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ODL - Supporting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender People Aged 50+

September 2012 Newsletter

Th e Health I ss ue 6th September sees the Opening Doors London (ODL) 4th Annual Information Fair This year there’s a focus on LGBT health. This bumper edition of the newsletter also includes a couple of articles on health issues – cervical screening, HIV and walking. We’re also looking to expand the newsletter for future editions and to change some of the formatting. We’d love the newsletter to be more attractive and have more content, but it can’t be done without the contribution of members and volunteers. Would you like to be part of a newly formed Newsletter Group? Or just write the occasional article? Please contact any of the ODL team for more information.


Welcome… Normal service resumes (and then some)… Hello, one and all, and welcome to the bumper September edition of the ODL newsletter. It’s bigger and more informative and hopefully we can continue to keep this higher standard up, but we can only do this with your articles, your points of view, your suggestions for featured organisations. Get in touch with your ideas, we’d love to hear from you. And after all the summer upheaval with the Olympics etc, we’re now back to our usual packed ODL schedule of events, plus a few more groups and activities to keep you occupied as we go into autumn. In addition to resuming our regular activities, September also holds our 4th annual Older LGBT Information Fair, our new monthly Sunday mixed film and lunch club, the official launch of the Friday “coffee n’ cake” morning and the new Newham women's group. Don’t forget to check out the new “Members’ Group” on Monday 10th September to have YOUR say in Opening Doors London.

New ODL Befriending Coordinator We welcome Carley Stubbs who starts on 5th September as the new ODL Befriending Coordinator. She’s raring to go and will be contacting current clients and befrienders in the next few weeks.

  Contact Update 

Have we got your correct contact details?



Can you change to an e-mailed newsletter?



Text ODLN01 now with a donation of £5 to 70070 to give immediate support to Opening Doors London.

Thank you! All texts are FREE of charge and Opening Doors London will receive 100% of your donation.

Please let the Opening Doors London (ODL) team know of any changes

Revised website, Twitter and Facebook pages When was the last time you visited the Opening Door London website? It’s been improved, to include a Twitter feed, a summary of the regular groups and the beginnings of an online calendar of events. Visitors are also able to register to receive an email. Did I mention Twitter? It’s worth having a look at Twitter, sending tweets to us, and even following us.

www.openingdoorslondon.org.uk @openingdoorsldn

openingdoorslondon 2


Opening Doors Men’s Group September groups and activities Wednesday 5th 6:00 – 9:00 pm

First Wednesday of the month men’s group social: at St Margaret’s Dropin Centre, 1 Carey Place, Vauxhall Bridge Road, SW1V 2RT (just across Vauxhall Bridge Road from Pimlico Tube). With easy access from North and South London, why not come along and meet some new friends?

Thursday 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th. 12:30 pm (lunch at 1 pm)

St Anne’s Thursday LGBT Friendly Mixed Lunch Club: St Anne’s Church, 55 Dean Street, Soho, W1D 6AF. Lunch is £3.50. Arrive at St Anne’s for 12:30 for your free glass of sherry. Call ahead and book by Wednesday on the new lunch club number of 020 3638 8232, leaving your name and phone number. Please NOTE: the lunch club is getting VERY popular, so make sure you get your booking in early to avoid disappointment.

Thursday 6th 1pm – 5pm

4th Annual Older LGBT Information Fair: YMCA Indian Hostel, 41 Fitzroy Square, W1T 6AQ. This is a FREE event for members, partners, friends and family. Come along and enjoy a fun and informative afternoon of guest talks, performances and workshops. Check out a range of information stalls offering advice, products and services covering health, well being and social care.

Friday 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th. 10am – 12pm

Friday morning mixed “coffee n’ cake” club: - Tavis House, 1-6 Tavistock Square, WC1H 9NA. Welcome to our new peer led coffee morning. Ideal space to come and meet friends before popping into the West End or before museum and gallery visits, or just to meet and catch up. Hot drinks can be purchased in the café but feel free to bring your own (shop bought or home made) cakes.

Tuesday 11th 2:15pm

2nd Tuesday Men’s Group Walk: After a break in August the walking group is back in action, the guided walk planned starts at 14.30. We will be exploring the South Bank – music, sculpture, bridges, art and theatre. If you would like to join the walk you can either text or leave a message for Geoff on the walking group mobile number which is 07804 329 416 or speak with Geoff at the Men’s Group evening at Henderson Court. He needs to know your name and the name of anyone else coming with you. Geoff will then confirm meeting details with you. There is room for up to 24 people so if you would like to come along please book.

