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Westminster PLUS Essential information for Westminster’s older residents

Issue 21 – February 2014

INSIDE Getting out and about Tea with the Lord Mayor Services for carers

PLUS Run or walk the Bupa Westminster Mile


Welcome and news Welcome to the February edition of Westminster Plus, packed with the latest news, advice and information for residents aged 65 plus Find out how residents have been getting active, out and about, and online with the help of services across Westminster. There’s also essential information on changes to improve care homes

Afternoon tea with the Lord Mayor The Lord Mayor of Westminster, Cllr Sarah Richardson, will host two afternoon tea parties for older residents on Wednesday 23rd April and Monday 28th April in the Lord Mayor’s Parlour and would like to invite you to join her!

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(page 8) and support available for carers (page 12). For ideas on things to do this spring, turn to page 14 for a selection of activities taking place at our Community hubs or have a look at our great City Save offers on pages 20 and 21.

Only 100 places are available and guests will be selected in a prize draw. To apply, please write including your name, address, telephone number and any mobility or dietary requirements to: Afternoon Tea Parties, Communications, 18th Floor, Westminster City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QP or call: 020 7641 4897 Applications will close on 31st March and successful guests will be notified by Friday 11th April.

Councillor Christabel Flight

Westminster Older People’s Champion Cabinet Support, 17th Floor, City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QP cllrflight@candhflight.com

Councillor Rachael Robathan

Cabinet Member for Adults Cabinet Support, 17th Floor, City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QP rrobathan@westminster.gov.uk

Westminster PLUS Essential information for

On the cover: Dorothy Richardson Who uses the hydrotherapy pool

Westminster’s older residents

Issue 21 – February 2014

INSIDE Getting out and about Tea with the Lord Mayor Services for carers

PLUS

Run or walk the Bupa Westminster


Welcome and news

Join Westminster Senior Citizens Forum Westminster Senior Citizens Forum holds meetings throughout the year, usually at Greenside Community Centre, where you can hear speakers on a wide range of topics, have a cup of tea and meet new people. Westminster residents over 65 are invited to join the Forum and get involved in local activities. The next meeting will be held on April 9th, if you are interested in attending, please contact: Maggie Degas, Chairman, on 020 7723 3859 or email maggieclewsdegas@hotmail.com

Help to stay safe People may become more vulnerable in later life, or because they have a mental health problem, a disability, a sensory impairment or have some form of illness. Mistreating someone who is vulnerable is never acceptable, and is often known as ‘abuse’. If you or someone you know is being harmed or neglected, please report it by calling 020 7641 2176 (9am to 5pm), 020 7641 6000 (out of hours) or email safeguardingadults@ westminster.gov.uk

Tell us what you think People who receive care and support from the council may be invited to tell us what they think about our services and the care they receive. This national survey, happening over the next few months will help us improve and develop our services. If you are selected, you will receive a survey through the post. The surveys are confidential.

Keeping a watch on your health A new body has been launched as the consumer champion for health and social care. Funded by the council but completely independent, Westminster Health Watch will work to ensure that Westminster residents receive high quality health care from GPs, hospitals and other providers. You can become a member of Health Watch Westminster to receive updates on health issues in your area and have the opportunity to get your views heard through events, surveys and discussion forums. Visit: www. healthwatchcwl.co.uk

For more information call 0800 587 0072 3


CARE VISITS AT HOME Good Old Fashioned Service

Call our professional team on 0207 976 6163

Our Services We offer everything from personal care to shopping, cleaning or companionship. In fact, everything you need to stay in the comfort of your own home, including overnight care and live in care.

