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Westminster PLUS Essential information for Westminster’s older residents

Issue 18 – March 2013

INSIDE Westminster City Save Amazing offers and discounts

Westminster Mile Take on the challenge

Energy Switch

Save money with our Collective Energy Switching Scheme

PLUS Activities and events Volunteering opportunities

Welcome and news Welcome to the Spring edition of Westminster Plus, packed with the latest news, advice and information for residents aged 60 plus. With the Olympic and Paralympic Games making 2012 an action packed year, we kick off our legacy projects with the first ever Westminster Mile in May, a mile long walk or run around St. James’s Park. Find out how to give it a go on pages 16-17. Another way to keep your body and mind healthy is to visit one of our Community Hubs, which have over 180 free and low-cost weekly activities for people over 50. See page 12 for details. To help you make the most of your city and keep active, we’ve launched Westminster City Save which replaces the old ResCard. Find out how to apply for a card and the offers available to you

on pages 10-11. Plus don’t forget that you receive free swimming with a Concession Card. Pick one up for free from your local council leisure centre. Helping you get the best deal on your energy bills, we have launched Westminster’s Collective Energy Switching Scheme. By bringing people together to buy their energy from one supplier we will get you the best price. Find out how to sign up to the scheme on page 18. We hope you have an enjoyable and active Spring.

If you are over 60 and would like to receive Westminster Plus magazine, please call 020 7641 3111. 2

Councillor The Lady Flight Westminster Older People’s Champion

Cabinet Support, 17th Floor, City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QP

Councillor Rachael Robathan

Cabinet Member for Adults Cabinet Support, 17th Floor, City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QP On the cover: Gwen Green and her befriender volunteer Daphne Whyte.

Welcome and news

Discounted gym membership for disabled people If you’re disabled you can join a council gym for just £19.95 per month compared to the standard monthly charge of £47. There’s no joining fee, no minimum contract and free entry for your accompanying carer. Visit your local council leisure centre and mention the Better Inclusive introductory offer or visit www.better. concessionary

Make friends from your armchair If you’re unable to easily get out and meet people, why not join in weekly phone discussions from your home? We pay for the call and you get to choose what you would like to talk about. This service is available through our Community Hubs. Call 020 8964 1900 to find out more.

Free audio books Listen to your favourite books with a new e-audiobook from the online libraries service. Download one of 600 bestselling titles on to your iPad, computer or mp3 player and start listening. To use the service you need to be a member of Westminster libraries. Visit eaudiobooks or ask at your local library.

Is your smoke alarm working? Keep safe with a smoke alarm. The London Fire Brigade supplies and installs smoke alarms and hard of hearing alarms free, as well as carrying out home fire safety visits. To book an appointment call 0800 028 4428 or email

Free TV license for over 75s If you are aged 75 or over you do not need to pay for your TV license. To claim your free license call 0300 790 6073 or visit www.tvlicensing. Join Westminster libraries and get free access to computers and the internet. 3

CARE VISITS AT HOME Good Old Fashioned Service Our Services From personal care to shopping, cleaning or companionship. Everything you need to stay in your own home.

Get in touch Call our professional team on

0207 976 6163

Email us at


The future of care homes When we asked you what you thought about our proposals to change the type of care homes we provide for older people, 75% of people who responded said they supported them. We propose: • providing more extra care homes – independent flats with access to 24-hour care • increasing nursing care, particularly for people with dementia • building some new care homes and rebuilding others • providing different types of care on one site so that people don’t have to move home when their condition changes • providing less residential care. These changes will allow us to provide a new type of home that give people independence, privacy and quality care. 4

Next steps Once these recommendations have been agreed by the NHS we will look at where the new homes can be located. People living in a care home that is affected will move to a new or refurbished home. For more information email opspecialist housing@westminster., visit www. specialisthousing or call 020 7641 2631.

