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Annual Report

Chairperson’s report
Arts Crafts and Leisure Group Report
Health & Age Equality Group Report 
Housing Group Report
Transport Group Report 
Website administrators report

Executive Chair Person’s Report 2019

Once again, the Forum has had an extremely busy year. As you will see from the reports from the Chairs of the sub groups they have been able to invite some excellent speakers and have covered many concerns that members have had. The sub groups are able to attract some of the most influential people and enable the Forum to express opinions and concerns that have been put forward by our members.
This year has seen some important changes, we have a new Older People’s Commissioner who came to our last AGM and talked to us about her three main actions for her term of office. Since that time we have had several meetings over the year with Helena and have been involved in discussions on finding ways to prevent age discrimination and ageism, reduce the abuse of older people and make Wales age friendly so that all older people can be confident that they can grow older with dignity and that their rights as an older person are upheld.
The Welsh Government has been reviewing the way that it engages with older people through the Ministerial Advisory Forum on Ageing and there have been several groups formed on different aspects of older people’s lives. These were; Older People’s Rights, Transport, Preparing for Retirement, Housing and the Built Environment and Loneliness and Isolation/Participation. Each of these groups have met at least 3 times during the past year and each group has now reported directly to the Minister. The groups were made up of members of the main five older people’s groups in Wales and officers of local government and there were presentations made to some of the groups to ensure that there was a great variety of opinions expressed.
We are now awaiting the Ministers decisions and hope to hear later in the Autumn when the Ministerial Forum is reformed and the Minister will announce what changes will be taking place. It is important, we believe, that the voice of older people is heard directly by the Ministers in Welsh Government and this has been carried out with these groups. Wales had led the way with its policies for supporting older people and we and the other forums around Wales work hard to ensure that this continues into the future
The changes to the free TV licenses for the over 75’s have been quite a shock as many older people depend on their television as the only company that they have and the only contact with what is going on outside their homes. The number of older people who are entitled to pension credit but are not claiming will be the hardest hit. Of course, there are many older people who can afford to pay but there are thousands who are living in poverty and cannot find this extra money. We will be working with the Commissioner to campaign to raise awareness of the amount of unclaimed pension credit and to try and ensure that those who are entitled to this extra money are claiming it.
We are still trying to convince the Minister that women over 70 should still be called every three years for a mammogram as the chances of developing breast cancer is greater when you are over 70. This is an ongoing campaign, but we will continue to push for this. We have supported the screening programme through our Health and Equalities group and are also keeping a close eye on the development of the Hub in Cogan, Penarth. There are some concerns about this development and we shall be continuing to voice where we see these problems occurring.
Part way through this year our Older People’s Co-ordinator, John Porter retired, but with the help and support of the Council’s Strategy Partnership team we are continuing to get the support that we need. This enables us to continue with our work and although we still miss John both professionally and personally, I would like to thank the Strategy and Partnership team for all their advice and support.
I must also pay tribute to my fellow executive members who give up so much of their time to come along and work together to try to ensure that the over 50’s in the Vale have their rights and have a voice both at local and national level. The Chairs of the sub groups work hard to ensure their meetings are interesting and topical and give members the opportunity to speak their minds on anything that is concerning them.
I would also like to say a big thank you to our Older People’s Champion Councillor Ben Gray for the enthusiastic support he has shown the Forum. We have welcomed his contributions to our meetings and discussions and look forward to continuing to work with him to champion the needs of older people not just in the Vale but across Wales.

There is still so much on the agenda for the coming 12 months. There is likely to be a lot of difficulties over the coming months, lots to campaign for and plenty of work to keep us occupied. If you would like to join us on the executive committee we still have one vacancy at the moment. Please get in touch with any member to have a chat and see if you would be interested in joining us.

Lynda Wallis, Executive Chair Person, Vale 50+ Strategy Forum

Arts, Crafts and Leisure Sub Group Report

The Art, Craft and Leisure Group (ACL) was formed in May 2011. The Group meets at Barry County Library, in the Phil John Room. Months of meetings are, January, March, May, July, September and November. These are held on the fourth Tuesday of the month, from 2.30pm to 4.30pm. The Group supports all Library activities, including Art Central Friends Gallery and The Vale Learning Network, both based at Barry Library.