Get in touch Call our professional team on

0207 976 6163

or email us at westminster@bluebirdcare.co.uk 4

www.bluebirdcare.co.uk /westminster


Westminster Mile 2014 Run or walk the Bupa Westminster Mile on Saturday 24th May In the 60th anniversary year of Roger Bannister running the first sub-four minute mile, Ruth Rosenthal, 65, is planning to walk the Westminster Mile on London’s most iconic streets on Saturday 24th May. “I am really interested in taking part. Given that it’s a few months away I hope to be fitter by then and I like to walk fast. I’m not one for running or jogging but I like the idea of a short, sharp, brisk walk where you get out of breath, get your heart going and push yourself. “Since I retired in March last year, I felt there was no excuse not to do anything active. The message of getting your 150 minutes of physical activity a week really got through to me so I decided to join Silverfit which run activities for my age group in Hyde Park. We can choose to do brisk walks, cycling or yoga, all of which are

really good. I sleep better now and feel better for it. I love that the activities are outside. We have such beautiful parks it’s great to be able to use them. “I have been doing Silverfit classes since June last year. We recently did a timed mile and walking briskly I came well within the

recommended three miles an hour speed, so I will definitely be trying the Westminster Mile!” More information on Silverfit on page 20–21 To sign up for the Westminster Mile visit www.bupawestminster mile.co.uk

FREE cycle safety training for residents to help you take up cycling to stay healthy and active, save money, increase your confidence or learn how to cycle safely. Visit www.westminster. gov.uk/cycletraining or www.cycleconfident.com 5


Getting out and about Low-cost transport to help you get around the city

Our community transport scheme, run by Westway Community Transport, helps residents who find it difficult to use buses, trains or tubes due to health issues or disabilities to get out and about. You can book a car and driver to take you to clubs, GP surgeries, visit friends and family, or wherever you need to go. Maria, a Marshall Street resident, has been using the services since August last year, after her arthritis made it difficult for her to use public transport with her walking sticks. She explains: “I use the service regularly to carry out errands such as trips to the bank and also for health check-ups. The drivers are very 6

reliable and set my mind at ease when I know I’ve got to be on time for important doctor and hospital appointments. “I’ve also been able to get out to social events too and recently used the service to attend a film screening of the King’s Speech at Westminster Academy. I go to a regular meeting at The Victory Club in Seymour Street which would be impossible without Westway. “Whenever I call the team to arrange a trip they are always very helpful and understanding. Their charges are much more affordable than private taxis and I’ve found they are quicker and more reliable than other services.”

“The drivers are very reliable and set my mind at ease” Maria


Getting out and about

Become a member It is FREE to register and trips are charged at ÂŁ1.10 per mile for members. To register, call Westway Community Transport on: 020 8964 1114 or email info@westwayct.org.uk to request a registration form. All drivers are volunteers, so it is best to call a few days in advance to give time to arrange a driver.

Can you help? Westway Community Transport has many volunteer drivers that help support the service and its users. If you or someone you know would like to find out more about volunteering opportunities with Westway Community Transport, please call 020 8968 2040 or email richardyeatman@ westwayct.org.uk

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Listening to you Over the next 10 years we are making changes to improve care homes in Westminster We have been working with a group of relatives of care home residents to improve our care homes. This summer, we will appoint a new organisation to manage the care and support in five of our care homes. Peter Ezra, whose mother Mercia lives in Carlton Dene care home in Maida Vale, is part of a group who helped us decide what the services in our care homes should look like. “I’m hoping my input and views help not only my mother but others, and that our views help the project.” “What is important is that the new organisation puts the residents’ feelings first and treats them with dignity. In Carlton Dene, residents have a lot of freedom, they can walk about and when people go and visit they have an 8

open house policy. The staff keep me informed about my mother and are very flexible. We want this to continue.

“I feel I’m being listened to and I appreciate being able to contribute”   Peter, pictured with his mum

“I feel very privileged to be involved in the project. It is important that residents’ views are taken into account, but next of kin are also essential too. I feel my views are worthwhile, that I’m being listened to and I appreciate being able to contribute, as in the past I have received help from others and this is my way of giving something back.