Tuesday 11th 6:00 – 9:00 pm.

Henderson Court Men’s Group Speaker’s Night: Henderson Court Resource Centre, 102 Fitzjohn’s Ave (entrance round the corner on Prince Arthur Rd) NW3 6NS. Tonight we’re aiming for a men’s group social and planning session. For the social bit, if you want to, bring a bottle of wine… For the planning bit, bring your ideas. We will start with discussing what’s been said at the 1st “Members’ Meeting” held on Monday 10th. This will be followed by your thoughts and comments on the men’s side of the service; what you think is going well, what could be improved and certainly welcome to new ideas. We will also be looking for ideas on how to promote the project more widely, and looking at ideas for fundraising. See you there. NB John form Age UK Camden’s advice team will be on hand tonight to help with any benefits or similar enquires.

Wednesday 12th 6:30 – 8:30pm

2nd Wednesday Mixed Arts Group – Charlie Ratchford Resource Centre, Belmont St, NW1 8HF. Come along and try the arts class, experienced volunteers on hand to share tips. 3


Opening Doors Men’s Group September groups and activities (continued) Friday 14th 7:00 pm

Opening Doors East Mixed Dinner Club “Full of East End Charm”. Open to all Opening Doors London members. At Positive East, 159 Mile End Road, London, E1 4AQ. Cost £6, pre booking essential on 020 8981 7124 (see full details on the Opening Doors East London Page of the newsletter)

Saturday 15th 7:45pm

Tufnell Park Men’s Coffee Evening: September’s monthly coffee evening has a change of date due to our host’s planned holidays later in the month. So note the change of date to Saturday 15th. So come and join us for the monthly coffee evening, as hosted by Leslie and Mike. Meeting up at Tufnell Park Tube station at 7.45 p.m. Please remember to bring cakes and nibbles with you.

Wednesday 19th 2:30 – 4:30pm

3rd Wednesday Mixed “West London Older LGBT Support Group”: In partnership with Age UK Ealing, at the Michael Flanders Centre, Church Road, Acton, W3 8PP. Today’s guest speaker is Jack Gunn, with “A Theatrical Life, reminiscence of gay life in London’s West End and around the world”. Jack Gun, dancer, choreographer, and Theatre Director will tell stories drawing from his fascinating experiences of gay life, with a chance to ask questions, and if you wish, share some stories of your own…. Refreshments served. For more information call 020 7239 0446. thanks.

Wednesday 19th 7:00pm til late

3rd Wednesday Men’s Pub Night at the Black Cap: We’re at the Black Cap, on Camden High St, NW1 7JY for this popular peer led men’s group pub social. Meeting upstairs from 7pm. Once again a big thanks to manager Ian and all at the Black Cap for their continued support.

Tuesday 25th 6pm – 9pm

Henderson Court Men’s Group Film Night: Henderson Court Resource Centre, 102 Fitzjohn’s Ave (entrance round the corner on Prince Arthur Rd) . Tonight’s film offering will be the 2001 film “ Chop Suey”. Photographer and documentary filmmaker Bruce Weber looks at the lives of his subjects, the nature of the creative spirit, his inner drives and desires, and what fuels his own muse in his third feature film. Weber explores his issues with self-image and sexuality as he explains the homoerotic subtext of his photography to one of his models, a former wrestler fresh out high school. Weber also discusses the importance of the work of other photographers as he hones his individual style, as well as actors and artists who had an important impact on him, including Robert Mitchum, Diana Vreeland, and Wilfred Thesiger.

Friday 28th 2:00-6:00pm

4th Friday Mixed Arts and Photography Group – Tavis House, 1-6 Tavistock Square, WC1H 9NA. Our second monthly meeting for the group for those who can make a daytime meeting. We will have space and light for drawing, pastels etc.

Sunday 30th 12:00pm – 4pm

Last Sunday of the month mixed lunch and film club: Henderson Court Resource Centre, 102 Fitzjohn’s Ave (entrance round the corner on Prince Arthur Rd) . Join us for a special presentation of Agatha Christie’s classic murder mystery ‘And There Were None’ (aka ‘Ten Little Indians’) -- presented by Cary Granite of the International British Film & Television Society! “Pot Luck” lunch for the day, bring a lunch and maybe something to share… See ad on the member’s page for more details.