Remaining independent A new memory and dementia resource centre is helping people remain independent. Keen to keep active and remain independent after being diagnosed with a mild form of dementia last year, Sheila Foard is making the most of a new dementia resource centre in Westbourne Park Road. “The centre has helped me to remain independent. For me, it is a reason to get out of bed in the morning. I get to speak to people every day, which as I don’t know my neighbours is really good. It’s very close to where I live so I have built it into my everyday routine. “I am able to choose what I want to do at the centre each day. I like giving a hand in setting up lunch and serving tea. I like interacting with other people at the centre. It all keeps me mentally fit.

“The centre is fresh and clean, the staff are really helpful and everyone recognises me when I come in. I am very pleased I am able to come here and it’s good to get out of the house.” The state of the art memory and dementia resource centre is a joint council and NHS facility. As well as offering a range of activities to help people remain independent the centre is host to services which include memory assessments, a hydrotherapy pool and Admiral Nurses.

Sheila Foard

“The centre has helped me to remain independent. For me, it is a reason to get out of bed in the morning.” To find out if you are eligible to attend the centre, call Adult Social Care on 020 7641 2500 or visit 5

Friendly support A befriending programme is helping people in Westminster stay active, independent and meet new people. A befriending programme run by Octavia Foundation on behalf of the Council and NHS, has helped over 70 older people since it began in late 2011. The programme matches older people who are isolated or lonely with volunteer befrienders who call or visit them regularly offering friendly conversation and support. Eve, 86, from South Westminster is visited weekly by her befriender Ros and they have built a great friendship which has helped Eve remain independent. “I get on very well with Ros, she is an excellent person. I really enjoy her company and we talk about so many different things. She comes to see me every week which is really nice of her as I know she works full time and is very active. I usually see her 6

every Saturday or Sunday and I really look forward to it. I have not been able to go out much recently as I have been unwell so it is very nice to have Ros and know that she is coming each week.

“Ros has helped me be more independent as with her support I am able to do more things for myself.” “When she visits we talk about a lot of things, I have lived in Africa and we have both traveled a lot so this is something we like to talk about. Ros gives me advice on things and I ask her questions such as who to phone for certain support I need. This has helped me be more independent as with her support I am able to do more things for myself.”

Friendly support

Daphne Whyte, 76, has been volunteering as a befriender since the programme launched and was matched with Gwen who she visits every Tuesday.

“As I only have one person who I visit we have become very good friends. We get on well and I enjoy meeting her, which is why I have been doing it for so long.

“I enjoy being a befriender because I know I’m helping somebody.” Daphne (pictured below with Gwen)

“Although Gwen is quite active it is good for her to have someone to talk to regularly. We also talk about any problems she has and I give her my advice. I will often ring her during the week to check if she is ok if I know something is bothering her. I enjoy being a befriender because I know I’m helping somebody. It is only one hour a week and you can sit and talk or go for a walk together. You can help them if they are worrying or if they feel a bit lonely. I think there are a lot of people out there who need a befriender.”

Got some time to spare? The programme is looking for more befrienders. If you have a few hours to spare each week and would like to help others who are not able to get out and meet people, please register to volunteer. Contact Octavia Foundation for more information on 020 8354 5681 or email volunteering@octavia 7

Volunteering Help keep your body and mind active whilst giving something back to your local community. With a love of London and volunteering Nan Kay-Walton, 70, jumped at the chance to become a London Ambassador during the Olympic and Paralympics Games. Nan Kay-Walton