Listening to you

Use your local day centre The Pullen Day Centre in Pimlico, run by Housing 21, is open to older people and those with dementia living in south Westminster. The centre provides a host of activities including trips out to Brighton and the countryside. For more information, call 0370 192 4974.

In addition, the Housing 21 Outreach team work across Westminster and can help you with things you may be struggling with such as financial matters or getting out in the community. To contact the team or to find out about dementia day centres in north Westminster, call 0303 123 1243

CHANGES TO OUR CARE HOMES

The council, in partnership with local NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups, are making changes to improve our care homes to make sure they are of a better standard. We aim for all residents to have a single room with their own toilet, basin and shower, and that homes can continue to care for people as their needs change. These changes will take some time and not all homes will be affected immediately.

We are looking for new sites in the north and south of Westminster where we could build new care homes. Staff, residents and their representatives will be involved in the design of the new care homes. For more information about the proposed changes please contact Lisa Cavanagh on opspecialisthousing@ westminster.gov.uk

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Getting online We are trialling a new fibre-optic broadband service in 1,000 of our council homes to help residents get online Peter Hanifan, 74, and his wife are among the first Westminster residents to benefit from an innovative new service that installs a fibre-optic link direct into homes to improve the way you watch television, use the internet and make telephone calls. The company providing the service, Community Fibre, are testing it out on the Grosvenor estate in South Westminster to get feedback from residents before rolling the service out further. “We heard about the new service and decided to visit the Community Fibre Launch Pad for a demonstration,” said Peter. “We couldn’t get the service in quick enough after that! “I used to have a satellite dish to get the sports TV channels but I’ve got rid of that now”. 10


Getting online

“For me, the new service is great on two fronts. I’ve got my sports TV, which is what I wanted, and when the grandchildren come here they can use the internet to do their homework. They love it.

“We couldn’t get the service in quick enough!”   Peter Hanifan

“It makes them feel more at home because they can use their gadgets and don’t miss out on anything. I don’t understand how it works but they do so they can teach me. “Now that we’re connected, the Community Fibre team have been great. I can easily visit their office if I have any problems and they’ve even been helpful enough to come here to show me how to operate the video recording box so I can now record my sports channels. It has taken me a while but I can now confidently operate the system. It really is easy once you know how.” To find out more, visit communityfibre.co.uk or call 0800 082 0770

Getting help and advice online A new website called People First has been set up to help you find help, advice and support to remain

Westminster City Council and CityWest Homes are working with Community Fibre, a private company, who are paying for the installation of fibre optic cabling to 1,000 homes in Westminster as part of a pilot scheme. It is installed at no cost to the council or its tenants and leaseholders. Through the service, residents will be able to access free digital TV channels, selected government websites and basic email through their televisions. They can also choose to pay for additional services such as Sky TV, ultrafast broadband and telephone at competitive rates.

independent. You can find information about getting out and about, what’s on in your area, advice on looking after someone and much more online at www.peoplefirstinfo.org.uk 11


Supporting Carers Utilise the services on offer to help you

If you are looking after a parent, partner, relative or friend, there are council services available to help you maintain your quality of life and that of the person you care for. We fund Carers Network, Westminster Society and others to provide services and support for carers such as short breaks, social events and support groups. Valarie, 85 from St John’s Wood, has been using Carers Network services since her husband developed memory problems in 1994. Valerie has been going to Carers Action Forum meetings since its inception and is now on the steering group, where she meets with other carers. 12

Valerie with Cllr Christabel Flight at a Carers Network event

Sign up for a City Save card for offers and discounts to make getting out and about a lot cheaper. See pages 20-21 for more info or visit: www.westminster.gov.uk/citysave


Supporting Carers

She also gave information to Lord Hunt with others while the new Care Bill was being developed. She says: “Carers Network arrange meetings and events to hear important speakers, get advice and information, discuss our caring role and suggest ways of improving services for carers and the people they care for. Sometimes there is lunch and entertainment and it’s nice to meet and make friends with other carers. “It can often be very difficult for carers to find information on who to contact for support and how to find out what help they are entitled to – Carers Network can give essential help and advice.” Carers Network also arranges trips and social events for carers. Valerie says: “Last May I went on a group holiday to Bournemouth with Carers Network. We spent two nights away and it was a real boost to my morale.”