Meetings from September 2018 to July 2019.

September 2018. Two speakers visited the Group this month. Tracey Harding, Vale Art Development Manager and Kate Long, Manager of the Memo Arts Centre, Memorial Hall, Barry. Tracey based at the Gallery, is a regular member of ACL, as she updates members regularly with news of the Art Gallery Exhibitions and related events. Both she and Kate Long gave members their Autumn/Winter programmes for their respective venues. Kate gave all ACL members present, a free cinema ticket for a Memo showing during November. Tracey also gave the Autumn catalogue for the Gallery to the Group.
November 2018. Our planned pre Christmas event had to be hastily moved from the Phil John Room to the Board Room, because of a flood! Chris Edwards, Vale Library Services Manager organized the swift move so that disruption was minimised. Anthony Lavisher a published Vale author was our returning speaker. Anthony had given a talk to ACL in 2014 with the publication of the first of his Storm Trilogy novels. Four years later, having completed the whole Trilogy, and also a modern novel, Anthony returned to update us with his news. Steel span, the American Printers, had head hunted him to the Vale, and planned to reset his novels for the American market. His novels can be found in all Vale Libraries, all good bookshops locally and on Amazon. Our pre festive celebrations were elevated by his news. Anthony has promised to keep in touch with any new developments on the literary front.

January 2019. Mark Collard, ACL’s resident musician, gave us an update on the progression of his musical plans. Mark had produced a cassette in 2017 which had gained entry to the Country and Western charts. Titled Waiting For Blue, it was based on the life of his late father-in-law Mel, who had led a colourful life both in Wales and Stateside. Mark and family were producing a one night only performance at the Cadoxton Conservative Club, Barry, on April 26th. Proceeds from the performance would be given to Dementia Awareness. John Porter, our 50+ Strategy Co-ordinator, soon to leave his post, attended this meeting. John had instigated the formation of ACL. He gave positivity to all the events that he endorsed with his nine years at the Forum. He will be missed by this Group.
March 2019. March gives ACL the opportunity to visit Art Central Gallery and enjoy the annual Woman’s Day Exhibition. International Woman’s Day is held each year on March 8th. The Exhibition this year hosted by the Woman’s Arts Association, was one of diversity. Interesting pieces of work covering the mediums of painting, ceramics, photography and textiles gave members a wealth of work to discuss. Tracey Harding then updated ACL regarding the history of the Woman’s Art Association. Members chose their favourite piece of work, extremely difficult considering the high standard on display. Art Central Friends support the Gallery by annual fundraising. Membership of £10 contributes to talks, trips and gallery opening events that support this venue, which currently has free access to the general public.
May 2019. The month of Gwanwyn, Welsh for Spring! May is the start of outdoor activities as the days are longer, if not yet warmer! Xarifa Cooper was a returning speaker for ACL. The third visit for this poet and raconteur, Xarifa embodies all that is positive in her performances. Originally from Herefordshire, now living in the rural Vale, she is both a member and presenter for Barry University of the Third Age Group (U3A). Her talk this visit, was entitled Domestic Superstitions. This caused much mirth as she compared the subtle differences in varying parts of the U.K. with customs relating to Birth, Deaths and Marriages! She followed her talk with the customary Quiz. These seem to get harder on each visit, but it may be that our brains are less supple as the years progress!

July 2019. Tracey Harding visited ACL on what was one of the hottest days of the month! Only two members found the weather extremely humid and gave apologies! The rest of ACL welcomed Tracey who updated us on the Autumn/Winter programme for the Gallery. There were cool drinks as well as tea and coffee for those who needed something stronger. Mark Collard gave us the good news that £300 had been raised at his Musical event in late April. He has made other appearances since that date and raised more funds for Dementia Awareness. One being at the Rotary Duck Race, on July 20th, at the Knap Gardens, Barry. Mark and Pauline sang, promoted by Bro Radio to the hundreds that attended. Our Ducks were not lucky on this occasion!
The Chair wishes to thank all members who currently support ACL. Elaine, Brian, Lee, Mark, Ron, Anne Marie, Val, Ann and Kay. We are sorry that ill health has prevented others in attending meetings. Special thanks to Tracey for her artistic input and humour! Also, to Dan the Man, for his technical knowledge and practical support.
The Autumn/Winter programme looks lively. Our September presenter is Michael Goode, an artist/printer.

