ancient & Honourable Guild of Town Criers. The Guild was contacted by organisers at the Olympic Village to see if athletes could be introduced to aspects of ‘olde England’ Consequently, three representatives of the Guild were engaged at the opening and closing ceremonies of both the Modern and Paralympic Games. The Criers were asked to mingle with Athletes in the dining hall prior to each ceremony. They also had the pleasure of assisting in marshalling teams from the Olympic Village en-route to the stadium. Robert said “ Quite apart from the fantastic opportunity to be alongside so many wonderful people, the atmosphere in the Olympic Village was electric. I will remember those days for a long time to come”

Amanda Arnold at the Opening Ceremony

David Wheal

David Wheal with Paralymic Silver Medalist Hwa Sook Lee of South Korea

Olympic Stars Christine Clark Christine Clark, one of our `Catch the Mouse' computer tutors, was a Technology Gamesmaker. She was based at Hadleigh Farm in Essex where the Mountain Biking was held. She was with a small group attached to Omega, the timing specialists, and her group was in charge of transponders. These are radio devices that are attached to each bike. They have a unique id code and when the bike passes the start/finish Continued page 6

Pat Nichols

Pat Nichols in her Gamesmaker uniform

Gamesmakers were employed behind the scenes as well as at competition venues. I was assigned to the transport team and based at an hotel in Christine Clark at Hadleigh Farm Park Lane in Mayfair where the Olympic President and other senior members were staying David Wheal, the Centres and Admin Manager and where they held their business meetings. at Globe House, was a Paralympic Event This included Heads of State (including royalty) Services Team Gamesmaker based at the Royal and chairs of specific sports federations and other Artillery Barracks in Woolwich where the key organisations. My job was to ensure a Paralympic Archery and Shooting took place. constant supply of official cars to take them to Being an open air site, and despite getting wet on competition venues and other places and to the first day, the weather could not have been ensure they were getting the right vehicle for their better. venue otherwise they could end up in the wrong Dave did a variety of tasks including checking place and miss their event or medal ceremony. tickets, showing people to their seats, answering The official cars were emblazoned with the all the amazing questions the public were asking, London 2012 logo and many of the passing taking photos of spectators and even met Prince general public were keen to have their photos Daniel of Sweden. taken next to the cars and I ended up taking many The athletes were very inspiring and he was able photos for them. Some even tried to get photos to watch a lot of the action including the archer with the Olympic celebrities. It was all very good who used his feet to compete. Continued page humoured and great fun. I do not suppose I will 6 do anything quite like it ever again.

Amanda Arnold … To be a part of that very poignant “poppy” moment when we remembered the fallen, and then astonished as the five golden rings were forged in front of our eyes, was an unforgettable experience. It was a very special 15 or so minutes when the whole world was watching us and we were concentrating so hard on the beat after many months of rehearsal in pouring rain and bleaching sun. After momentous applause we dashed off and changed to come back for the Athletes Parade where I was a marshall, holding hands for nearly two hours trying to keep 10,000 athletes in order! The finale was like being right in the middle of a huge fireworks display and then we partied around the magnificent Olympic cauldron after everyone had left the Stadium. In the closing ceremony I was back again as a marshall, wearing one of the blue bowler hats with a light bulb in the top, in the midst of a fantastic concert celebrating with the athletes. We were allowed to keep our props and three costumes, a drum, sticks and harness, and were also given Opening and Closing Ceremony programmes with our names in, a certificate from Danny Boyle, a letter from the Prime Minister and made many new friends from the ceremonies, who continue to meet up and perform – if you hear drumming near you, do not be afraid!! Christine Clarke … line or other timing points, the lap time and the racing position can be ascertained. She and one other colleague had the job of attaching the right transponder to the right bike, in the presence of the athlete or their coach, and getting a signature from the athlete or coach to say that it had been done correctly. She and a few more colleagues were then positioned around the site to collect the transponders when the rider was finished (not always at the finish line). So she was lucky that she got to meet most of the athletes, the racing was very good and the weather could not have been better. Christine didn't win a place on the Mall in the Gamemaker ballot for the parade but she still went into London in her uniform. She ended up near St Paul's on Ludgate Hill, right on the kerbside so there was nothing between her and the floats and she was very close. She got lots of thank you's or winks from the athletes. Then, behind the floats, a lot of the Gamesmakers had joined in and she was pulled from the crowd by them and they paraded all the way to Charing Cross. She said that it was amazing that so many people were waving and cheering them. Some of the volunteer performers were at the end too with their plastic bucket drums. She said that it was great fun. David Wheal … All were very happy to pose with the public for photos and sign autographs. Dave had his picture taken with Hwa Sook Lee of South Korea just after she had won a Silver Medal in the Archery. Dave was quite surprised how big and heavy the medals were. Among his highlights were meeting Mandeville, Sweden's Paralympic rifle champion Jonas Jacobsson, while getting a picture with his Gold Medal and watching Danielle Brown and Mel Clarke of ParalympicsGB winning Gold and Silver in the archery. Daviv recently received a letter from David Cameron thanking him (and the other 70,000 Gamesmakers) for his contribution to making the Games great.

