Bob’s Blog 12 – Appears first in the Congleton Chronicle 

Bob's Blog Senior Forum

The eve of another new year! I wonder how many New Year resolutions will be made tomorrow, and how many will soon be broken?  As the saying goes, “The spirit’s willing but the flesh is weak!”  Not easy to eat less, drink less, spend less!!  I want to try and save for a good holiday in 2016, but I’m not very disciplined at putting a bit aside every week.   My resolution will be saving for a holiday – I’m going to start saving with Congleton Credit Union.  You just go along to Congleton Library on a Saturday morning between 10.00 and 11.00 and the folk there will sort you out.    I really like the idea of the Credit Union. – a trustworthy, not for profit organisation that offers a range of savings accounts and affordable loans to families and individuals. They promote effective money management, and work within the community – a brilliant solution to the costly’ payday lenders’ and loan sharks that prey on vulnerable people nowadays.


I was also thinking about ways I can help someone else this year – a bit of the feel good factor.   Volunteering not only does good to others, but makes you feel good about yourself too!   I’m backing the CVS Cheshire East Give5 campaign – I’ve pledged to give 5 sessions of volunteering in the New Year.    Something I fancy doing is encouraging a young person to make the most of life.   I think I have plenty of experience and knowledge to pass on to someone just starting their adult life.  So this caught my eye….” Are you enthusiastic, dedicated and have a passion for working with young people?”    The ad goes on to say that in January,  Eaton Bank School will be running their Twista Connect programmes, which are all about helping a young person on their journey through school, raising their aspirations and creating opportunities for them to grow and develop.  They are now looking to recruit Volunteer mentors. The people leading these programmes describe mentoring as, “…providing a unique opportunity to contribute to the personal development of a young person, from giving access to information and experience in a particular profession, to supporting them within the exciting program of various activities in the programme.


If this sounds interesting give Deb Lindop, Community Engagement Officer, a ring at Cheshire East Council 0300 123 5500 or if you want   more volunteering ideas or want to know more about the Give5 campaign visit the CVS Cheshire East website or ring 01270 763100



Maybe for you 2016 is the year that you decide you want to get more out of life –perhaps life has become a bit ‘samey’ – and at our age excitement doesn’t come to us we have to make it happen!

The Jubilee Club at New Life Church, Congleton has been running since May 2011 and has over 350 people on the register, with a weekly attendance of 30 to 40 people. The club is free and is great for anyone who is; struggling a bit with life; needs a place where they can belong feel safe and accepted; wanting to make wholesome friendships, wanting to learn new skills or be helped into employment.   The club has an allotment where members can have the harvested crops for free.   They have a craft group, cooking group, and life skills sessions covering things like assertiveness and money management.   They have regular social meetings and an annual coach trip and picnic out each year. For more information visit the New Life Church website or ring the office on 01260 297961


But, for some of us we do need the world to come to us.  Royal Voluntary Service volunteers are there to help (WRVS has now become the RVS so that men can be part of the great work that they do) Volunteers are available in our area who are part of the Home Bound Book Service.    A volunteer will visit you and find out what sort of books you like.   Then they collect the books ( large print if necessary) from the library and drop them off to you, and pick them up when you’ve finished with them.     And, the library makes allowances for a longer time to read the books, and doesn’t charge a late fee.  The RVS also provides what it calls ‘ Extended Library services’  – if you have a computer,  a volunteer can come to the house and help with things like online shopping and skyping friends and family.    If you are interested, give Gillian Taylor a ring at the RVS on  07714 898 678

Just one last bit of information that I came across that might be of interest to some of you – £1m has been allocated to a new rapid response service called STAIRRS (Short Term Assessment , Intervention, Recovery and Rehabilitation Service).   Health and social care services are working together to agree how this will start to work – a single telephone number for professionals such as GPs, social workers and community nurses to get through to quick assessment and urgent care for people with complex needs (that’s often us oldies!) so that …..and this is the really GOOD bit – they can continue to live at home and avoid unnecessary trips to hospital or A&E.

Well, that’s all from me for 2015 – Happy New Year Everyone

Bob bear signing out till next week……