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Opening Doors Women’s Group September groups and activities Each Thursday 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th 12:30 pm (lunch at 1 pm)

St Anne’s Thursday LGBT Friendly Mixed Lunch Club: St Anne’s Church, 55 Dean Street, Soho, W1D 6AF. Lunch is £3.50. Arrive at St Anne’s for 12:30 for your free glass of sherry. Call ahead and book by Wednesday on the new lunch club number of 020 3638 8232, leaving name and number. Please NOTE: the lunch club is getting VERY popular, so make sure you get your booking in early to avoid disappointment.

Thursday 6th 1pm – 5pm

4th Annual Older LGBT Information Fair: YMCA Indian Hostel, 41 Fitzroy Square, W1T 6AQ. This is a FREE event for members, partners, friends and family. Come along and enjoy a fun and informative afternoon of guest talks, performances and workshops. Check out a range of information stalls offering advice, products and services covering health, well being and social care.

Friday 7th 7pm

Women’s Lunch Club: Friends House Restaurant, 173-177 Euston Rd, NW1 2BJ Please look for the women’s group in the downstairs restaurant (NOT the café). (If you’re planning to attend this group for the 1st time please let Kate or Stacey know and we can arrange for someone to meet you)

Wednesday 12th 6:30 – 8:30pm

2nd Wednesday Mixed Arts Group – Charlie Ratchford Resource Centre, Belmont St, NW1 8HF. Come along and try the arts class, experienced volunteers on hand to share tips.

Friday 14th 7:00 pm

Opening Doors East Mixed Dinner Club - Positive East, 159 Mile End Road, London, E1 4AQ. Open to all Opening Doors London members. £6 per person, pre-booking is essential on 020 8981 7124 (see full details on the Opening Doors East London Page of the newsletter)

Wednesday 19th 2:30 – 4:30pm

3rd Wednesday Mixed “West London Older LGBT Support Group”: In partnership with Age UK Ealing, at the Michael Flanders Centre, Church Road, Acton, W3 8PP. Today’s guest speaker is Jack Gunn, with “A Theatrical Life, reminiscence of gay life in London’s West End and around the world”. See ad on member’s page…. Refreshments served. For more information call 020 7239 0446. thanks.

Wednesday 19th 7pm

Women’s Meal: Banana Tree Canteen. 412-416 St John Street, Angel EC1V4NJ Call Stacey or Kate to add your name to the booking for this month’s meal – before Monday 17th September.

Friday 21st 12:30 – 2:00pm

Women’s Lunch Club: Friends House Restaurant, 173-177 Euston Rd, NW1 2BJ Please look for the women’s group in the downstairs restaurant (NOT the café). (If you’re planning to attend this group for the 1st time please let Kate or Stacey know and we can arrange for someone to meet you)

Saturday 22nd 11am

Women’s Walking and Herstory: Day out to Whitstable Meet at Stratford International Station at 10.30am at the ticket office and then spend the day in Whitstable with Taylor’s herstory to accompany us. We will ensure that the day is accessible to all with the option of no walking at all or longer exploring, whatever suits you. Please contact Kate or Stacey for more information. If we can book train tickets by Friday 7th we should get them low price. It will also be Autumn Equinox so can celebrate that too.

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Opening Doors Women’s Group September groups and activities (continued) Thursday 27th 6:00 – 8:30pm

Women’s Film Night: Tavis Meeting Room B. Age UK, Tavis House, 1-6 Tavistock Square, WC1H 9NA

(film starts at 6:30)

Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement (2010). This short documentary, about an hour in length, traces the early lives of Edie and Thea from their childhood and teen years in the thirties and during WWII up to their long-awaited wedding in Toronto in 2007. Along the way, the film explores these two ordinary individuals as they come to terms with their sexual orientation during a period when homosexuality was still very much taboo. But while Edie and Thea in many ways are just ordinary people, their story is extraordinary.

Sunday 30th 12:00pm – 4pm

Last Sunday of the month mixed lunch and film club: Henderson Court Resource Centre, 102 Fitzjohn’s Ave (entrance round the corner on Prince Arthur Rd) . Join us for a special presentation of Agatha Christie’s classic murder mystery ‘And There Were None’ (aka ‘Ten Little Indians’) -- presented by Cary Granite of the International British Film & Television Society! “Pot Luck” lunch for the day, bring a lunch and maybe something to share… See ad on the member’s page for more details.

