Please note that these are “Notes” of the meeting held on 24.11.20 to scoop out ideas and support for the restarting up of The Senior Forum.


Attendees:- Suzy.Firkin (Chair) Diane.Ritherdon (Congleton Museum, DFC Chair),Kay Wesley (Congleton Town Councillor),Tianni Buccieri ( Plus Dane),Mike.Smith ( Congleton Partnership Admin), Glen.Williams (BFCT / Partnership Chair), Wendy Townley ( Heathview),Clare Sheard (New Life Church/ Forget me not club),Peter Aston ( Congleton Sustainability Group/Old Saw Mill),David Morris ( Congleton Lions), Luciano Pinto(U3A),Anna Bignell & Sarah Jacklin ( Cheshire East social care team) Jackie MacArthur ( Deputy First Officer Congleton Town Council)

Apologies:- Steve Foster ( Congleton Partnership( and Sue Ward (U3A)


Suzy opened the meeting by introducing herself and raising the question? Should we have a Senior Forum and was there a need.  Each participant then introduced themselves talked a little about their roles and issues that they saw needed to be addressed.

Should we have a Senior Forum?

The question of “Should we have a Senior Forum” was partially answered in the introductions with social isolation and the last few challenging months an indicator that a number of residents within the town were certainly in need of various means of support.

Objectives of the group

Suzy to draw up a list of objectives which MS will circulate to the group for feedback.

See below.


  • To create a portfolio of projects designed to minimise social isolation and promote good mental health and physical wellbeing for the older population in Congleton.
  • To ensure that the projects undertaken by the Congleton Partnership are inclusive for the older population.
  • To engage with the older population in a variety of ways that ensure no one is excluded because of lack of access to or fear of technology.
  • To communicate with the older population in Congleton in a way that helps combat loneliness and makes them feel that they are part of a caring community.

Preliminary Project Ideas:

  • Befriending/Buddying Network
    • a network of telephone volunteers who make regular calls to a target list of individuals.
    • Regular goodie bags for discussion and engagement
    • Building relationships e.g. 3 way calls
    • Ongoing training and supervision for volunteers


  • Talking Newspaper/Chronicle Delivery Programme
    • Widening participation in talking newspaper
    • Offering free delivery of actual paper


  • Radio Provision.
    • New radio for those living alone
    • Radio trade in for those who need a new one
    • Help with tuning and instructions
    • Possible support via Wavelenth (BBC local radio partner)


  • Digital Befriending
    • Help with getting online by U3A
    • Intergenerational support in partnership with schools or youth groups
    • Possible provision of tablets?


  • Group entertainment
    • Musical entertainment for care homes and sheltered accommodation areas
    • Outdoor performances that reach groups of people in their own homes


  • Health and Wellbeing Fayre 2021 (Provisional booking Tues 5th Oct)

These objectives were drawn up from comments/ feedback that each member of the group highlighted.

It was also felt that age-wise we should remain flexible with a wider age range than just 50+.

Are you willing to be involved?

All attending agreed to work to develop the group and agreed to their continuation on the group distribution list.

Care Home Visits.

Wendy Townley to let the group know what checks visitors/family would need to have so that they can visit relatives in Care Homes.

Next Meeting :- Tuesday 15th December 1.00pm via Zoom.