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July 2013

Issue 31

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Culture club

Latest news

Battle for Britain’s Spitfire

Take a trip to Llandudno and find out what goes on during our Annual Movable Conference.

Sport & leisure

75 years after the first Supermarine Spitfire was built, conservationists are engaged in a desperate battle to save its last remaining original home – the Perranporth Spitfire Air Station on the North Cornish coast. The Spitfire Heritage Trust must raise £2m if they are to carry on their work of rescuing and restoring these magnificent planes here for future generations. Read more about their efforts, and find out how you can help.

Also featured this month

Photography expert Eric Ferbrache shares his top tips for taking those perfect summer snaps.

Food & drink: A delicious reader’s recipe Around Britain: Two new members share their experiences of joining the Society. Travel: Find out why the Active Travel Club could be just the holiday you've been looking for. Home & garden: Our resident gardener George reflects on a life spent in the potting shed. Health & wellbeing: Our Care Department deciphers the changing NHS, and explains how it will affect you. Money: Our guest columnist explains away pension confusion..

The Oddfellows is the trading name of The Independent Order of Oddfellows Manchester Unity Friendly Society Limited, Incorporated and registered in England and Wales No. 223F. Registered Office 32 Booth Street, Manchester M2 4QP. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, registration No. 109995.

Win great prizes! £50 worth of High Street vouchers could be yours in our Through the Lens photo competition! Send us your best photo inspired by the theme ‘things that make you smile’ to enter. WIN: A dazzling pair of gardening gloves! Send George a green-fingered question to be in with a chance of getting your hands on a pair.


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Culture club “I love going to the theatre once in a while, so when I heard my local Oddfellows Branch was arranging a trip I couldn’t pass it up.” Sharon – Manchester

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Saving the Spitfire

The Spitfire is one of the most iconic planes ever built. 75 years after the first one rolled off the production line, it remains an enduring symbol of Britishness – a plane that helped to defend a nation and by doing so won a place the hearts of millions. With its unmistakably thin wings and famous Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, the plane that excelled above all others in a dogfight quickly became a design classic. More than 20,000 Spitfires were built between 1938-48. They flew out of RAF Air Stations right across Britain, including the Perranporth Spitfire Air Station on the North Cornish coast. As locations go, they don’t get much more British than this.

The sight and sound of a spitfire soaring about this majestic coastline today stirs up memories of a time when children would watch those heroic pilots – Winston Churchill’s famous ‘Few’ – take to the skies. During WWII this 330-acre site was home to 24 RAF squadrons. Its original control tower, underground bunker and fighting shelter survive to this day and it is believed to be one of the nation’s best-preserved wartime airfields. Perranporth is now the UK’s last surviving Spitfire Air Station. For almost 30 years it has been home to the Spitfire Society and its team of Spitfire hunters, who track down, rescue and restore ‘lost birds’ – bringing broken and abandoned planes back to Cornwall to live with the other few remaining airworthy ones. However, when the site’s owner recently put it up for sale, the Society was presented with a huge challenge: raise £2m or face losing the plane’s last true home.

The Air Station is situated in an area of breath-taking natural beauty, sitting on cliffs high above clear Cornish waters. (Continued on the next page...)


Culture club And so, the Spitfire Heritage Trust was born. Its appeal, launched last month, aims to raise enough money to save the airfield and create a heritage centre and museum dedicated to the Spitfire. The Trust also hopes to find and restore enough ‘lost birds’ to create a new flying squadron in time to take part in the 2015 Battle of Britain celebrations. The appeal already has the backing of a major heritage investor and an entrepreneur looking to share the Air Station for commercial flights using vintage aircraft. Donations from organisations and individuals have been flying in, but time is running out. So, in an effort to give ordinary people a reason to support the iconic plane’s latest battle, the Trust has produced a batch of limited edition pin badges that are available to purchase for just £10. Each hand-cast badge is a model of a Spitfire created by Westair; a company founded by a former RAF pilot. They are designed to be a keepsake, and a talking point for donors keen to spread the word of the appeal.

If fundraising efforts pay off and the site is secured, the Trust then plans to offer ‘ownership’ shares to the public, with the Trust holding and managing the airfield for the people of Britain. And Perranporth will become a place where people can visit to experience the sights and sounds of this great plane for generations to come. To find out more about how you can help to save Britain’s Spitfires visit www.spitfireheritagetrust.com.