Gilly Davies, Chair of Art, Craft and Leisure, Vale 50+ Strategy Forum

Chairperson’s report
Arts Crafts and Leisure Group Report
Health & Age Equality Group Report 
Housing Group Report
Transport Group Report 
Website administrators report

Health and Age Equality Group Annual Report

The group has had a very active year as there are many changes occurring in NHS Wales and social care. At our bi-monthly meetings we have had stimulating speakers on a variety of topics.
September 2018. In September 2018 Carol Young outlined the workings of the Patient Education Programme for Patients (EPP); this is a six week course, two hours each week, which aims to enable people with long-term health conditions to self manage their condition and be more independent.
November 2018. In November Fiona Kinghorn, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, and Amanda Willacot, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, gave presentations on the programmes Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMS) and Patient Reported Experience Measures (PREMS). These programmes show how looking at patient outcomes and experience contribute to redesigning health services.
January 2019. The group started 2019 with a presentation in January given by May Baxter, Arthritis Care, who explained the many different forms of arthritis and the support which Arthritis Care gives to research on arthritis and to patients with arthritis.
March 2019. In March Helen Ronchetti and colleagues from Public Health Wales gave a stimulating and vivid account of the development of antibiotic medicines and the current challenge of antibiotic resistance which can reduce the capacity to treat many illnesses effectively. Policy in prescribing now aims to reduce the use of antibiotics unless absolutely necessary.
May 2018. Our meeting in May welcomed Steve Allen, Chief Executive of Cardiff and Vale Community Health Council, who described the proposed changes to Community Health Councils (CHCs) later this year. CHCs will be retitled Citizens’ Voice and concentrate on representing patient and public views on health services and social care. The new organisation will continue to provide a national advocacy service which will be extended to service users in social care. The current quasi-inspectorial role of CHCs will be curtailed, but the new organisation will have the right to present its views to Health Boards.
July 2019. At our July meeting the group had a wide ranging discussion on local issues such as the problems of getting a GP appointment, reorganisation of GP services in Penarth, the proposed well-being hub at Cogan Leisure Centre and the proposed closure of Sam Davis Ward at Barry Hospital.
The group continues to influence broad policy in NHS Wales and has responded to consultations on Community Health Councils, Thoracic Services in South and West Wales, Loneliness and Isolation and Obesity. Wherever possible we promote prevention through publicising screening services for bowel cancer, cervical cancer and abdominal aortic aneurism (AAA) together with supporting falls prevention in the community. We maintain a strong interest in mental health services for older people and former ex-armed services personnel, age discrimination, carers services and dementia services.
New members are always welcome with interests or experience in any aspect of health, social care or age discrimination. Future meetings will include presentations on diet, exercise and falls prevention, carers, dementia and social care in the Vale.

Ron Walton, Chair of Health and Equalities, Vale 50+ Strategy Forum

Chairperson’s report
Arts Crafts and Leisure Group Report
Health & Age Equality Group Report 
Housing Group Report
Transport Group Report 
Website administrators report

