Elders Council AGM 3 July 2014

Each year a small group of members work with Barbara Douglas and Anne Richardson on planning the event. Anne spends quite a lot of time trying to find suitable venues: they need to be central; have level access; lifts if we meet on floors other than the ground; and plenty of toilets, especially accessible ones! As well as this, we need to ensure that members will be able to see and hear, so: How big is the room? Is there a hearing-loop system? Can the space accommodate in excess of 100 people, some with sticks, walking frames and possibly wheelchairs? And that’s even before we think of anything else! At a later stage, we will also provide interpretation where needed and large print or braille if requested.

So this year the Annual General Meeting was held at the County Hotel on Neville Street, a new venue for us but one that met all of the above criteria; though, because of the on-going road works, access from the street required patience from drivers.

We hope that you enjoyed the short video about the Elders Council and found it informative (as we said on the video, it is always difficult to describe succinctly what we do). Now there is a video, so, if you weren’t able to get to the A.G.M., you can see it on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0w4uWSBmTw0&feature=em-upload_owner#action=share . If you are intrigued by any of the examples of work shown on the video and would like to get more involved, get in touch with us for more information.

Thanks to those who compiled the quiz and helped us to get to grips with key data about how much longer we are living – not all of us in good health! It gave us food for thought and the context for our small-group discussions.

The work that you did on the “Five ways to wellness” in the small groups showed that:

we connect;we’re active;we take notice;we keep learning; and, above all,we give.

This was demonstrated by many small acts of kindness that you mentioned, like taking in bins, helping in gardens – a long list of the different activities and groups that members take part in, from crafts to walking. The most striking was the very wide variety of volunteering roles that you do, from charity shops to orphanages in Kenya. If members of the Elders Council are representative of older people in Newcastle, we are a very enterprising and thoughtful group of people – a real asset to the city.

We did thank Anne Richardson, Barbara Douglas, Lauren Hoy and others who helped at the event: they do a tremendous amount that most members just never see. Finally, thanks to Councillor Schofield, who came and rounded the event up for us.