R J Mitchell The father of the Spitfire R J Mitchell was born in Stoke-on-Trent in 1895. One of six and the son of two teachers, as a boy he excelled at school – particularly in maths and art. In 1911 he became an engineering apprentice at a locomotive firm, before moving to the Southampton-based company Supermarine Aviation Works Ltd six years later. Mitchell started out as an assistant, but rose to the role of Chief Designer in just three years, aged 25. He went on to design 24 different aircraft between 1920-1936, including fighters, flying boats and bombers. In 1934, shortly after being treated for bowel cancer, Mitchell began working on a new project – the type 300, which would later become the Supermarine Spitfire. After the cancer returned in 1936 Mitchell had to give up work, but he could often be spotted watching the testing of the Spitfire prototype at Eastleigh airfield when he should have been at home resting. Designing planes was his life’s work. He died on June 11 1937, aged just 42. The Spitfire Society was founded in March 1984 by former Spitfire pilot Group Captain David Green RAF (Retired). The registered charity’s original aim was to link people throughout the world whose lives had been touched by the legendary WWII fighter. DISCLAIMER: Links to third-party sites do not constitute an endorsement by the Oddfellows and use of the advertised products and services is entirely at your risk. The Oddfellows does not accept any liability or responsibility for any third-party material on other websites.


Culture club Through the lens – photography competition

June’s theme was ‘glorious gardens’ and the winner was Edna Palmer with her photo of her own beautiful garden. £50 of High Street vouchers are on their way to you Edna, congratulations! You can see highlights of the other entries on our Facebook page.

July’s theme: Things that make you smile This month we want to see photos of things that make you smile. It can be a shot of anything you like, so long as it makes you happy. Send us your favourite, and don’t forget to tell us why you’ve chosen it. The more inventive, the better!

If we choose your photo to appear in the next edition you’ll win £50 of High Street vouchers. You can enter by emailing your photo to ezine@oddfellows.co.uk, posting it on our Facebook wall or sending it in a tweet that mentions @OddfellowsUK. Click on the links to visit our social media sites. Terms and conditions 1) Entries can be submitted at any time and still be included in this competition. However the cut-off date for each edition will be the first day of the month. For example, this month’s competition closes on 1 August 2013. 2) If successful, you will be contacted by the Oddfellows to arrange delivery of your prize. 3) If your photograph contains an image of a person, building or private location please ensure you get permission from the person/building owner before submitting your entry. 4) By submitting a photograph to this competition you are confirming that you have given permission for the Oddfellows to use and reproduce this image in future publications and marketing material, both online and printed. 5) The Oddfellows will assume your consent has been given once your entry is submitted unless you directly state otherwise at the time of entering the competition. 6) All photographs must be taken by the person who is entering the competition.


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Food & drink “I’m always trying to show people that they don’t have to worry about making food that’s perfect. Everything I cook looks deliberately uneven and homemade to show it’s ok to serve food with charm and character.” Nigel Slater, author, broadcaster and cook

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Bailey’s coffee trifle The winning entry from last month’s Green & Black chocolate hamper competition, courtesy of Margaret Henchliff from Derby. This is my favourite pudding recipe. It always goes down well with family and friends and is a firm favourite at my local Oddfellows Pudding Nights. In fact, one member even took the bowl home with them last time to make the most of it, but I won't reveal their name!

Ingredients • 1 packet of trifle sponges (about 8) • 2 tbsp of coffee essence (or very strong coffee made from granules) • 4 tbsp of Baileys • 3 oz of sugar • 3 oz of cornflour

• • • • •

1 pint of milk 2 egg yolks 1 oz of butter 10 fl. oz. of fresh double cream Walnut halves to decorate

Method: Put the trifle sponges into a glass bowl. Then mix half of the coffee essence with 3 tablespoons of Baileys and pour the mixture over the sponges. Place the sugar, cornflour and milk into a saucepan and heat, stirring continuously until the sauce thickens and starts to boil. Cook it gently for 3 minutes, then remove it from the heat and stir in the egg yolks and the remaining coffee. Cook for a further minute, then remove from the heat. Mix in the butter and the remaining Baileys and then leave it all to cool. Whip the fresh cream until it is softly stiff. Fold half of the fresh cream into the coffee mixture, spoon over the trifle sponges and decorate with the remaining fresh cream and walnuts. This is absolutely delicious!