Free council services for carers The first step to using the services available through Carers Network and others is to have a Carer’s Assessment. You will meet with either the team at Carers Network or the council’s Adults Services team, who will help you look at your own needs and how we can support you. • An assessment to see how you can be supported • A one-off annual payment to spend on the services you feel you need

• Information and advice about health, housing, benefits, finance and employment • Volunteering opportunities to use your skills to support other carers in return for support for yourself • A carer’s emergency card – for use in the event of emergencies Key contacts

• Support groups

Westminster Council’s Adults Services Department 020 7641 1175

• Events and activities for carers over the age of 50 — at your local community hub

Carers Network Westminster 020 8960 3033 www.carers-network.co.uk

SERVICES FOR THE PERSON YOU CARE FOR If the person you care for is eligible for support from the council’s Adults Services department, they will be given a personal budget to use for services that are right for them. This support may also benefit you as a carer. To book an assessment for the person you care for, or for more information, call our Adults’ Services department on: 020 7641 1175 13


Spring activities

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

There are over 180 free and low cost activities each week at our Community Hubs as well as daily activities at our leisure centres North Westminster

Exercise to music Wednesday, 11:45am - 12:45pm Penfold Community Hub 60 Penfold Street NW8 8PJ Cost: FREE

Monthly Film Club and Tea Party First Friday of every month, 2.30pm Westminster Academy, 255 Harrow Road, W2 5EZ Cost: £1

South Westminster

Yoga Fridays, 3-4pm Paddington Arts Centre, 32 Woodfield Road, W9 2BE Cost: £1

Grow your own vegetables and flowers Wednesdays and Fridays, 2pm-4pm Penfold Community Hub, 60 Penfold Street, NW8 8PJ Cost: FREE

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Walking Group Tuesdays, 11-1pm Meet at Churchill Gardens Youth Club, Churchill Gardens Road, SW1V 3AL Cost: FREE

Art Class Wednesdays, 10-1pm Thamesbank Centre, Peabody Avenue, Turpentine Lane, SW1V 4AR Cost: £1 per hour

West Westminster i-Pad training Wednesdays, 10.30am-12.30pm Open Age Office, The Beethoven Centre, Third Avenue, W10 4JL Cost: £2

Dance exercise to music Fridays, 3.30-4.30pm WECH Community Centre, Chantry Close, Elgin Avenue, W9 3RS Cost: £1


Spring activities

North Westminster Westbourne Community Hub

Get Active in the city

Church Street and Regent’s Park (Penfold Community Hub - PCH)

50+ Morning: aerobics, table tennis, gym and short bowls Wednesdays, 9am-1pm Moberly Sports and Education Centre, Kilburn Lane, W10 4AH Cost: £1.70 (must register as a member, membership is FREE)

Tel: 020 8964 1900 Nearest tube: Westbourne Park

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

South Westminster Churchill Community Hub Tel: 020 7976 6354 Nearest tube: Victoria/Pimlico

West Westminster Queen’s Park and Harrow Road Community Hub

Tel: 020 7266 2776 Nearest tube: Queen’s Park Events at Community Hubs are provided on behalf of the council by Open Age and Notting Hill Housing. To find your local Hub visit www.westminster. gov.uk/communityhub

Power boating, sailing, canoeing and kayaking Thursdays, 1.30-4.30pm Westminster Boating Base, 136 Grosvenor Road, SW1V 3JY Cost: FREE Ballroom and Latin dancing Sundays, 2-4pm Academy Sport, Torquay Street, W2 5EZ Cost: £2 (must register as a member, membership is FREE)