Housing Group Annual Report

During the year the Housing Group focussed principally on housing for older people, and this was, I think, reflected by the presentations we received at our meetings.
At the beginning of the year we invited Michael O’Halloran, who is a Building Manager for Wales and West Housing Association. He pointed that W & W were the biggest social landlords in Wales with a stock of 12,000 properties and are currently increasing that stock by 200 pa. Their policy regarding housing older people took into account location, community and facilities. Across the board their management of indebtedness of tenants was, I thought significant, because when indebtedness became apparent they would visit the client and discuss the difficulty and assist the tenant to work through it and bring them back onto an even keel. This action helped both parties, usually, to a satisfactory conclusion.
The group participated in regional research conducted by LIN housing on behalf of Cardiff and the Vale into Older Peoples Housing and Accommodation with Care & Care Ready facilities. The research identified the current type of housing provision, tenure and type, most important identified the requirements and aspirations of older people for accommodation in later life, identified future need for Older Peoples, accommodation, differing types and provision, tenures and models. And finally the specific requirements of Older People that would meet their future needs.
At our November Meeting Pam Toms, Vale of Glamorgan Strategy and Supporting People Manager gave us an excellent presentation and feedback on the above previous mentioned research highlighting the recommendations for future accommodation. e.g. more care ready sheltered / retirement housing to allow people to remain at home, Mainstream Housing, well designed properties promoting inter-generational housing development, an information and advice service dealing with options and adaptations, additional extra care units, redesigned sheltered schemes / a Hub development, an important facet of the report, Step down housing based on models to facilitate timely discharge from hospital and promote re-ablement, ultimately, collaboration with service providers to develop alternatives to residential care whenever possible.
I gave a presentation on the benefits and the pitfalls of Park Home Living. It is a popular decision to make when people retire or become older but should not be determined without careful research and advice.
Victoria Brown, Senior Neighbourhood Manager of the Vale Homes Community Investment Team, spoke to us in July about an initiative started in 2015 directed at council tenants providing them with increased resources in order to promote stronger and closer links with the Community. It was mainly focussed on people 55+ but not necessarily confined to that age group. For younger people it included work experience which resulted in some participants gaining employment and a vast improvement in self-confidence. The initiative recognised that many of the tenants had not reached their full potential but to date 150 people have gained recognizable qualifications by being involved in this very worthwhile program. I applaud this work.
I and three colleagues visited the development that was Bryniethen, now Arbor Vale. It was a nice development of 2, 3 and 4 semidetached properties and seven apartments and we were able to view all of them. The internal finishes were good modelled on an open plan concept benefitting from under floor heating downstairs and soft flooring upstairs. A nice development but it fell short of the intended concept of housing for older people. In that respect we were disappointed.
Co-operative Housing is on the agenda to further explore, I think there is great potential there.
The group still facilitates LIFT (Low Impact Functional Training) exercise and Tai Chi programs. It is most important that older people do some form of exercise every day in order to retain balance and flexibility thus reduce the risk of falls and the inherent consequences.

Julian Loach Chair of Housing (Retired) Vale 50+ Strategy Forum

Chairperson’s report
Arts Crafts and Leisure Group Report
Health & Age Equality Group Report 
Housing Group Report
Transport Group Report 
Website administrators report

Transport Group Annual Report

The Transport Sub Group was set up and met for the first time in January 2007. Today the Team comprises of the Chair Anne Marie Little, the Vice Chair Richard J. Jones and enthusiastic members. We have a meeting of the Group members every 2 months from 1.30pm-3.30pm at the Civic Offices and these are open to all interested forum members.
Public Transport includes trains, buses, taxis and along with community transport this enables all of us to get about. It is a big part of life in Wales and it helps us in:
• Getting to colleges for our courses (educational or for hobbies).
• Getting to work (full or part-time, including volunteering).
• Getting to and back home from a concert or night out.
• Getting to and from hospital or doctor appointments.
• Going shopping.
• Visiting friends or meeting up for coffee during the day.
• Going on holiday.

Having a reliable public transport system can:
• Reduce traffic issues.
• Reduce air pollution.
• Help people connect with services, friends and family to combat loneliness and isolation, impacting on our mental health and well-being.
• Help businesses grow and bring jobs to the area.

Our group would like to see:
• A public transport system that links buses, trains, walking and cycling.
• More people using public and community transport instead of their cars.
• A reduction in air pollution from vehicles, to protect the environment.
• Safe cycle and footpaths with easy access to use the countryside.
• Using laws like the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013 to help people to be more active. N/B: The term ‘Active Travel’ relates to walking and cycling (including the use of mobility scooters) for everyday journeys. At the moment it includes journeys to school/college, work, to the shops or to access services such as, health or leisure centres.

