Over 50s able to reflect on a successful year

Western Gazette

ANOTHER successful year of activity was reported to members of the Sherborne Area Over 50s Group who attended the annual meeting in the Digby Hall, Sherborne.

Quite apart from the business side of the service, many members attend the quarterly open afternoon meeting in the hall during which there is usually a guest speaker outlining the services available to help and advise them.

A number of social events and outings are also arranged by the service.

On the business side, acting chairman Dr Valerie Marett reported that after much frustration, agreement had finally been reached to provide double yellow lines at the dangerous end of Castle Road in Sherborne.

"These are now in place," she told the meeting.

She added: "We are seeking, through the town council, action on the road crossing from the Pageant Gardens to Sainsbury's supermarket where many roads converge and this is particularly difficult to cross due to the speed of the traffic approaching the railway crossing.

"No concrete progress has been made on the major project of providing a hydrotherapy pool in Sherborne, further discussions with Dr Oliver Letwin, MP for West Dorset, are planned shortly.

"For several years the question of transport to hospitals had been of general concern.

"But we are pleased to say that a scheme has now been launched.

"It will be known as the Yeo Valley Health Transport, aiming to improve the situation locally. This has been featured in the Western Gazette and included a photograph of Sarah Greening, who chaired our group for a short period, and took up this particular cause."

Finally, Dr Marett thanked Bluebird Care, who kindly sponsored the group for the past year and was continuing to do so at present.

After the annual business, a guest speaker explained a scheme which, in conjunction with Dorset County Council, enabled people with learning difficulties to give some help to local residents with gardening tasks such as weeding, pruning and grasscutting. They were hoping to obtain a new battery-powered lawnmower.

"All volunteers would be supervised and no charge made for this service, although a donation would be welcome," she added.

To contact this service, call Allan Foster on 07768 558 972.

Principal speaker at the meeting was Peter Brown, from Dorset Fire and Rescue Service, who, together with a film, explained how quickly a fire can start and how important it is to have smoke detectors at home.

"It takes only seconds from the first sign of smoke for flames to start," Peter emphasised. Members were recommended to have a "fire safety" check by the service and also to make sure that electrical items were unplugged when not in use, especially overnight.

"Closing doors at night also limits any fire from spreading throughout the building, giving occupants time to get out," he stated.

Another piece of advice he disclosed was: "Don't leave keys in the front door as it will not be possible for anyone outside to open it."

The meeting closed with a raffle, tea and cakes. The next meeting is on Monday, November 25, starting at 2.30pm. Local handbell ringers will entertain and everyone is welcome.

Patricia Drew, the honorary treasurer, tells the diary that the group is holding a coffee morning on Saturday, October 12, from 10am to 12.30pm, at the Cheap Street Church Hall in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. It would be greatly appreciated if readers could help with gifts for the produce stall, cakes, raffle prizes and bric-a-brac - but not books.