Feeling inspired? If Margaret’s recipe has left you eager to get into the kitchen, why not share your favourite recipe with other Friendscene readers? Email ezine@oddfellows.co.uk with details and pictures of your delicious dish - you never know, your recipe could be chosen to feature in a future edition!


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Latest news “Now we see other members around the town and say hello, where as before we’d have just walked past. That sense of community is hard to beat.”

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Members meet for a successful AMC

Oddfellows members headed to Llandudno recently for the Society’s Annual Movable Conference (AMC). 21 years after the town last played host, more than 500 staff, delegates and family members from Branches across the UK travelled to Wales for the yearly event. The conference takes its name from the fact that it moves around Great Britain every year. The 2013 AMC was the 203rd in the Society’s history, and the tenth to take place in Wales. The week began on Saturday 25 May with the Grand Master’s Welcome Dance. Held in the town’s 1500-seater Venue Cymru conference centre, the event gave members the opportunity to catch up with old friends, many who they hadn’t seen for a whole year. After music from pianist Richard Dinsmore and the John & Paul Beatles Duo, the night was rounded off at midnight with the National Anthem; another favourite tradition. On Sunday the church service and wreath laying ceremony at the town’s war memorial brought out members of the Board and local dignitaries including the Mayor. A packed out open-air Oddfellows Brass concert then followed. Then Monday rolled around and it was time for three days of business. On the agenda were Board elections, approval of accounts, appointment of Auditors and various items of business reporting on our achievements in 2012, and what’s planned for 2013 onwards.

George Lickess was announced as the Society’s new Chairman and the conference welcomed Jonathan Miall, CEO of Spinal Research, to give a presentation on the difference made to the charity by a recent three-year, £90k donation from the Oddfellows. The new Board positions were officially handed over at the closing ceremony on Wednesday before the Farewell Dance later that night. Members then rounded off a busy three days on Thursday with the annual Roy Harmer trophy bowls tournament, named in honour of a popular former Chairman. And finally, Friday meant a sightseeing coach trip around the local area for some members, and a day of relaxation for others. It was a well-earned rest after a busy but successful week. “The 2013 AMC in Llandudno was extremely positive on all fronts,” said Jane Nelson, CEO. “The key element in my mind is the obvious cohesion we have as a Branch Society all working together for the good of our membership. “The successes we’ve started to see from the Pilot Projects since they started in 2012 – recruiting new members, reactivating existing ones and finding opportunities from a different approach to PR and social media – stand us all in good stead to learn and take the Society forward. “I would like to thank all the Branches, deputies at conference, visitors, staff and my colleagues on the Board for all their contributions.”


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Around Britain “Now we see other members around the town and say hello, where as before we’d have just walked past. That sense of community is hard to beat.” Lesley - South Yorkshire

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Why we joined the Oddfellows Derek Stansfield and his wife Theresa recently joined their local Branch of the Oddfellows in Skipton. Here Derek tells us why. Since moving to the town 15 years ago we have regularly walked past the Three Links Club, where our local branch meets in Skipton. We’d seen the signs for the Oddfellows but we’d been unaware of the building’s vibrant social scene until quite recently. It was only when we stumbled across an event being organising by the club that really appealed to our interests that we decided to find out more. The event that caught our attention was a meal and a show trip to our local theatre. We love catching a show every once in a while and it looked like a good deal so, being a Yorkshireman, I took full advantage!

The members we met have been the friendliest people you could wish to meet – all interested in finding out about us and showing us how membership works.

When we got there the other members told us all about the society and what it does. It sounded interesting and just our sort of thing so we decided to try out a few more events at the club like quiz nights and live entertainment.

We’ll always remember the warm welcome we got when we turned up. Not knowing anyone there, our first visit could have been a daunting experience. But the members we met have been the friendliest people you could wish to meet – all interested in finding out about us and showing us how membership works. Before we knew it we’d become fully-fledged members and part of the Committee of Management – the group of members that helps to organise the day-to-day running of each Branch. There were two main things we were looking for when we decided to try out the Oddfellows. One was the personal side of getting to know new people in the town, and the other was getting involved in interesting activities now we’ve retired. Joining the Society has allowed us to do both of those things and more. Now we see other members around the town and say hello, where as before we’d have just walked past. That sense of community is hard to beat.

The Three Links Club in Skipton

To find out more about Oddfellows events in your area, contact events@oddfellows.co.uk or call 0161 832 9361.