Bearing all the above in mind the aims of the Vale 50+ Strategy Forum Transport Group are:
To work with and establish further links with transport providers.
To provide an opportunity to express views and concerns about local public and community transport.
To work closely with agencies including Welsh Government, The Commissioner for Older People’s Office, Vale of Glamorgan Council, voluntary groups and other relevant organisations.
To network and work closely with the other Vale 50+ Strategy Forum sub groups: Arts Crafts & Leisure (ACL), Housing and Health and Equality.
In order that as a Transport Sub Group we can influence decision making on strategy planning, policy making & service delivery, using a range of engagement tools including consultations, questionnaires, surveys and workshops.
Recent examples of our influence this year are:
• Service 303: Now serves the Cardiff Airport terminal bus stop, which also enables users from/to the west (e.g. St Athan) to access the Cardiff Airport Express Service T9 to/from Culverhouse Cross (Port Road) & Cardiff Bay or City Centre. Now runs via Fonmon Road, Fonmon Cross, Port Road between the Fontygary Inn, Rhoose & the Blue Anchor, East Aberthaw; not direct along the main road.
• Additional funding has been secured through the Local Transport Fund 2019/20 to continue with plans to upgrade bus stop shelters at Morrisons (Barry Waterfront), Fairground (Barry Island), Llantwit Major Station, Penarth Town Centre (Windsor Terrace southbound) and A48 (Culverhouse Cross both sides).
• A new bus stop facility has been provided on High Street, Penarth opposite the junction with Arcott Street using Section 106 funding from the Penarth heights development. The stop is now served by N.A.T. Group Service 89A and 89B.

The following consultation list gives a flavour of the range of engagement activities undertaken by the transport sub group. Members also respond to other engagement activities, consultations and attend a range of seminars, conferences and working parties throughout the year.
The forum executive and other forum sub groups also contribute to engagement activities throughout the year.
Transport Sub Group Consultations Responses Undertaken Between August 2018- August 2019;
• Vale of Glamorgan Council (VoGC) Draft Parking Strategy, completed online 17/08/18
• Penarth Consultation, from Penarth Town Council, including transport, completed online 21/08/18
• From Age Cymru, ‘Community Calculator’ Survey on public transport, neighbourhood safety and local health and Social Services, completed online 28/08/18
• Drop-In Consultation at Llantonion Hall, Llantwit Major on the Draft Parking Strategy, completed form again and gave feedback to officers, attended 5/9/18
• Public consultation on the Cardiff Airport Masterplan, viewing plans and submitting feedback at Barry Library attended 7/9/18, consultation completed online 8/9/18
• First Cymru Buses X2 customer survey (from Marie Cronin operations Manager 1st Cymru) feedback emailed 10/11/2018
• Welsh Government (WG) Connected Communities tackling Loneliness and Social Isolation (including transport) consultation completed posted Christmas 2018
• VoGC, Penarth-Cardiff Barrage Sustainable Transport Corridor Study, Drop-In Session at Paget Rooms, Penarth. 24/01/19
• Older Peoples Commissioner for Wales-voices to inform her work, completed online 24/01/19
• Safer Vale to inform their community safety strategy, completed online 24/01/19.
• WG Improving Public Transport Across Wales (Community & Youth Version) completed online 23/02/19
• WG Healthy Weight, Healthy Wales (Youth & Community Version) including transport, completed online 23/03/19.

• VoGC, Penarth-Cardiff Barrage Sustainable Transport Corridor Study, Stage 2, completed online 10/07/19.
• Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Transport to Health Services Survey, completed via post 20/07/19.
The following outline illustrates the range of meetings, the variety of speakers and the fun social activities enjoyed by the transport group over the last year.

