Category: Advice

June 2014 newsletter

Wednesday June 18th Kenwood house

Trip to Kenwood House

We are not having a meeting in June but are organising a trip to Kenwood House, Hampstead.

Meet at Kenwood House main entrance at 2.15pm

on Wednesday June 18th.

Note the arrangements below.
Either get there independently: The 210 bus takes you to the entrance of the park (via Finsbury Park, Stroud Green, Archway, Highgate)

Or book a place on the minibus we have hired with Audrey ( places still available).

NB  Places still available.. Total cost will be £10.

If after booking you are unable to attend please tell Audrey so that some one else can have your place.

Please tell Audrey which of the 2 pick-up points you require:

  1. Hornsey Parish Church Car park at 1.45pm or
  2. Entrance to Odeon Car Park next to Planet Organic at 2.00pm.

Telephone Audrey on 020 8347 7989 and on the day Ann on mobile 07757634405

Note: There is a lift facility at the house we can use and a toilet on the ground floor.

Also Kenwood House provides a buggy service to collect visitors from the car park to its main door.

 Next meetings: July 16th Solicitor . No August meeting

Contacts: Ann Anderson 020 8340 8335,

Pamela Jefferys 020 8444 0732 & Janet Shapiro 020 8883 9571

May 21st Juliet Landau-Pope

‘Clear the clutter in your home and in your head!’

Juliet belongs to a professional association of declutterers and organisers but is also a lecturer in the Open University in social sciences with a special interest in motivation.

She first took this up when helping her own parents reduce what they had in their home. Juliet does not talk of ‘junk’; she does not urge us to chuck everything away in skips. Her approach is encouraging not ruthless.

It is for us to ask – ‘Does it get in my way?’ if the answer is ‘Yes’, that’s clutter. We have things for a reason but things may outlive their purpose. We are parting from things not just throwing away junk. People have different levels of tolerance but that can change with time. People who have not moved much have more clutter.

People may embark on decluttering when dealing with a change, such as marital breakdown or bereavement. On bereavement it is better to defer decisions; they are less painful later. Juliet described how she helped one woman tackle her late husband’s wardrobe, and later the woman herself decided that a single item – a pair of his shoes –was all she needed to keep. The same woman went on to coach in decluttering herself.

People feel a duty to their belongings and don’t want them to go to waste. But there is a home for everything through recycling, charity shops and Haringey Freecycle. Vinyl records were mentioned; a local Oxfam shop Books and Music takes these and will collect.

Older people facing mortality often start to declutter in consideration for their children. Juliet advised to pace oneself, perhaps doing it for half an hour on a routine basis as the process can be exhausting and painful. Perhaps start in the bathroom.

Bills and bank documents pile up, but it is best to keep them for 7 years, with specific papers being kept longer. Juliet can recommend a reliable person who charges £6/hr to shred confidential papers.

Hoarding is a specific condition needing psychological help. Hoarding is identified when a room cannot be used because of the amount of clutter.

Good advice from Juliet – if you have something you do not use you have to ask yourself whether you might ever use it, if not why are you keeping it?

Juliet conducts coaching workshops. tel 078178 33319



Please complete the questionnaire sent with the May notice. The responses will be compiled to help future planning and may help us bid for financial help.

 Activities past and future

NPC (National Pensioners Convention) Pensioners’ Parliament at Blackpool June 17th -19th Barbara Ryan is one delegate, but we can send another member. Let us know if you want to take up this great opportunity!

Saturday June 21st 1pm- 6pm National demonstration. “No more Austerity

The People’s Assembly : Assemble 1pm at the BBC Headquarters,Portland Place ( nearest tube Oxford Circus) March to palace of Westminster.

 HPAG Ham & High column. The next one is due on June 26th to be written by Pamela Jefferys.

Meeting of May 21st

2pm Wednesday 21st May 2014

Clear the clutter in your home and your head!

Discussion led by Juliet Landau-Pope Life Coaching and Decluttering

Arrive any time after 1.30pm for a prompt start at 2pm

at the Marian Centre

Hornsey Parish Church Hall,

Cranley Gardens, N10 3AH

Entrance behind W7 bus stop on Park Road

Buses W3 144 W5 stop nearby

Contacts: Ann Anderson 020 8340 8335,

Pamela Jefferys 020 8444 0732 & Janet Shapiro 020 8883 9571

April newsletter 2014

March 19th  ‘What future for the NHS?’