“I decided to volunteer as a London Ambassador as I was already a London City Guide, I have the time and I know London well. I love London and I didn’t want people to miss anything. “When I heard about the London Ambassadors I wasn’t sure whether to apply. I thought they wouldn’t want someone like me but it was great to see they didn’t have any age or ability restrictions. “I have arthritis so I was worried that my enthusiasm would override my ability to do the role. But I was able to work for five hours with a break. This was perfect as I was careful about what I did which meant my arthritis and age didn’t hold be back at all. “I was part of the Flying Squad at Heathrow Terminal 5. This meant we were at the airport during the week


before the Paralympics to keep the momentum going and the excitement up. “Volunteering keeps me active and independent. My diary is so full, I can do something every day of the week. I feel that is really important when you get to a certain age, to stay healthy and independent. “I loved being involved in such a memorable event and time in London, and I am going to continue to volunteer through the City Guides programme for many years to come.” Volunteering as a City Guide gives you the chance to develop new skills, meet new people and be part of London’s major events. To become a City Guide visit www.volunteer. or call Volunteer Centre Westminster on 020 7266 1992.


Learn new skills through volunteering

Nominate your community hero

Rose Hayles volunteers as an Open Age Champion giving others advice and guidance on activities at their local Community Hub.

If you know someone in your community who gives up their free time to help others, make sure you put them forward for a Westminster Community Award.

“I volunteer as a receptionist each week, help plan the programme for the Active Citizens Group, and I am even a Trustee. “I have learnt so much through the Community Hubs. I can now use an iPad, I’m learning photography and I even learnt to ride a bike. I have made lots of new friends.

“I used to be quite a shy person but volunteering has helped my confidence. Without the Community Hubs my life would not be as much fun.” To find your local Community Hub visit uk/communityhub or turn to page 12 for details of what’s on. To find out what volunteering opportunities there are in your area visit

Rose Hayles (left) at a Community Hub activity Photo by David Ingham

These awards are the chance to nominate local heroes and outstanding organisations to give recognition to those who work hard and dedicate their time to benefit the lives of people in Westminster. For more information and to nominate visit or write to Volunteer Centre Westminster, 4 Sutherland Avenue, London, W9 2HQ. Nominations close on the 31st March 2013 and the winners will be announced at the awards ceremony in June 2013.

“Without the Community Hubs my life would not be as much fun.” 9

Offers and discounts Apply for a new Westminster City Save card for offers and discounts on local attractions and services. The scheme replaces ResCard. If you already have a ResCard you can visit your local library or leisure centre to fill in an application form and exchange your ResCard. You will be issued with a new Westminster City Save card on the spot. If you weren’t part of the ResCard scheme but would like to sign up for a City Save card visit www.westminster. or call 020 7641 6000 and a card will be sent to you in the post. All offers are subject to availability and terms and conditions. Visit citysave for details.

A selection of City Save offers are shown here. Apsley House – 20% off entry for up to six people. Call: 0870 333 1181 Terms: Not available on joint tickets to Apsley House and Wellington Arch, not available on special event days, not available in conjunction with other offers. Hyde Park Corner, 149 Piccadilly, W1J 7NT

Benjamin Franklin House Two for one adult tickets. Call: 020 7925 1405 Terms: Available on full price adult tickets, not available with any other offer. 36 Craven Street, WC2N 5NF

Brit Movie walking tours Two for one Call: 0844 2471 007 Advance booking required. Quote WESRES20 when booking.


Conway Hall – 1/3 off lectures, topical events and theatre performances. Call: 020 7405 1818 Terms: Book over the phone and mention City Save. 25 Red Lion Square, WC1R 4RL

Florence Nightingale Museum – 20% off entry for up to six people. Call: 020 7620 0374 Terms: Not to be used in conjunction with other offers. 2 Lambeth Palace Road, SE1 7EW

Porters English restaurant 20% off the a la carte menu. Call: 020 7836 6466 Terms: Up to six people, excludes other offers and drinks. Present your City Save card when you pay. 17 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8QH

Free services and discounts for Westminster residents

Offers and discounts

Handel House Museum Two for one entry. Call: 020 7495 1685 Terms: Admits one adult or child free when presented at the time of purchase of one fully priced adult ticket. Not to be used in conjunction with other offers.