Positive Images

Information Workshops

Opening Doors London & Age UK are looking to increase the number of photographic images we have of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender women.

Our colleagues in Age UK Camden’s Information Advice & Advocacy team will be arranging two info sessions (to take place in November) for the ODL women’s group. The first will focus on money matters but the second is open for suggestions – What ‘theme’ would you like information on?

If you would be happy for your image to be used for promotional purposes and would like to take part in a fun photo shoot with a professional photographer, please contact Stacey or Kate ASAP

Please contact Stacey or Kate with your suggestions

We will arrange the day on the basis of availability of those of you who would like to take part.

Events Listings

Advice & Information

Please email anything you think might be of interest to other members ~ groups, discussions, music & dance, marches, exhibitions ~ anything relevant.

Tracey McDermott is available to provide the Opening Doors Women’s group with advice and support on a variety of issues including; Housing, benefits, care services etc.

Currently the list will be distributed fortnightly but will go out weekly once there is a larger volume of listings.

For more information contact Tracey on:

020 7837 3777 or

Send your ideas/info to Taylor at:

odwomen@ageukcamden.org.uk

tracey.mcdermott@ageukcamden.org.uk 6


Opening Doors East London Activities New sessional worker for Opening Doors East! - Nic Humberstone nicola.humberstone@ageukcamden.org.uk or phone Kate to relay messages 020 7239 0447

Opening Doors East London Monday 3rd September 4pm - 6pm:

Do you live, work or socialise in Newham?

Positive East, 151 Mile End Road, E1 (next to Stepney Green station). Gateway Housing Focus Group: Gateway as a social housing landlord are scoping older people's views on future housing needs in Tower Hamlets, and seem to be serious about including the needs/ideas of OLGBT people. They are specifically inviting you from Opening Doors East to attend a facilitated OLGBT Focus Group (travel costs, tea and cakes provided) to be held in Positive East either week beginning.

Opening Doors London and Age UK Newham will be holding a consultation and launch event to hear what you would like from this new group. Please join us on: Wednesday 19th September 4pm to 8pm ~ drop in at any point. There will be music, drama and poetry. Refreshments and snacks provided. Newham Community Resource Centre 200 Chargeable Lane Plaistow E13 8DW

Friday 14th September Dinner Club: 6:30pm onwards - Come and celebrate the Dinner Club’s 2nd Birthday with music, poetry and games.Booking essential.

For more information or travel directions please contact Kate on 020 7239 0447 kate.hancock@ageukcamden.org.uk

Please contact Nic or Kate

Opening Doors East London

Redbridge Older LGBT Social Group

New! Opening Doors Group In Waltham Forest

Every 3rd Monday of the month, 2pm to 4pm.

Join us for a ‘scoping & information’ session to look at arrangements for this new older LGBT group – in partnership with ELOP and Age UK Waltham Forest.

At Age UK Redbridge 4th Floor 103 Cranbrook Road Ilford, Essex, IG1 4PU

Thursday 30th August 4-6pm @

Next meeting Monday 17th September

Elop 56-60 Grove Road, E17 9BN

020 8220 6000 7


Points of View Welcome to the new “Points of View” page, written for, and by, members of Opening Doors London. We want to hear from YOU, what’s important, on any particular subject that you think other members of ODL would be interested to know about. So send your “Points of view” to one of the ODL staff. Our first piece, from one of the ODL women, looks to explore reasons why people do, or don’t attend groups, with a specific invite for the new Newham women's group… “Some of you may have found the details of proposed new groups in recent newsletters and e-mails a bit confusing. The reason for starting some new groups is that Opening Doors wants to be as geographically accessibly as possible, with a range of “specialist groups”. To do this we’ve got funding for some sessional workers. These are part time staff who have been through interview and who are paid hourly rates to facilitate groups and activities. You will notice that there is to be a new group for “shy” members and also a notice about members with mental health difficulties. Here’s an explanation about the proposed new group. We missed those of you who used to attend our meetings in the past. Maybe some of you didn’t like the activities we organised, or perhaps you were put off by something else. The group will be led by a trained facilitator. The group will go to places that you choose, so you need to tell us what you would like. We could go to interesting places, exhibitions, films, unusual events, or whatever you wish. It’s always nicer to go with a friendly group. Don’t worry about the phrase “mental health”. All it means is that you may be more nervous or unsure of yourself than other people seem to be. Maybe bad things have happened to you in the past, perhaps you’ve been in a difficult relationship or had other nasty experiences. Maybe you’ve asked your doctor to give you tranquillisers or sleeping pills because of anxiety, or maybe you’re just shy. You will find you’re not alone. Many people feel they have to hide these things, because others don’t understand, but here you won’t have to hide. Well, here is the right group for you! Nobody will look down on you or criticize you or turn their back on you, or snub you (some of these things may have happened to you in the past). Friendliness is what you will find here. The group will be led by a trained facilitator, who will look out for you and make sure that none of these things happen. We would love you to come and enjoy this women’s group meeting with others like yourself. It is just for shy women who may or may not feel they may have mental health issues-nobody else! So you can relax and feel safe. Please come back!” For more information on, or to sign up to, the new women’s mental health support group, please contact Kate on 020 7239 0447 or kate.hancock@ageukcamden.org.uk 8


