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SENIOR EYE Editors: Nancy and Vicki. Issue 2

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Jewry Wall Museum

Senior Eye News Agency Community Media Hub Learning and Information Library Bishop Street Leicester LE1 6AA

The Jewry Wall is one of Leicester's most famous landmarks. It is a rare example of Roman walling which has survived for nearly 2000 years. Originally it was part of the Roman public baths.

Editors Vicki Buchannan Tel: 07900077900 Nancy Bennett Tel: 07884327795 Email: senioreye@hotmail.com

The origin of the name is a mystery though it may have been named after Leicester's medieval Jewish community who were expelled from Leicester by the town charter of 1250. Another possibility is that the wall came to be associated with the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, all which survived of the great Jewish temple destroyed by the Romans. The Jewry Wall is unique in that it is the highest remai n i ng Rom a n str uctur e in Br ita in . The museum now holds archaeological collections dating from the end of middle ages. Its exhibition The Making of Leicester tells the story of the city from the Iron Age, to the year 2000!


Dignity in Care Minister for Care Services Ivan Lewis MP launched the ‘Dignity in Care’ campaign on 14 November 2006. The campaign aims to stimulate a national debate around dignity in care, and create a care system where there is zero tolerance of abuse and disrespect of people who use social care and health services. The campaign began by looking at services for older people and has since been extended to mental health services. National Dignity Ambassador Sir Michael Parkinson and Care Services Minister Ivan Lewis are running a campaign to ensure that all older people using care and health services are treated with dignity and respect at all times. Through the campaign, the Government wants to inspire people and equip them with the information and support they need to drive up care standards.

Sir Michael Parkinson, the Dignity in Care Ambassador says: “Most of us will at some point be in contact with care services - be that in our work, or as a service user, a carer, a relative or friend. The People's Award for Dignity in Care is a great way for us to recognize the dedication of health and care staff treating people with the dignity and respect they deserve.” In practice, this means: ∗ ∗ ∗

Respecting patients' and clients' diversity and cultural needs; their privacy. Being compassionate when a patient or client and/or their relatives need emotional support. Demonstrating sensitivity to patients' and clients' needs, ensuring their comfort.

The 10 Dignity Standards ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗

Have a zero tolerance of all forms of abuse. Support people with the same respect you would want for yourself or a member of your family. Treat each person as an individual by offering a personalized service. Enable people to maintain the maximum possible level of independence, choice and control. Listen and support people to express their needs and wants. Respect people’s right to privacy. Ensure people feel able to complain without fear of retribution. Engage with family members and carers as care partners. Assist people to maintain confidence and a positive self-esteem. Act to alleviate people’s loneliness and isolation.

Senior Eye emailed Sir Michael Parkinson, personally. We received a reply from his secretary, saying that he was too busy to reply in person and that we could use articles from the Dignity-in-care web site.


Voluntary Work Many older people find that doing voluntary work is an excellent way of keeping busy and active and at the same time meeting others. Local Age Concern branches would welcome older volunteers as would many other agencies such as local hospitals for help with visiting patients, helping in the hospital shop, charity shops are often glad of help from older volunteers and your local volunteer bureau will also have local vacancies for volunteers.

Citizen Reporters Definition: Where members of the public participate in the reporting of news events. Often this is when people are the first witnesses on the ground as events take place. Community Journalists / Community Media – provide coverage of news stories and events that they witness in their locality. It is clearly incompatible with a healthy democracy to allow a handful of powerful and often politically ambitious media owners to set the news and information agenda. We run the risk of limiting the diversity and range of opinion given public expression. The idea behind Citizens Journalism is that people without professional journalism training can use the tools of modern technology and the global distribution of the internet to create, augment or fact check media on their own or in collaboration with others. Examples: • Write about a council meeting and send the content to Citizens Eye for online viewing • You could fact-check a newspaper article from the mainstream media and point out factual errors or bias on Citizens Eye • You might snap a digital photo of a newsworthy event happening and post it on the site • You might digitally record a similar event and post it on the site Citizens Journalists are the people formerly known as the audience. We were on the receiving end of a media system that ran one way, in a broadcasting pattern, with high entry fees and a few firms competing to speak very loudly while the rest of the population listened in isolation from one another – and who today are not in a situation like that at all.