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Travel “There’s something for everyone – whether you want to try something new, enjoy the onboard attractions or just relax in peace and tranquillity.” Wendy, Ipswich (Organiser for Fred Olsen Cruises)

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Active Travel Club Norton Grange Coastal Village

Shanklin sea front - Isle of Wight Holidaymakers are preparing to travel to the Isle of Wight this month for a three-night break organised by the Active Travel Club. Eighty members will travel to Norton Grange Coastal Village for some time out and relaxation with friends. Set in 20 acres of gardens, the adult only resort is just five minutes walk from Yarmouth ferry port and boasts tennis courts, outdoor bowls and a pitch & putt green for members to enjoy.

The regular Turkey and Tinsel Christmas break is also lined up for 9-12 December at the Lakeside Coastal Village on Hampshire’s Hayling Island. Places cost £154pp based on two people sharing, however there are also 10 single places available with no additional single person supplement.

Paul Eyre, a regular traveller with the Active Travel Club, recommends holidays like this to any member looking to visit new places with a group of friends. “What people enjoy about the Active Travel Club is the way they can join in with as many or as few activities as they wish,” he explains. “The time when solo travellers want company the most is usually during mealtimes. This is never an issue on an Active Travel Club holiday as there are always people around to chat to.” Future Active Travel Club holidays include a Celtic Experience cruise in August and a sunshine break to the Costa del Sol in October.

Norton Grange Coastal Village

For more information about the Active Travel Club contact Claire Rimmer, Social Development Officer at the Oddfellows, on 0161 832 9361 or email claire.rimmer@oddfellows.co.uk


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Home & garden “Sorting out the garden is how I like to relax. An expert gave a talk at my local Oddfellows Branch – it helped me no end.” Christine - Derbyshire

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By George

Every month, Oddfellows member George Hill answers gardening questions from the readers of Friendscene. Here we meet the man, and discover the lessons he’s learnt during a lifetime spent outdoors. To anyone with green fingers, George Hill’s garden inspires admiration and envy in equal measure. This is, perhaps, unsurprising. After sixty years of practice the retired Head Gardener knows a thing or two about working the land. Over the years Hill has worked with some of the profession’s great pioneers. When, aged 16, he began a seven-year apprenticeship at Leighton Hall near Shrewsbury, he was mentored by Mr Phillips, Head Gardener and one of only 100 people alive at any one time to be made Associate of Honour of the Royal Horticultural Society.

teaching you until you cracked it. He helped me to realise that this was the life for me – I feel lucky to have been taught by a man of his calibre.” Hill worked at the Estate for over a decade, before beating dozens of other applicants to the role of Head Gardener at Burwarton House; a 22,500-acre Estate near Bridgenorth owned by Lord Boyne, cousin and Lord in waiting to HM The Queen. It was during his time there that he developed a close friendship with Percy Thrower, the nation’s first celebrity gardener. The man credited with bringing horticulture to television would often take a break from mingling with celebrities in the Blue Peter garden to come down to Hill’s potting shed to see what he was up to. The two regularly went shooting together, right up until Thrower’s death in 1988.

“He was an absolutely splendid man,” says Hill, “a true gentleman. He taught you the right way and he didn’t stop (Continued on the next page...)


Home & garden Hill remained with the Boyne Estate until he retired, travelling to exhibit at country shows each year and continuing to learn the trade. “You never stop learning in the garden. Every day I’m picking up a new trick or trying something in a different way. We might all do things differently but we’re all trying to get the same results, always aiming to do something better today than we did it yesterday.” George’s own plot is testament to this constant improvement. Surrounded by rolling Malvern Hills, his 19th Century Blacksmith’s cottage is flanked on two sides by a horseshoe of trees, shrubs and brightly coloured herbaceous plants. Choiciers and elaeagnus fill the darker spots beneath a prominent yew tree with vibrant yellow flowers, while further round Michaelmas daises, lilies and daffodils bring colour to the borders whatever the season.

You never stop learning in the garden. Every day I'm picking up something new or trying something in a different way.

On the far side, a kitchen garden worthy of any ‘good life’ fantasy is meticulously planned and worked continuously, providing George and his wife, Shirley, with fresh fruit and vegetables all year round. Rows of brassicas, root vegetables and salad crops are lined up with precision, each positioned to enjoy the right amount of sunlight. Fruit trees and canes for berries and currants line one fence, while by the other sits the greenhouse – home to young plants during the colder months.