Lord’s Cricket Ground 20% off tour for up to six people including entry to the museum. Call: 020 7616 8595 Terms: See website for full terms. St. John’s Wood, NW8 8QN

25 Brook Street, W1K 4HB

Westminster Abbey Free admission. Call: 020 7222 5152 Terms: Show your card on entry. Opening is restricted when special services and events are taking place so check before arrival. Offer is for cardholder only. 20 Dean’s Yard, SW1P 3PA

Westminster Walking Tours £3 off guided walking tours. Email: info@westminster or visit for tour details.

Household Cavalry Museum 25% off adult, concession and family tickets.

TKTS ticket booth, Leicester Square – £3 off discounted theatre tickets.

Call: 020 7930 3070

Call: 020 7557 6789

Terms: Not available where other offers apply.

Terms: Show your card on arrival at the walk. One tour per person.

Horse Guards, Whitehall, SW1A 2AX

Terms: Valid on tickets bought on the first Friday of the month. Up to two tickets per person. Tickets can only be bought in person. Show your card on booking. Not valid on full price tickets or with any other offer.

Call: 020 7414 3428

Libraries across Westminster Various discounts including DVD hire for £2.

Terms: Applies only to full price adult tickets, cannot be used in conjunction with other offers.

Call: 020 7641 1300 or ask at your local library for full details.

The Guards Museum Two for one adult tickets.

Wellington Barracks, SW1E 6HQ

Wellington Arch – 20% off entry for up to six people. Call: 0870 333 1181 Terms: Available on full price tickets only, cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers. Apsley Way, Hyde Park Corner, W1J 7JZ


Spring activities

Booking is required for some activities. Please call ahead to check details.

Join in over 180 free and low-cost activities every week at our Community Hubs. South Westminster Churchill Community Hub

West Westminster Queen’s Park and Harrow Road Community Hub

North Westminster Westbourne Community Hub

Tel: 020 7976 6354 Nearest tube: Pimlico/Victoria

Tel: 020 7266 2776 Nearest tube: Westbourne Park

Tel: 020 8964 1900 Nearest tube: Westbourne Park

Walking group and nature walks Tuesdays, 11am – 1pm Churchill Gardens Youth Club, Churchill Gardens Road, SW1V 3AL Cost: Free

Beginners internet and email computer class Mondays, 11.30am – 1.30pm Queen’s Park Library, 666 Harrow Road, W10 4NE Cost: £2 Booking is essential

Creative writing Wednesdays, 11am – 12.30pm Brunel Mini Hub, Housing Office, 1 Sunderland House, Brunel Estate, W2 5UX Cost: £1.50

Yoga Fridays, 1pm – 2.30pm Churchill Gardens Youth Club, Churchill Gardens Road, SW1V 3AL Cost: £1.50

T’ai Chi Fridays, 2pm – 3pm Juniper House, Droop Street, W10 4QX (behind Queen’s Park Library) Cost: £1

You and a friend can join in any activity at your local Community Hub for free. To claim your free class or find your local Hub call Open Age on 020 8964 1900, or Notting Hill Housing for the Penfold/Church Street Hub on 020 8762 3082. 12

Stretch and revive gentle chair yoga Thursdays, 12pm – 1pm Warwick Community Centre, 300 Harrow Road, W2 5HG Cost: £1

You can enjoy free and discounted activities at Westminster leisure centres.

Spring activities

Church Street (Penfold) Community Hub

Calling all green fingered volunteers

Tel: 020 8762 3082 Nearest tube: Edgware Road/Marylebone

Come and find out how you can get involved in our community garden, have your own plot or help with some of the gardening tasks.