Organisation of the Month… Welcome to our new feature, “Organisation of the Month”, which will showcase a different LGBT or LGBT friendly service every month. This month, Peter Kelley, caseworker for GALOP, writes… In 1982, Galop began working across London, to demand better protection from the police against gay-bashing. We believed then that as lesbians, gay men, bisexual and trans people, we deserved to be free to be who we are, where ever we are and without fear of violence. And we believed that when abuse or violence does happen, we deserved to be protected by the police. At Galop, 30 years after we started, we still believe those things, and yet they don’t always happen. Today, Galop gives advice and support to people who have experienced biphobia, homophobia and transphobia, sexual violence or domestic abuse. We also support LGBT people who have had problems with the police or have questions about the criminal justice system. Galop is completely independent – we are a community-led group and we are not connected to the police. You can talk to us anonymously if you choose. Below are some examples of how Galop can help: Criminal Justice: Many older gay/bi men have previous convictions for consensual sexual offences. Galop has campaigned for the Government to change the law. The Freedom Act which was passed earlier this year means that some convictions for offences such as Gross Indecency can be deleted from your record. From October 2012 Galop will be able to give you advice about deleting previous consensual sexual offences from your police record. If you want more advice about this you can contact Galop on 020 7704 2040. Hate Crime and policing: Hate crime can include anything from verbal abuse, to blackmail threats and violence. In the past many older LGBT people have had negative experiences of the criminal justice system and are reluctant to report incidents. Galop can help assist you reporting to the police and liaise on your behalf to make sure you get a good service. We can also negotiate with others, such as your housing provider, if you are being harassed by neighbours for instance. Abuse at Home: Abuse from family and partners happens in our community. Galop is a safe space to talk about what you want, away from the pressure of home. We can help you with planning to make yourself safer, look at housing options and liaise with the police. Sexual abuse & violence: If you’ve been forced into sex, didn’t agree with what happened, blackmailed or unsure how you feel you can talk to Galop. We can provide support and advice and help you report to the police. Other ways Galop can help: Galop can also help you get legal advice, compensation if you’re injured in an attack or make a police complaint on your behalf. For more information contact us on 020 7704 2040 (Mon – Friday 10am – 4pm; closed Tuesday) or at our website www.galop.org.uk 9


Opening Doors Members News West London Older LGBT Group Opening Doors London, in partnership with Age UK Ealing, are hosting a new afternoon social group for West London older LGBT men and women, based in Ealing, and open to all Opening Doors Members.

New! Sunday lunch and film club Open to ALL Opening Doors Members Sunday 30th September, 12:00 4:00 pm (pot luck lunch, bring your own & something to share)

Every 3rd Wednesday of the month 2:30pm – 4:30pm Next date: Wednesday 19th September 2012 At: The Michael Flanders Centre Church Road, Acton, W3 8PP This month guest speaker, Jack Gunn, will be talking about “A Theatrical Life; Reminiscence of gay life in London’s West End and around the world…” For more information or to book your place please contact: Nick Maxwell on 020 7239 0446 nick.maxwell@ageukcamden.org.uk