Hill can be found outside most days, but this is no show garden. It is a relaxed, unpretentious piece of land that is clearly a labour of love. “It wasn’t always this way,” he explains, “when we moved here there wasn’t a single thing living here. We had to start from scratch. “I get so much pleasure out of it. The lovely, gritty-black soil we’ve got here makes growing good crops that little bit easier, but there’s always something that needs doing. “Successful gardening is all about thinking a year ahead and doing things now that will benefit you later on. I like that way of living.” When not in his own garden, Hill can be found judging the country shows he used to compete in, from the Isle of Wight to Ayrshire. He also gives talks and has appeared as part of a panel of experts for BBC Radio 4’s Gardener’s Question Time. But it’s the results of his kitchen garden that give still give him the greatest satisfaction. “We often have meals at home made entirely of fruit or vegetables we’ve grown ourselves, and on that plate are our achievements. It’s honest food that sums up the most important lesson I would offer anyone about gardening – it’s hard work, but rewarding.” Send your questions to George – email ezine@oddfellows.co.uk. If we publish it we’ll send you a brand new pair of dazzling gardening gloves absolutely free.

Members with green fingers Oddfellows members are eligible to receive a special 10% discount on anything at www.suttons.co.uk, from seeds and bulbs to gardening equipment and greenhouses. To take advantage of this exclusive offer, click here*. *You will need to be signed in as a member to access the Members' Benefits page.


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Sport & leisure “I’ve never really been ‘sporty’, but I try to keep fit. My local Oddfellows Branch now hosts a walking club. It’s great to get some fresh air, and we always have a good time.” Diana – Essex

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Eric in Focus – taking that perfect summer shot By Eric Ferbrache Are you holidaying soon? Summertime is when most of us pick up a camera, mainly because there is so much to photograph. Family trips, snaps of the garden, village fetes or the local villages and towns in all their beauty – whether in sunshine or rain. Take photos all day long, but in the summer the natural light is at its best 2 hours after sunrise and 2 hours before sunset.

Here are ten tips for glorious summer shots. 1. Look out for sunsets With the sun partly concealed, the resulting tones of a silhouette shot showing the still of the evening, are soft and muted.

2. Don’t forget after dark pictures You may need to rest your camera on a firm base like a wall, pillar or tripod. That way a floodlit building with dark surrounding will look striking.

3. Put yourself in the picture First, you will need to know how to set the camera to take a delayed picture, then quickly nip around and position yourself in the right spot. Again, use a tripod or rest the camera on a firm base. Or, easier still, why not ask a passer by to take a photo for you. Just show them where to point the lens.

4. Look out for interesting photo opportunities A visit to a fair will bring you a whole range of new subjects to photograph. When snapping, try to pick a position that avoids too much distraction in the background, like this one.


Sports & Leisure 5. Choose your viewpoint carefully It’s ok to set up a photo if necessary. For example, you could send your grandchildren to buy an apple or two from the local market, to make sure they’re in the picture.

8. Shapes can be interesting Contrasting shapes work well, particularly architectural ones. Take this example – a traditional church in Plymouth positioned in front of a brand new shopping centre. Take your time when you find the right subject, wait for a lull in the passing traffic and always stay safe.

9. Don’t forget to have fun When the unexpected happens, catch it on camera. Photographs are memories for you and your family to cherish, and you will love to recall those happy and amusing moments in the future.

6. Don’t forget the beauty of flowers Parks and flower displays in town centres will be at their best during the summer. Colour and pattens abound and it’s a chance to get in close. You may need to set your camera to close-up or macro, so that it focuses correctly.

10. And finally... Not only do these pictures provide memories, they show the ingenuity and skills of others.

7. Look for patterns This collection of sunshade umbrellas found along the shoreline is a great example of a pattern picked up in shapes and colours. You may also find patterns in paving, tables and chairs or trees – often by looking down from a vantage point.

Remember that taking digital photos costs nothing, so take as many as possible. If someone steps in the way, just take another one. These will all be memories to show your family and friends and for you to look back on. Happy holidaying with your camera!


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Health & wellbeing “The Oddfellows give so much. I wish more people knew about the great services they have to offer.” Paul - London

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Understanding the changing NHS Mary Atkinson, from the Oddfellows Care Department. explains recent changes introduced to the NHS by the Health and Social Care Act. How the new NHS structure works As of 1 April 2013, the old Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) responsible for planning and organising health services across the UK were scrapped, along with Strategic Health Authorities above them. They’ve been replaced by 211 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), which are now overseen by one nationwide NHS Commissioning Board. Responsibility for public health matters, meanwhile, has been transferred from the Department of Health to local councils. How will NHS services be regulated? The Care Quality Commission (CQC) will be in charge of ensuring services meet the required quality standards, while the organisation Monitor will deal with financial and competition regulation. CCGs: Local groups of GPs that are responsible for agreeing how services such as A&E, mental health services and district nursing are funded in each area. Each CCG must contain at least one hospital doctor, one nurse and one member of the public.