Singing in the city Come and sing Handel’s Messiah at St John’s Smith Square. If you have a strong voice and can read music, join the 160-strong choir at a special one off performance. There are 20 FREE places reserved for readers. The performance will be held at St John’s Smith Square, on Thursday 17 April, at 7.30pm, with a rehearsal at 2.30pm. To apply, write to: Marketing Department, St John’s Smith Square, London SW1P 3HA. Please include your name and contact details, and tell us your vocal type. The 20 lucky names will be drawn on 1 April and the winners notified shortly after. www.sjss.org.uk

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Keeping active Being active has huge health benefits, from helping you manage your weight, to keeping your muscles strong and your heart fit The hydrotherapy pool at the new Dementia Centre on Westbourne Park Road is helping many older residents to stay active. Dorothy Richardson from the Lisson Green Estate uses the hydrotherapy pool every week to ease her back pain.

“It’s a lovely pool and you feel really safe” Dorothy Richardson Dorothy says: “I had a fall around eight years ago and fractured my spine, I’ve also got scoliosis of the spine so I’m a bit bent over and find it difficult to get around. I was referred to Julia by my doctor and I really enjoy going every week. 16


Keeping active

“I used to be very active and I loved swimming, but since my fall I’ve found it more and more difficult to move around. “The more I sit down, the worse the pain gets, so it’s really important to move around. “It’s a lovely pool and Julia gives you one to one support so you feel really safe and supported. “We do exercises to loosen up my muscles

and limbs so that I can move around better, but I’m a bit of a devil – I’m always trying to do a bit of breast stroke when Julia isn’t looking!

Get involved with the Dementia Action Alliance

“I’ve had a lot of health problems over the last 10 years, but going to the hydrotherapy pool makes me feel ‘normal’ and reminds me that I can still get around and do things I enjoy.”

Westminster Dementia Action Alliance (WDAA) is working with people and organisations to make Westminster a more dementia friendly community. Organisations can commit to actions and collaborate with others to help improve the quality of life for people living with dementia. For example, the Prince Edward Theatre has trained its staff to understand the issues people living with dementia face and residents are testing the theatre to see how dementia friendly they are.

HOW TO USE THE HYDROTHERAPY POOL Westminster residents with a physical disability or cognitive impairment who would like to use the hydrotherapy pool can be referred through their doctor, physiotherapist or care manager. Half hour aquatic-fitness sessions cost £15 and the pool is available

on Tuesday 9.30am – 5.30pm and Friday 9.30am – 3pm For more information on the pool, or to book directly as a private client, call Julia Douglas on 07849 294 396 or email w2hydrotherapy@ waterbabies.co.uk

Get FREE swimming and discounts on other leisure activities with an Active Westminster Card. Pick up an application form at your local leisure centre

The WDAA wants new organisations to join and for people to give their views on what could be done in the community. If you would like to get involved, contact PeterSlough@ bluebirdcare.co.uk 17


Volunteer to stay healthy Volunteering makes a real difference to the lives of others, but it also brings important health benefits for volunteers themselves Research shows that people who give up their time to volunteer enjoy real health benefits and enhanced wellbeing. Age UK Westminster’s “Give & Receive Project” offers volunteering opportunities specially tailored for people over 65. Age UK matches older residents to opportunities in areas like befriending, participating in art projects and research on later life issues. All of the volunteering opportunities take into account potential health issues faced. Gwen Skull, 79, from St John’s Wood, is a volunteer befriender, visiting lonely or housebound people in their homes. She says: “Every week I visit two elderly people in their homes.

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Gwen, right, with Betty, who she volunteers with


Volunteering

I make us cups of tea and we always have a good chat and a laugh. We get on really well.