The Battle of Stalingrad The Battle of Stalingrad was a major and decisive battle of World War II in which Nazi Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad in the southwestern Soviet Union. The battle took place between 23 August 1942 and 2 February 1943 and was marked by constant close-quarters combat, and lack of regard for military and civilian casualties. It is among the bloodiest battles in the history of warfare, with the higher estimates of combined casualties amounting to nearly two million. The heavy losses inflicted on the German army made it a significant turning point in the whole war. After the Battle of Stalingrad, German forces never recovered their earlier strength, and attained no further strategic victories in the East. The German offensive to capture Stalingrad commenced in late summer 1942, and was supported by intensive Luftwaffe bombing that reduced much of the city to rubble. The German offensive eventually became mired in building-tobuilding fighting; and despite controlling nearly all of the city at times, the Wehrmacht was unable to dislodge the last Soviet defenders clinging tenaciously to the west bank of the Volga River. On 19 November 1942, the Red Army launched Operation Uranus, a two-pronged attack targeting the weak Romanian and Hungarian forces protecting the 6th Army's flanks. After

Russian troops retake Stalingrad

heavy fighting, the weakly held Axis flanks collapsed and the 6th Army was cut off and surrounded inside Stalingrad. As the Russian winter set in, the 6th Army weakened rapidly from cold, starvation and ongoing Soviet attacks. Command ambiguity coupled with Adolf Hitler's resolute belief in their will to fight further exacerbated the German predicament. Eventually, the failure of outside German forces to break the encirclement, coupled with the failure of re-supplying by air, led to the final collapse. By the beginning of February 1943, Axis resistance in Stalingrad had ceased and the remaining elements of the 6th Army had either surrendered or been destroyed. Name that Christmas Tune Answers

Although the winter months may not be the ideal time to go out walking Derek Keeble has produced some more walks that you may wish to try when the weather improves in the Spring. In addition to a walk from Aldham to West Bergholt, Derek has now produced one from Langenhoe to Rowhedge and another from Dedham to Lawford. Copies of the walks are available from the Age UK Colchester Office or you can download them from the Age UK Colchester website ( uk/colchester)

1. We wish you a Merry Christmas; 2. Little Donkey; 3. O Come all Ye Faithful; 4. Silent Night; 5. The First Nowell; 6. Hark the Herald Angels Sing; 7. Once in Royal David’s City; 8. Ding Dong Merrily on High; 9. Jingle Bells; 10. Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer; 11. White Christmas; 12. Good King Wencelas; 13. The Holly and the Ivy; 14. Away in a Manger; 15. We Three Kings; 16. The Twelve Days of Christmas; 17. Angels from the Realms of Glory; 18. O Come, O Come Emmanuel; 19. Deck the Hall with Boughs of Holly; 20. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen; 21. While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night; 22. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear; 23. Good Christian Men Rejoice; 24. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus; 25. Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire

CHRISTMAS CARDS How curious is the Christmas card; Victorian invention To celebrate the birth of Christ, Who scarcely gets a mention. But see these sentimental scenes With bogus Yule-logs glowing, And solemn robins wondering why For them it's always snowing. So once again, perennial chore, We'll post our printed greeting, And tick the everlasting list, Mechanically repeating. Until we reach a name we love, Through death, alas, deleted Or one who sent no card last year And made us feel quite cheated! For friendships are reciprocal; We must be systematic: They sent a card, we’ll send one back It’s neat and democratic And cards for folk we never see Are sent with no misgiving: Just once a year, a signed receipt To show that we're still living! You're right, old Scrooge, there's humbug here! But, still, it's not too tragic: We'll shuffle multi-coloured cards, Entranced by Christmas magic! Arnold Kellett

Globe House, 6 George Street Colchester, CO1 1TP Phone: 01206 368420 Fax: 01206 500984 Email: Web: Age UK Colchester is a registered charity (Registered Charity No. 1142414) and company limited by guarantee. Registered in England and Wales No 7517777. Registered Office: 6 George Street, Colchester, CO1 1TP.

Our aim is simple: to help everyone make the most of later life. We believe that old age should be valued. That choice is important through life. And we believe in your right to stay independent as long as possible. So, volunteers give practical support. We have expert information and advice you can rely on; and we will campaign for your rights.

Vintage 8 - December 2012  

Vintage is the Newsletter of Age UK Colchester