The NHS Commissioning Board: In charge of complex surgery, dentistry, organ transplants, screening programmes and secure mental health units, as well as serious trauma wards and treatment of rare forms of cancer.

Local Council: Now responsible for public health services such as sexual health clinics, drug and alcohol misuse services, social care and public health promotion for issues like obesity or smoking.

Health and Wellbeing Boards: Each local council has to have one of these, and it must include representatives from CCGs, hospitals, patient groups and Councillors. It is their job to make sure all of the different healthcare providers are integrated and co-ordinated correctly.

What will the changes mean for our members? In the short term members are unlikely to see much change, but in future they can expect to see more services moving out of hospitals and into communities to allow for better ‘integrated care’ across the NHS. If the new structure delivers better services in the community and reduces hospital stays and outpatient visits, it will benefit many members, particularly those coping with long term and complex health conditions. Members who are supported by welfare visitors and the Oddfellows Care Department often have one or more long-term health condition. This group can struggle to get the on-going joined-up care they need to stay at home and avoid lengthy hospital stays. It is hoped that recent changes will allow NHS services offered by hospitals, GPs and care at home to work better together. Please get in touch if you would like us to come and do a welfare visitor induction session in your area. Email care@oddfellows.co.uk. For information or help from the Care and Welfare Department ring 0845 606 3102 or email care@oddfellows.co.uk. In an upcoming edition of Friendscene, Mary deals with how to access these different NHS services.


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Money “When I had money worries the Oddfellows put me in touch with the right people who could help. They were with me every step of the way.” Pam - Cambridgeshire

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Bringing an end to pensions confusion By John Jory, Centre for Retirement Reform Much is made in the media of recent changes to the UK pensions industry. The pensions profession has always been quick to acknowledge the impact these changes will have on its trustees and their administrators. However, talk of the confusion facing savers as a result is often suspicious by its absence, despite the fact that it is often the people saving into the schemes who end up suffering as a result of changing policies and ‘flavour of the month’ reforms.

Centre for Retirement Reform director general and co-founder John Jory

Most of us accept that retirement planning is right and necessary. But the result of years of constant change has been growing inequality within schemes between individual members. Taking a quick look at almost any large firm with a pension scheme would reveal members who are holding all manner of different policies. While a recent focus group of Oddfellows members, organised by the Centre for Retirement Reform (CRR), found the issues of confusion and lack of continuity to be at the forefront of peoples’ minds.

Auto-enrolment is going well so far but it is early days yet. It is vital that the regulators keep close watch on its implementation for signs of abuse.

With the latest change, auto-enrolment, now in full swing, perhaps finally the government can bring a degree of cohesion to a system that so badly needs it. Launched last October, auto-enrolment will eventually see all UK employers bound by law to offer employees a workplace pension scheme. The government has been widely praised for its efforts to get more of us saving for retirement, thoughts echoed by the recent Oddfellows focus group. Many members saw autoenrolment as a step in the right direction, despite some inevitable teething problems.

Issues raised include the need to make people aware that auto-enrolment comes in many shapes and sizes, so it will benefit people in different ways. This is contrary, some felt, to the implications made by recent advertising campaigns. It may not be possible for one policy to cover all instances of imbalance, but it is important that these differences are highlighted in order to allow members to make informed decisions. Auto-enrolment is going well so far but it is early days yet. It is vital that the regulators keep close watch on its implementation for signs of abuse. What was clear from our focus group was that some people felt advisers were already misusing the system and that, if left unchecked, the situation could get worse. As defined contribution and auto-enrolment pensions become more popular, addressing related issues becomes increasingly important. Members’ confidence in the industry needs restoring. It is their future that the industry is responsible for; so all efforts should be focused on ensuring that future is bright.

DISCLAIMER: Links to third-party sites do not constitute an endorsement by the Oddfellows and use of the advertised products and services is entirely at your risk. The Oddfellows does not accept any liability or responsibility for any third-party material on other websites.


eZine July 2013