Memory loss advice Monday 25th March, 10.30am – 12.30pm 60 Penfold Street, NW8 8PJ Cost: Free

Thursday 28th March, 2pm – 4pm Church Street (Penfold) Community Hub 60 Penfold Street, NW8 8PJ

Social afternoon and tea dance Wednesday 27th March, 2pm – 4pm 60 Penfold Street, NW8 8PJ Cost: £5 including lunch Events at Community Hubs are provided on behalf of the council by Notting Hill Housing and Open Age. Restaurant night at Penfold Hub


Care as individual as your loved one At Forrester Court care home in Paddington we’re dedicated to providing your loved one with 24 hour expert care and support that can be personalised to their individual needs. We deliver the best in residential, nursing and respite care, plus specialist care for those living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. We help our residents to stay active and independent, involving them in all aspects of home life. To find out how we can help, call

0333 321 1976 ADVERTISEMENT

Get involved

Looking to make new friends whilst learning new skills?

The Second Half Centre Based in St Charles Hospital is a new centre for over 50’s which hosts over 45 hours of classes and sessions every week. From Pilates, to gardening, to cooking and IT classes, you can develop new skills, keep fit and rediscover old hobbies. Call 020 8962 5500 or visit for more information. Free membership to Second Half Centre. Offer ends 31st March. Visit www.the to complete a membership form. 14

Engagement and Talking Through the Arts E.T.A.T is a group for people who are isolated, lonely or have a disability to come along and engage with the arts. The group has a range of activities including painting, knitting and singing. They also work with Volunteer Centre Westminster to provide a befriending service. To find out more call Jane Buttigieg on 07903 955 624 or visit the group, Tuesday and Thursdays 10am – 3pm at Thamesbank Centre, Peabody Avenue, London SW1V 4AR.

We’re listening Tell us what you think of our Adult Social Care Charter.

Our Adult Social Care charter sets out our promise that every person using our services will be treated with dignity, compassion and respect. Now we want to know what you think about it.

Feedback events

We will be at events around Westminster over the coming months to get your feedback about our services.

Join us at: Penfold Community Hub

Meet the Cabinet Member for Adults and Public Health and other social care staff at one of these events. You can give your feedback, tell us what is important to you and find out more about the services that are available.

Date: Thursday 21st March, 11.30am Venue: Penfold Community Hub, 60 Penfold Street, NW8 8PJ

Queen’s Park Harrow Road Community Hub Date: Monday 25th March, 10am – 12pm Wednesday 27th March, 2pm – 4pm Venue: Community Hub, Juniper House, Droop Street, W10 4QX

Churchill Gardens Community Hub Date: Thursday 18th April, 10am Venue: Churchill Gardens Youth Hub, Churchill Gardens Road, SW1V 3AL

The Abbey Community Centre Date: Monday 29th April, 2pm Venue: 34 Great Smith Street, SW1P 3BU

You can also give your comments online at or call 0800 587 0072. 15

Run a mile in May This May join thousands of people to walk or run a mile as part of London’s next iconic sporting event. Whether you walk, jog or run sign up now to take part in the new Bupa Westminster Mile, a new one-mile running event around London’s St. James’s Park.

Gerlinde Eaves, 72, from Marylebone has signed up to take part. “I used to be very active in my younger years, however I gradually got out of practice.

There will be more than 20 categories for people of all ages and abilities, including races for juniors, seniors, wheelchair users as well as visually impaired athletes. Why not get into practice by going for regular walks in your local park and building up to a slow jog? Paddington Recreation Ground has a fantastic new running track and Pensioner’s Playground, ideal for training. Bupa Westminster Mile is delivered by the London Marathon in partnership with Westminster City Council. 16

Gerlinde Eaves (right) with another local resident and Paralympian David Weir at the launch of The Bupa Westminster Mile in January

Run a mile in May

Ride London RideLondon comes to Westminster on 3rd and 4th August. The annual cycling festival will be an action-packed weekend with something for spectators and cyclists of all abilities. Visit “Then about two years ago I was told by my doctor that I had high blood pressure. Well, I was sure that I could do something about that without the help of pills. With the help of a GP referral programme, I’m now doing a mile and a half everyday on the treadmill and I also spend time on the rowing machine. “I’ve signed up for the Bupa Westminster Mile because it will be a good excuse to keep up my training, plus it’s very exciting to think it will be starting and finishing in the same place athletes used for the Marathon and Road Cycling events at London 2012! “I’m pleased to see Paralympic athletes like David Weir supporting the event, as I think to deliver a real legacy we need high-profile all inclusive events like this which can inspire more people to get involved in sport. “What I would say to other people, even if you don’t do any other sport, is it’s only one mile, everyone can do it! Do it together as a group and support each other on the way round.”