Health benefits of volunteering • Volunteering has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression, and to extend life expectancy

“Volunteering gets me out of the house and keeps me fit. It also motivates me to do other things like my singing group. I even brought one of the ladies I visit to our group and she was thrilled to bits!

• Volunteering is a great way to stay engaged with your local community and meet new people

“Best of all volunteering keeps me mentally fit. You learn so much from the people you visit, make great friends and I’ve even made friends with their friends! It’s really widened the group of people that I know.

Nominations are now open for the Community Awards 2014! Help us recognise and reward those that make a real difference in their local community.

“I get so much out of it. It’s a joy for me and it keeps me going. I would recommend it to anyone.”

• Young Volunteer Award

For more information on volunteering, call Age UK Westminster on: 0203 004 5610 or visit www.ageuk.org.uk/ westminster

• Volunteering can help boost self-confidence

Nominate a community champion

The 2014 award categories are: • Better City, Better Lives Award • Bringing People Together Award • Inspirational Person Award • ‘Sir Simon Milton Award’ (those working with older people) • Outstanding Organisation or Group Award • Business CSR Award • Partnership Award To nominate your local hero visit www.volunteer.co.uk/

awards or send your nomination to: Community Awards, 4 Sutherland Avenue, London W9 2HQ. The closing date for nominations is 31st March 2014 19


Offers and discounts With a Westminster City Save card you get great discounts on local attractions and council services

How to sign up If you have a ResCard you can visit your local leisure centre or library to fill in a short application form to exchange it for a City Save card on the spot. If you do not have a ResCard, you can still apply for a new City Save card at your local leisure centre or library. Alternatively you can apply online at www. westminster.gov.uk/ citysave or call 020 7641 6000

How to find out about offers All of our offers and discounts are online at: www.westminster.gov.uk/citysave or you can pick up a City Save brochure in Westminster libraries. The Holiday Place

Debenhams Flowers

10% off selected holidays Call: 020 7644 1699

20% off everything Call: 0843 523 6121

Terms: Quote WESTMINSTER CITY SAVE to redeem your offer. The Holiday Place reserves the right to withdraw or change this offer at any time, subject to availability, cannot be used in conjunction with other offers.

Terms: Valid for online ordering only, discount not valid on delivery charge.

New Diwan I Am 2 for 1 on food Call: 020 7935 5864 Terms: Valid only on starters, mains and desserts. Cannot be obtained in conjunction with any other offers, excludes Fridays. 17 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8QH

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Free events at your library Knit and Crochet Call: 020 7641 6200 Terms: All ages and abilities welcome, bring your own materials and needles. Date: Ongoing. Venue: Various, contact your local

Reading group Call: 020 7641 6200 Terms: Welcome to everyone interested in books..Date: Ongoing. Venue: Various, contact your local library for more information

Free services and discounts for Westminster residents


Offers and discounts

Tour of Lord’s Cricket Ground

50% off string quartet concert

Free fun and fitness session

20% off tours Call: 020 7616 8595

Wednesday 28th May, 7.30-9.30pm Call: 020 7935 2141

Tuesdays, 10.30am Call: 077 2141 9518 www.silverfit.org.uk

Get half price tickets to the Endellion String Quartet and enjoy music from Haydn, Beethoven and Schubert. Quote Westminster City Save when booking.

If you are aged 50 or over try Silverfit’s fun fitness session for free. Every session afterwards is £1.

Terms: Tours will not operate on any day on which a Test Match, a One Day International, or a Domestic Final, is scheduled. Restrictions also apply to the day preceding these matches and to days on which Twenty20 matches are played. No guarantee all advertised elements of the Tour route are available.

Wigmore Hall, 36 Wigmore Street, W1U 2BP

Axis at One Aldwych

Porter’s English Restaurant

20% off the a la carte menu Call: 020 7300 0300

20% off the a la carte menu Call: 020 7836 6466

Terms: A minimum of two courses per person must be ordered from the à la carte menu, reservations must be made in advance, not to be used in conjunction with any other offer.