Your Community Needs You Do you have a few hours to spare? Do you like meeting and talking to people? Then why not be a citizen’s reporter!!! You don’t need experience just a willingness to talk to people and to write. Senior eye is a newsletter for older people’s issues, not just for the old but for people 40 upwards. Articles can be written by anyone at any age, so come and join us and have fun.


The Good Samaritan and the problems encountered. A gentleman was walking into the City Centre towards the West Bridge when an elderly lady coming over the bridge slipped on the icy pavement. The man then used his mobile phone to ask for an ambulance to get the woman to hospital. Upon explaining where the incident had happened he was told that there was no such place as St Augustine Road. The person answering the phone was in Worcester. As St Augustine Road is a major Arterial Road into Leicester it should be on all maps. He ended up flagging down a passing ambulance. Why can’t we have local people answering the emergency phone calls? How many roads are missing on the emergency service maps?

Youngsters making waves A new monthly supplement has appeared in the Leicester Mercury called the Wave. A newsletter written by young people, all under 25. It is indeed set to make waves, a lively interesting and informative publication. I read it with great interest and intrigue and decided that the stereotype we have of the young is at odds with the reality. It was attractive, with articles that held the attention and there was something for everyone. Interviews, comments and articles and interesting political section, something which many of us would avoid. Phil Fullers piece about his experiences in care was heart wrenching but also uplifting and positive at the end. The science fiction page was a real surprise, this is a genre which is often sneered at and overlooked. As a geek who has been a fan since the sixties I was impressed that the Mercury was brave enough to include this feature. Keep up the good work. The story was enthralling and I look forward to the next episode. With features such as the agony page, environmental issues, health column and an explanation of vegetarianism it was well-rounded and substantial. The 125th anniversary of Leicester City Football Club came at just the right time for a sports feature and the story of the early years. Altogether it was a good piece of work and I was interested in meeting the young people who had worked so hard to produce it and I have arranged to meet them but more of that at a later date. Meanwhile I can only wish them well and hope that the next issue is as good as the last. Nancy Bennett


Ross Grant, Conservative. Born and raised in Leicester Ross Grant has had a lifelong interest in politics. After working in business for many years he has returned to his old love and now finds himself becoming a career politician. Although a relative newcomer he is leader of the Leicester Conservative Group. An avid user of the social media like twitter and face book, he is none the less a people person. I wanted to find out if Ross considered that the party had changed its attitude to the poor by going back 150 years to the time of Disraeli. He thought not, saying that it is a modern problem, Margaret Thatcher had changed the economic climate and that David Cameron had to change the social climate in order to redress imbalances in society. As a user of the social media I asked him that the effective use of the social media would affect the result of the election. He thought that the election was less likely to change by organized campaigns but by unforeseen happenings, like someone saying the wrong thing and that being used by the social media to undermine them. He went on to say that the use of this media opens communication and that all politicians should strive to be as open as possible. I asked if he felt that in view of the economic climate the Conservatives would try to take away the extra benefits us over 60s get. With regards to the bus passes he thought they would stay, but did have concerns that the Council paid the bus companies a large amount of money to enable bus passes to be used before 9:30. With regard to the heating allowance; lots of older people might not actually need it.. I asked if that meant it might become means tested but he said that was not the way forward as it could be perceived as a charity and people might not apply for it, he could not imagine its removal. He then went on to explain that the Conservatives new policy towards benefits would simplify claims. This should iron out some of the complications which the currently exist. I asked who would win the Election and he said the Conservatives. The press have turned on the Labour Party, as they traditionally do when a party is perceived as having been in power for too long, and that the Country was looking for something new. I asked if there was a possibility of a hung Parliament or a National Government and the answer was that there was little chance of a hung Parliament. With regards to a Government of National Unity he felt that there was no consensus, particularly in regard to the economy, which would make it impossible. When asked about his own chances of winning, he was optimistic. The local dynamics of Leicester South were such that both the Labour and Liberal candidates were seen as failing the electorate in important issues and he felt that he was in a position to redress those issues.