There were three speakers: Janet Shapiro summarised the ‘long view of the NHS since 1948’, Rod Wells told us about the campaign ‘Haringey Needs St Ann’s Hospital’ (HANSAH) and Val Chagger introduced the work of Haringey Healthwatch. (Janet was standing in for Jan Pollock who was unwell that day.)

The ‘long view’ is a sad story. The NHS began in 1948 as a comprehensive service free at the point of delivery; it was centrally planned and managed. In 1948 it was – and still is – funded through national taxation, but now central control and responsibility is abandoned.

Aneurin Bevan nationalised hospitals, with consultants still in charge, but local authorities took over residential care. Primary care was delivered by GPs as private contractors. Free provision has been gradually eroded – some payments are needed for opticians, dentists etc. and we have prescription charges. For older people we regret the loss of Geriatric consultants that monitored care after discharge from hospital. But there have been clinical advances that allow fast recovery from major and minor operations.

The Secretary of State held control through regional boards; funding was allocated according to population needs. Unlike health systems prevalent in Europe that were insurance based, the UK delivered high performance care that was cost effective. (Workers in Germany make heavy payments for their healthcare.)

The % of GDP allocated to the NHS became scandalously low over the years, much lower than in Europe and USA, leading to long waits for treatment. John Major introduced Private Finance Initiatives (PFIs) for new build that proved to be very expensive leaving hospitals in debt.

This affected us locally when the collapse of funding delayed the development with shared clinical and social services of HornseyCentralHospital. A clinic without the promised beds & sheltered housing was delivered in 2009 using costly private investment – part of Ara Darzi’s Polyclinic scheme. The dementia day care centre opened the next year part funded by the Lewis and Mary Haynes Trust that had waited patiently for years.

The internal market, whereby different parts of the NHS bought and sold services from each other increased overheads. Local management was carried out by Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) with NHS staff who organised and monitored local services.

In 1997 Labour raised the NHS budget and reduced waiting lists, but introduced ways of working that fragmented the NHS. PFIs continued and private public partnerships like the Independent Sector Treatment Centres were encouraged.

The Commissioning Provider Split was forced on PCTs in 2009, putting potential service providers in competition. Central control and planning was lost, costs increased and staff security threatened. Hospitals were encouraged to become independent businesses – Foundation Trusts.

In 2012 the Coalition Government passed the Health & Social Care Act, a total revamp of the NHS. PCTs were abolished, their staff made redundant. Clinical Commissioning Groups of local GPs now commission health services; we have a complex structure of quangos, less public say and opportunities for private providers, many being global companies. On top of this upheaval huge budget cuts of £20bn.are imposed. In order to keep within budget many trusts lay off staff, make bed reductions and sell off property.

Rod Wells ‘Haringey Needs St Ann’s Hospital’   St   Ann’s is the only hospital in Haringey. The Barnet Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust owns the land and provides mental health services on the site. Trusts providing other health services pay rent to the BEHMHT. After local campaigners objected to mental health in-patient services being run down and transferred to Chase Farm, ward closures were stopped. BEHMHT plans to upgrade wards but claims that this must be funded by the sale of 2/3 of the site to a private developer. Knowing that Haringey suffers serious health inequalities and deprivation, HANSAH wants a ‘needs assessment’ to confirm that the land to be sold is indeed surplus to requirements and demanded that Haringey Public Health conduct this assessment. As this was refused the group are attempting their own assessment. The lack of GP’s is undeniable, made worse by Haringey’s population growing by 10% in ten years. HANSAH is in contact with the Health & Well Being Board but is frustrated that no NHS organisation appears to take responsibility.

Rod brought HANSAH leaflets and asked us to sign the petition backing their campaign.

009 (3)Val Of HealthWatch speaking with chair Clive Evers and Rod Wells of HANSAH to her left.





Val Chagger Haringey Healthwatch

Healthwatch Haringey (HWH) is the independent consumer watchdog set up to collect information and represent the views of the public on health and social care. It exists to give patients, service users and local people an opportunity to influence and challenge decision making about local health and social care services. Mike Wilson the Director spoke at the Dignity Action Day and the NPC Dignity Code is printed in their January/February newsletter.

Val is the Administrative Officer employed by Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB). She outlined that in response to local comments HWH was attempting to improve: – access to GPs and hospital out-patients, provision for mental health and patient transport. Five new board members had been appointed and HWH is recruiting volunteers to visit surgeries, hospitals etc. Val was asked what powers HWH had and explained that HWH must get a response to any representation.