Terms: Maximum table of six and only available for the a la carte menu

Hyde Park, Will to Win Café, next to tennis courts, South Carriage Drive, W2 2UH

Every two weeks we email special, time limited offers to subscribers to our Value for Money Friday e-newsletter. To sign up, visit: www.westminster. gov.uk/vfm and scroll to the bottom of the page

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Be aware of scams Our Trading Standards team are dealing with reports of scams particularly targeting older people in Westminster Scams are often difficult to spot and can be extremely distressing for the victims. Our Trading Standards team has advice to help older people avoid falling prey to unscrupulous fraudsters. The rogue traders may pose as tradesmen or people from the authorities. They often demand payment in cash and increase costs, while rarely providing legitimate paperwork, making it difficult to establish who they are. Jim*, 91, was targeted repeatedly by a gang of fraudsters. After his experiences, Jim is now too nervous to be identified, but his daughter has spoken on his behalf to warn others of the dangers. She said: “My father has been targeted in a calculated, complicated, sustained campaign of evil.” 22

The gang swindled him out of a total of £13,000 – almost all of his life savings. He was visited by a group of three “workmen” who said they had noticed his chimney pot was askew, and would fix it for £20. Once on the roof,

they claimed it was in a terrible state and would cost £20,000 to be repaired. They later returned with a fake company-headed quote for £10,000 in cash. He told no-one, and without doing any work


Be aware of scams

they extracted a total of £11,000 from him in cash. Jim then had a knock on his door from a man claiming to work in Trading Standards. He recognised the caller as one of the three men who had posed as workmen some months earlier so called the police. It transpired that the gang had deliberately sent someone

“I would urge everyone to remain vigilant and look out for their neighbours”   *Jim’s daughter Jim would recognise so that he would report it. The next day, Jim received a telephone call from the “Scotland Yard Fraud Squad.” The caller said they were very worried about his bank

account and urged him to close it down, withdrawing as much as he could. The “Fraud Squad” also promised to send a plain clothes police officer to his house after he had been to the bank to check on him. Jim withdrew £2,000 and returned to his house. He did indeed receive a visit from a “plain clothes police officer”, who arrived just as the phone rang; Jim was distracted and the visitor grabbed the cash and ran. It was the same gang working in tandem all along. Jim’s daughter says: “This has had a devastating impact on our lives. I would urge everyone to remain vigilant and to look out for their neighbours – especially the elderly and vulnerable – to prevent more people experiencing an ordeal similar to the one suffered by my father.” *Pseudonyms used to protect identities

Age UK Westminster provides FREE advice and information on how to avoid scams, along with advice on benefits, grants, pensions, consumer and utility issues. Drop into a community surgery or call 020 3004 5610 or visit ageuk.org.uk/westminster/

ADVICE FROM TRADING STANDARDS REPORT IT: If you have any concerns about someone knocking on your door or a neighbour’s then contact Trading Standards on 020 7641 1111, or if an emergency call the police on 999. REMEMBER: Your doorstep, your decision. Always ask to see a caller’s identification if they claim to be from a utility supplier, the council, the police etc and check it independently by calling their switchboard number. THINK: Don’t agree to anything immediately. Give yourself time to shop around for another quote and talk to family, friends and neighbours. CAUTION: Never let anyone into your house unless you are satisfied you know who they are.

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Adult learning

in the heart of Westminster

WAES Open D ay Saturday 21st June Lisson Grove Centre

Join us at the WAES Summer Open Day and get a taste of the adult courses on offer in 2014 . Our open day is the perfect opportunity for you to try your hand at one of our courses – and the great thing is that you don’t need any previous experience, and they are FREE – just come along and have a go!

For more information visit www.waes.ac.uk/opendays or call 020 7297 7297 Find us at 219 Lisson Grove London NW8 8LW.


Westminster Plus February 2014