Leicester Market Traders threatened by new market. Leicester City Council approved a proposed new Sunday market at the Walkers Stadium and Market Traders were upset as their livelihood was threatened. According to Dawn Alphonso, National Market Traders Federation representative, the threat to market trade was not the main grievance. The issue had not been presented at a market forum, two of which had been cancelled, and many traders felt that it had been approved in an underhand and arbitery manner, effectively cutting them out of the loop. This led to them going on a rent strike for 2 weeks. In addition to this action there was a lot of adverse publicity in the media, including Dawn going on You Tube to broadcast their objections. These actions were not a waste of time or effort as ultimately the Council withdrew permission for the Sunday Market just days before it was due to start. Although the issue has not gone away, the late withdrawal of permission shows that the council were rattled by the strength of the opposition.

Freeuse Leicester Freeuse Leicester is operated by Leicestershire Waste Partnership and offers the residents of the Leicestershire area an opportunity to give away or pick up household items they need. The items are free and the site is easy to use.

To take an item: Just look for the item you require then contact the donor direct’ its as simple as that.

To advertise an item: Giving an item is just as easy and involves a simple registration before adding your item.

To register: Registration only requires your name, your email address and a chosen password. Your username would be your email address. Don’t forget, one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure. So go to www.freeuseit.org I have checked this website myself and although there was nothing that I required, I thought it was an easy site to understand and use. So don’t take my word for it, try it yourself.


The Effect of the Cuts on Library Services. Leicester Libraries have announced that as a cost cutting measure they intend to amalgamate the two main libraries. This gives me cause for concern as they have already closed the library at Age Concern in Humberstone Gate and it is not that many years ago they closed the Goldsmith music library. When they moved the music stock a few of my friends who were regular users commented that the stock had been depleted and fewer discs were available to borrow. Is this going to be a case of the same happening at the new library? The main concern I have is that of the possible depletion of the library stock. I hope that the powers that be realize that some people who are not regular users do go to libraries to find books that could be out of print and that getting rid of all old books is not always the best thing for some users. I do concede that reference books are probably not well used and that an on line service would do the job as well as the hard copies. As long as there were staff available to help people access the information because there are still some people who cannot use computers. In general I feel that amalgamating the two libraries is not in the interest of either the users or the library service.

Keep Your Home Secure. Contact your local Police Station and ask for a visit from the Crime Prevention Officer who will be able to give you advice about security. They may also be able to help with the funding for any work needed and Help the Aged also provide a Handy Van scheme which can provide locks, spy holes, door chains etc. often free of charge as well as doing small jobs such as changing light bulbs. Never let anyone including officials into the home without asking for their identification. If anyone comes to your door who you don’t know keep the chain on. Gas and Electric companies can help by setting up a password which has to be used by anyone coming to read your meter. Be aware that unfortunately there are people out there who take advantage of older people who they see as being particularly vulnerable. They may knock pretending to be the gasman, may say they are from the water board and you have a leak, etc. It is best to shut the door and ring the agency concerned to see if this is a genuine caller. Leave the chain on if you don’t know who is calling. Some rogue tradesmen also prey on vulnerable people and will knock telling you that you need urgent work done like the tiles on the roof – never let these people in or have any dealings with them. Your local council should be able to give you a list of approved tradesmen should you need any work done.


Have you seen? Have you seen the potholes in Leicester? They are a real problem and most are not new, but actually first appeared last year and have got progressively worse because of the snow which has been severe this winter. I am not a motorist so I can look at this in a neutral way, but even I am concerned about it. Motorists I have spoken to say that although in theory it is possible to sue the Council, it is not practical in terms of time and effort so they just pay to rectify the damage. Even pedestrians can be affected, one lady tripped over a pothole and was in shock and another was hit by a piece of flying debris. It seems to me that if the Council spent less time closing roads in the city centre for vast amounts of time and really doing very little to these, and spent more time tackling potholes as soon as they appeared their money would be better spent. Nancy Bennett

Potholes Potholes cause a lot of strife, And can be the bane of the motorists life. Driving down the road and being faced With a hole that needs to be braced With a scaffold and some beams Makes the owner smother screams Do you go round the mess? causing other motorists stress Or risk your tyres and carry on the motion And land in the perforation To damage your car and all that entails As you give the insurance all your details Or just swallow the loss to avoid the cost, And accept that your money is lost. The problem is bad for all And pedestrians can have a fall So Leicester City Council hear our care Fix the potholes when they appear.