Sign up today and win free theatre tickets Sign up to the Bupa Westminster Mile before Wednesday 6th March and be in with a chance of winning one of two pairs of tickets to The Tailor’s Last Stand. Quote WESTMINSTERPLUS when you are registering. The Tailors Last Stand, 19th February – 10th March at Barons Court Theatre.

The Bupa Westminster Mile takes place on Sunday 26th May, 10am – 5pm It costs £8 to enter with an additional £1 discount for Westminster residents. Any profits from the event will be invested in sport for local people as part of Westminster City Council’s 2012 legacy programme. To register visit www. bupawestminstermile. If you don’t have internet access at home, ask a staff member at your local library or Community Hub to help you get online. 17

Reduce your energy bills Sign up to Westminster’s Collective Energy Switching Scheme and save up to £182 a year on your energy bills We know that rising energy prices are a concern, especially during the colder months. Switching providers is one way you can get a better deal on your energy bills.

How does the scheme work? Westminster’s Collective Energy Switching Scheme will bring together thousands of people who want to switch providers. Energy providers bid to offer the best available prices for everyone who has signed up to the scheme. It works in the same way as bulk buying – if we all buy our energy together, we should get a better deal than if we try to buy our energy

individually. Households have saved up to £182 per year through this scheme elsewhere in the country. It’s free and simple to sign up and there is no obligation to switch providers if you decide you don’t want to.

Who can sign up? Anyone can sign up. It doesn’t matter if you own or rent your home, or if you pay for your energy monthly, quarterly or up front via a pre-payment meter. You also don’t have to live in Westminster – any household in the UK can take part. The more households that sign up, the better the deal we get for everyone.

How do I sign up? Visit www.westminster. with a recent energy bill to hand. If you don’t have access to the internet you can call 020 7641 4477, where someone can help you sign up over the phone. There will also be sign up events across the city where you can come along and ask questions. Remember to bring a recent energy bill with you. To find out when the sign up events will take place, visit our website or pop in to your local library. For more information visit www.westminster.

Deadline to sign up is 7th April 18

Travel support If you struggle to get out and about, the new low-cost Community Transport Service may be able to help you. The new service is making it more affordable and convenient to get out as the council heavily subsidises the cost of the journeys by minibus or car. May O’Connell, 78 from St Johns Wood relies on community transport and will be using the new service. “I don’t know what I would do without the service. I have problems with my hands and I struggle to do anything on my own so it really helps me get out of the house. We build up a great relationship with the drivers and they treat us with dignity and respect. I use the transport to get to the Out and About group where I have made lots of new friends.”

The facts • The service consists of a minibus driven by qualified staff and a one-to-one car service, staffed by volunteers • You pay part of the cost of each trip • Mileage is noted at the start and end of each trip. An invoice is then generated, giving you up to 30 days to pay • You must register to use the service • The service is for older residents and others who have difficulty using public transport. Get free travel on public transport with a Freedom Pass. Call 0845 275 7054 to for more information and to apply.

How to sign up If you have difficulty using public transport and would like to be able to access this new service please contact the Octavia Outreach Team who will arrange transport for you. Once registered, you can then use this service to attend the Hub’s activities or for your own individual needs. Octavia Outreach Team call 020 7289 0176 or email outreach@ Volunteer to help Westway Community Transport deliver the service Register your interest by calling 020 8968 2040.


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Westminster Plus  

Spring 2013 issue of Westminster Plus magazine

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