Transport Meetings held between August 2018-August 2019:
August 11th 2018. Clare Cameron who is a Cardiff Capital Region City Deal Project Development Officer gave an interesting presentation on the future ‘Cardiff Metro System’ and a helpful train timeline of works to be competed, plus a ’round robin’ Q&A session.
October 9th 2018. Enfys Griffiths, Community Transport Officer, Visible
Services and Transport Vale of Glamorgan Council delivered an interactive PowerPoint presentation about the latest information on ‘Greenlinks & Community Transport in General’.
December 11th 2018. Members enjoyed a Festive Meal at the Brewers Fayre on Barry Waterfront, we shared Christmas cracker jokes, cards and presents. We raised a glass to members who couldn’t be present at the meal and celebrated the success of the group and gave thanks for everyone’s hard work.
February 12th 2019. Marie Cronin, Operations Manager First Cymru East Bus Service was a new speaker for us. Marie was a clear speaker who delivered an engaging, 50+ relevant, PowerPoint presentation, including an update on First Cymru East also, their survey results and the decisions regarding the X2 service going forward. This was followed by a ’round robin’ Q&A session.
April 9th 2019. Kyle Phillips, Group Manager Transport Services VoGC and Lisa Elliott- Kyle gave an ‘Overview on Active Travel’, an update on existing and potential schemes and then held a Q&A session. In attendance was Cllr. Ben Gray who is our new Older People’s Champion and Cllr. Kathryn McCaffer. Members enjoyed chatting and getting to know them ‘over’ a cup of tea and biscuits.
June 11th 2019. We held a Transport Review Workshop, facilitated by Anne Marie, the postcards were typed up and emailed to Cllr. Ben Gray who is our Older People’s Champion and Cllr. Peter King the Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services and Transport so they could update the Leader Cllr. Neil Moore. The list was also sent to Kyle Phillips, Andrew Eccleshare and Team in the VoGC so they could use the information when compiling their reports and planning for transport.
August 13th 2019. Dr. Robert Gravelle the new Accessibility and Inclusion Manager at Transport For Wales (TFW) Rail Services delivered an interesting PowerPoint presentation outlining what TFW rail currently has in place to support the older communities and disabled people to better access the rail transport network. Cllr. Peter King Cabinet member for Transport and Neighbourhood Services and Andrew Eccleshare VoGC attended. We also had a visit from Kirsty James, Campaigns Officer for RNIB with her guide dog and her colleague Betty Hunter.

Transport Group Trips:
Boat Trip on Friday July 2019; Despite the exceptionally rainy day we boarded the Princess Katherine from Cardiff City to the Bay on the 90 seater passenger boat. We enjoyed the commentary and then tucked into breakfast/brunch at Wetherspoons before we separated to explore the Bay or meet up with friends.
Bus Trip on Wednesday 21st August 2019; We enjoyed an excursion to Brecon departing on the T4 bus from Cardiff and returning on the T14. During our 3 hours in Brecon we tucked into lunch before we separated to visit the Welsh Regimental Museum, Brecon Canal, Brecon Cathedral, or just shop.
Looking towards the future we together, as a Transport Group Team, have ideas of some topics for speakers to include: NAT Bus & East Vale Community Transport. Future ideas also include a bus trip (using public transport) in November to Swansea to enjoy Festive Shopping.
Finally, a big thank you to all the members especially the Chairs of the Sub Groups for interlinking with the Transport Group. Also, Andrew Eccleshare who is the Vale of Glamorgan Council Passenger Transport Manager for his continued support and his regular transport updates which enables us to monitor and measure our influence.
So, if you like the sound of the Group, are 50+ and live or work (including volunteering) within the Vale and would like to become a member then please contact our inspirational and supportive: Vale of Glamorgan Team via email: [email protected] or telephone: 01446 709779.

See you soon!
Anne-Marie Little, Chair of Transport, Vale 50+ Strategy Forum

Chairperson’s report
Arts Crafts and Leisure Group Report
Health & Age Equality Group Report 
Housing Group Report
Transport Group Report 
Website administrators report

Media and Publicity

This group has not met this year

Chairperson’s report
Arts Crafts and Leisure Group Report
Health & Age Equality Group Report 
Housing Group Report
Transport Group Report 
Website administrators report

Web Administration Sub Group Report

This year, the website administrator group decided to focus on making the website more engaging with an aim to increase the number of people visiting it and provide more useful information.
The website was originally designed and built in 2017 by Web Creation UK as no one in the forum (including the current admin group members) had the skills to build it using WordPress which is the tool of choice for over 60% of current websites. Although that website served us well, by this year we felt that the existing design was flawed and we now had the skills to undertake a complete re design. The current website uses high contrast colours and large fonts for easy viewing and has separate pages for each of the sub groups. We also have a list of activities in the Vale of Glamorgan which is a very popular page. New posts are regularly added and consultations have been a particularly popular item.

Martyn Jones, Web Administrator

About Us

Vale 50+ Strategy Forum is a proactive public engagement group, working tirelessly to ensure that older people’s opinions and views are taken into account in all local and national strategic and operational planning.

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