Join us for a special presentation of Agatha Christie’s classic murder mystery ‘And There Were None’ (aka ‘Ten Little Indians’) -- presented by Cary Granite of the International British Film & Television Society! Ten people are summoned to a mysterious and secluded mansion. Is one of them a killer -- or is there an unseen evil force at work? Clues and bodies begin to drop one by one. It's a race against time to see who will solve the mystery -- could it be you?! The presentation will include a short introduction to the film (sans spoilers!) and a Q&A afterwards. Henderson Court Resource Centre 102 Fitzjohn’s Avenue (entrance round the corner on Prince Arthur Rd) NW3 6NS

ODL Visit to

Last Month (1st August) saw yet another fun and informative visit to the Guardian newspaper where members of ODL were invited along to have a go at editing their own front page. A huge thanks to Margaret, Fiona and Elli and all of the team at the Guardian for making us feel so welcome… 10


Opening Doors Members News

Friday morning coffee n’ cake

St Anne’s mixed lunch club Every Thursday 12:30 pm (1 pm lunch)

10:00 – 12:00

at St Anne’s Church, 55 Dean Street, Soho, W1D 6AF.

Age UK Café Tavis House, 1- 6 Tavistock Sq, WC1H 9NA

LGBT friendly space open to all Opening Doors members

(nearest tube Euston or Russell Sq) Opening Doors London are pleased to announce the formal launch of our regular Friday morning “coffee n’ cake” club.

Arrive at 12:30 pm for a welcome glass of sherry, with lunch at 1pm.

It’s been running informally for the past couple of months (thanks to Stephen for this) and has been growing in numbers..

Cost £3.50 Book with St Anne’s by Wednesday afternoon on 020 3638 8232.

So if you’re popping into the West End, maybe doing something cultural, then this is the ideal place to meet friends…

Please NOTE: the lunch club is getting VERY popular, so make sure you get your booking in early to avoid disappointment.

Official launch Friday 7th September, then every Friday. Bring cake, or why not bake something and bring it in to share?

Remember, Thursday 6th September is the date for the ODL Health Information Fair 1 – 5pm, YMCA Indian Hostel, 41 Fitzroy Square, London W1T 6AQ This is a FREE event for members, partners, family and friends. Come along and enjoy a fun and informative afternoon of guest talks, performances and workshops. Take advantage of a range of information stalls offering advice, products and services covering health, well being and social care. Health screening and advice; free complementary therapy tasters; dance and sound therapy workshops; free refreshments.

This unique event is tailored for LGBT people over fifty – that’s you! See you there. 11


Women’s Health Are You Ready For Your Screen Test? “Many incorrectly believe that lesbians are not at risk at all.” The “Are You Ready For Your Screen Test?” campaign aims to dispel the myths around lesbian and bisexual women and cervical screening, and raise awareness that lesbian and bisexual women do need regular cervical screening tests. The Lesbian & Gay Foundation campaign “Are You Ready For Your Screen Test?” is to raise awareness of cervical screening with lesbian and bisexual woman, encourage them to attend screening appointments, give them the confidence to use their rights, and provide advice to make it the best possible experience. The LGF cervical screening guide can be downloaded from www.lgf.org.uk/screening

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Men’s Health Over 50 living with HIV Over-50s are the fastest-growing group of people with HIV in the UK A NATIONAL STUDY OF PEOPLE OVER 50 LIVING WITH HIV This study by Age UK and Terrence Higgins Trust investigated the needs and concerns of older adults living with HIV. The over-50s are the fastest-growing group of people with HIV in the UK, yet until recently, older adults living with HIV have received little attention within HIV services. The report highlights how improved treatments are allowing people with HIV in the UK to live longer into later life. It found that: Respondents feared that social care services, care homes and sheltered housing might be HIV prejudiced or homophobic. While most thought highly of their HIV clinicians, many reported poor experiences in primary care. Respondents' highest future priority was for good quality health and treatment information.

Key points:  This group is highly diverse. Most are gay/bisexual men. Some are long-term survivors; others are recently infected. Compared with their peers overall, this group:  Report twice as many other long-term health conditions; many report mobility problems and difficulties with everyday tasks;  Are less economically active, less likely to have a financial cushion for old age and more reliant on benefits. Many do not have enough money to manage on and have serious financial worries for their future.  Many would like more social contact and support. Most prefer to find this through HIV organisations.  Most were open about their HIV status in key relationships and had found reactions largely positive; however, disclosure is still seen as risky.  One in five reported experiencing age or HIV-related discrimination in the past year, with HIV discrimination worst in healthcare and goods and services. Report available at: www.jrf.org.uk/publications/over-50-living-with-HIV

ODL is in the early stages of developing a specific group for older gay and bisexual men living with HIV. Members of the project would have been significantly affected by the epidemic, seeing it at its worst and many losing friends and partners. But also many members, with their own diagnosis, are now facing the unique challenges of growing older with HIV. If you want to know more about the “older, gay and positive group”, then please get in touch with Nick on 020 7239 0446 to register your interest.