Pavements for Pedestrians or Cyclists Is it just me or do other people feel that its just as dangerous to walk on the pavement as it is on the road. How many times to we have to step aside to let a cyclist pass, then for them to look at you in disgust, as if you have no right to be on the pavement. When I was young and started riding a bike, I learnt to ride on the road. Yet these days, it seems, that it is acceptable to ride on the pavement, with no consideration for the pedestrians. Surely it is not acceptable. The council and the police should put their heads together and do something about it before someone gets hurt. If cyclists insist on riding on the pavement, a bell would be a good idea (I thought all bicycles were sold with a bell). Then we would know if they were behind and give us a chance to step out of the way before they ride into us. Vicki


The Plight of Manor House Manor House was built in the 1880’s by a William Bates, built as a city house for his family and to be near his business. Around the 1900’s Manor House became a Sunday School and later, one of the first of two Special Needs Schools in Leicester. As a Special Needs School, it was classed as an open-air school. The school had its own dovecote and beehives. It grew its own fruit and vegetables in the gardens of the large grounds. I remember seeing photographs of the school in the 1930’s with the school desks and chairs in rows on the lawns. In 1981, the building was brought by Leicester City Council and turned onto a Neighbourhood Centre. In the summer of 1991, Manor House hit the press, when a group of young friends, enjoying a warm summer evening around dusk, when all of a sudden a spine-tingling chill shot up their spines. There on the swing, was an outline of a young girl of about 10 years old. But as the friends looked closer they noticed the girl had no feet. The friends fled as fast as they could. They were convinced that they saw a ghost that evening at the old Manor House. Some years later, this event was a subject of a television programme. In recent years, the Council have tried on several occasions to close this Neighbourhood Centre but for the outcry of local residents and the dedication of the staff that work there, namely, a wonderful woman, by the name of “June”, who was taken from us by the cruellest of feats in November of 2009. Sadly the Centre has been closed ever since. With the country being in the grip of the recession and stories of hardship in every newspaper and on our television screens every day, our need for the Neighbourhood Centre to be open has never been greater. We will always “mourn” her cheerful smile and helping hand. The willingness to chip in and help others in need, we will never see the like again. No words could I express, can convey our loss of “June”. But I fear the City Councillors will use this as an excuse to close Manor House and use many more sound excuses to explain why it must close. Manor House has over 100 years of service to the community in one form or another and the need for the centre has never been greater than now. When the need of the community for cohesion has never been greater, no doubt, following the trend of the County Council, Manor House will close. Manor House will join that ever growing list of community centres, neighbourhood centres and the like, that have closed, never to reopen the doors again. Fight for re-opening the Manor House call ALBY on 01162 899 223 Anon


Leicestershire Memories We are starting up a Leicester Memories section in our newsletter in our next issue. So we need you lovely Guys and Gals to meet us at the Reference Library in Bishop Street, once a fortnight on a Saturday afternoon, starting on Saturday 20th March 1pm till 4pm. We need your memories of Leicester past about work, school, weddings, social life, transport, hobbies or anything else of interest. We will also be interested in tried and tested tips, which we can add to the newsletter. These will be put on camcorder to show on Utube, on voice recorder then put into word or put straight onto computer. Hopefully, photographer will be there to show how put memories onto Utube so they can be viewed anywhere by anyone with access to computer. We will be at hand to help anyone who is not sure of computers. If you are interested but can’t get out and about we are willing to come and visit you or you can write to us at the address on the front of the newsletter. So do come and join us we would love to meet you and hear your stories.

Dates for you diary

20th March 3rd April All at 1pm till 4pm

17th April

1st May

Leicester Memories Do you have a story to tell of your memories in Leicester? The Editors of the Senior Eye Newsletter are starting up a Drop-in Living History Workshop at the Learning and Information Library in Bishop Street Starting Saturday March 20th 1pm till 3.30pm Hope you can join us Vicki Tel: 07900077900

Nancy Tel: 07884327795

Or Email: senioreye@hotmail.com

Senior Eye Issue 2  

Second issue of the Senior Eye newsletter