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General Health

Just click your heels together three times and walk… Walking is the perfect exercise, the cheapest, the most sustainable and sociable mode of transport There’s a long list of health benefits gained from being more physically active, including building up the heart and lungs, lowering blood pressure, helping to manage weight, improving flexibility and strength, and reducing the health issues such as coronary heart disease, strokes, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers and osteoporosis. Physical active people also enjoy mental health benefits - being active can help build confidence, improve sleep patterns, and both prevent and help treat depression. All of these benefits from joining the ODL walking groups, and you get to meet new friends too. Walking in green spaces, even the local park, can have a positive effect on mental health. Time spent walking is a good investment, as active people generally live longer and enjoy a better quality of life.

Best foot forward… Walking one mile in 20 minutes can burn up at least 100kcal / 420kJ of energy. Means nothing to most of us, but equivalent as swimming for 10 minutes, doing aerobics for 16 minutes or playing football for 12 minutes. And to help put that 100 kcal's into focus think of something like a mars bar, one of which is around 330 kcals. Burn more energy Physical activity like walking also helps by boosting your metabolism so your body burns more energy, even up to several hours after you’ve finished exercising. Regular walking increases muscle mass, and as muscle tissue uses more energy than fat tissue, which helps you burn calories at a faster rate and keep the fat off in the long term. If a medication existed which had a similar effect to physical activity, it would be regarded as a ‘miracle cure’. More people walking could bring vast savings to the nation’s health bill. Physical inactivity costs the NHS in England between £1 billion and £1.8 billion a year, and around £8.3 billion to the wider economy in sick days and premature deaths. Lecture over! If you haven’t joined one of the ODL walking groups, why not give it a go? The next ones are a return to our usual 2nd Tuesday of the month “men’s walking group” on Tuesday 11th September (see men’s page for details) and or the next “Walking and Herstory” group on ?? September (see women’s page for details) 14


General Health 12 top tops for an enjoyable walk For most of us, walking is relatively easy with no special equipment, little preparation or training is necessary. If you decide after enjoying the Women and Herstory trips or the Men’s Walking Group you want to take up a bit more of a challenge (think Richmond Park, Capital Ring, Jubilee Walk or London Loop) a few bits of forward thinking may be useful. Regular walking can help you control your weight, reduce your risk of heart disease, strengthen your bones and muscles and can just be fun and help fight the blues. But if you haven't exercised for some time and you have health concerns, you should talk to your GP before starting a new exercise routine.

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Opening Doors Members News Opening Doors Members’ Group (YOUR project, YOUR voice)

Opening Doors Members’ Group 3pm – 5pm, Monday 10 September 2012. Age UK Camden, Tavis House. 1 – 6 Tavistock Square, WC1H

Just a reminder to you all about September’s new “Opening Doors Member’s Group”. This is an open opportunity to influence the future direction of ODL. Something to share? Something to get off your chest? Feedback and suggestions? Proposals for Women’s activities? Men’s activities? Mixed activities? Huge thanks to the people who were able to attend the meeting in June where two members were chosen as temporary reps to the ODL Advisory Group. The Advisory Group will principally consist of external people to the project. We are seeing the Members’ Group as the group with much more influence internally. For the majority of members who would want to actively shape the project, this would be the group to participate in. The proposed structure, which will be briefly talked about during the meeting, is an increased opportunity to more fully involve members. For information about the proposed structure – please contact any of the team at Tavis House. Staff Contact Details Opening Doors London, Age UK Camden, Tavis House, 1- 6 Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9NA (switchboard 020 7239 0400) Stacey Halls & Kate Hancock – Development Coordinators (Women) 020 7239 0447 or e-mail odl.women@ageukcamden.or.uk Nick Maxwell – Development Coordinator (Men) 020 7239 0446 or e-mail odl.men@ageukcamden.org.uk Carley Stubbs - Befriending Coordinator 020 7239 0442 or e-mail odl.befriending@ageukcamden.org.uk www.openingdoorslondon.org.uk

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Opening Doors Newsletter September 2012