Questions and discussion centred round the interaction between hospital and social services, poor communications, people going to A&E instead of GP, deterioration of premises and staff morale that led to running down of NHS. But the conclusion was that we must be vigilant and guard our services.

Rod helped with the raffle and speakers continued to answer questions over refreshments.

Important notice

To book a place on the minibus for the trip to Kenwood on Wednesday June 18th please make it definite by telephoning Audrey Evers at 020 8347 7989. John Boshier has offered to be our tour guide.


Sylvia Roberts and Janet Shapiro attended the Greater London Region NPC AGM on March 27th. A Hackney solicitor, Wendy Pettifer, told us about the increasing distress to ordinary people because of cuts to legal aid. The AGM passed motions on important campaigns. Ask if you want details.

Age UK Neighbourhoods Connect sessions: Contact 8801 5775.

Social Media Drop-Ins –for help with using mobile phones, computers etc. Hornsey Library Fridays 10 am to 12noon, Wood Green Central Library Thursdays 9 to 11am.

Meet a Connector Hornsey Health Centre Tuesdays and Thursdays 9.30am-12noon,  Thursdays 12.30-2.30pm – Wood Green Central Library– Thursdays 9.30- 12.00noon – Hornsey Library – Fridays 12.30-2.30]

Caring Connections Groups where you can meet people, chat and reduce loneliness. – Monday from 2.00-4.00 in the Garden Room at North Bank, Muswell Hill Methodist Church, Pages Lane N10 and Monday 11 – 1pm at Trees Extra Care Housing, 2 Broadlands Road, N6 4AN.

For details contact: Kathy Wiltshire 020 8885 8353 or email her at

Music at Muswell Hill Library

Saturday 12th April, from 3-4 pm. Listening to music and creative musical composition: the first of a series of fun workshops, run by Julian Silverman.

Saturday 26th April, from 3-4 pm. Piano performance by Alex Hall.

Social Lunches – 50+ Community Lunch Club’. Hornsey Vale Community Association, Mayfield Rd, N8. Home made lunch & activities £3 on 1st weds of month. Volunteers welcomed. Also at Jacksons Lane on last Thursday of each month from 11.45am-2.30pm at Jacksons Lane.  There is often entertainment.  Contact or call 020 8347 2411.

News Local Barnet councillors and local people continue to challenge the proposed franchise by Post Office Ltd. of the East Finchley Crown Post Office to UOE (UK) Ltd. that plan to put the Post Office counter at a raised level without any consultation with local disability forums.

Planning permission is being sought for the new piazza public space in front of the Muswell Hill Odeon and the shopping parade beside it. Find details at planning reference HGY/2014/0818. Comments to the Planning Department by April 15th.



Meeting of February 19th 2014

Fuel Poverty and Keeping Warm


Clare of the ‘Fuel Poverty Action Group’

2pm Wednesday 19nd February  2014

Arrive any time after 1.30pm for prompt start at 2pm

at the Marian Centre

Hornsey Parish Church Hall, ( Formerly St.George’s Church)

Cranley Gardens, N10 3AH

Access for the Marian Centre is through the big metal gates shown on the photograph, behind the bus stop on Park Road for W7 buses towards Muswell Hill.

April 2013 001

The entrance is by the steps on the right of the building, but a step free access can be found through the second wooden gates around the building.Bus routes nearby: W7, 144, W3. and W5 further along Park Road.

 Next meetings:

March 19th 2014: What future for the NHS?

April 16th: What do local council candidates promise us?

Contacts:  Ann Anderson 020 8340 8335, Pamela Jefferys 020 8444 0732 & Janet Shapiro 020 8883 9571

February newsletter 2014

Annual General Meeting on January 22nd 2014 (full copy on request)There was an excellent attendance. Some changes to the Constitution were agreed to add extra officers. There are now two honorary presidents – Hetty Bechler joins Bob Cottingham, appointed to express our gratitude to all the group’s founder members. It was also agreed that subscriptions should be paid by June.

Officers gave reports: on the website and publicity, the review of meetings and campaigns, social events, membership and current funds. The meeting thanked the officers and committee and agreed that the following should continue in post.

Convenor/Secretary: Janet Shapiro, Membership Secretary: Pamela Jefferys,  Treasurer: Clive Evers.  Social Secretary: Celia Bower, Panel of Chairs: Ann Anderson, Lauritz Hansen-Bay, Yvonne Bonnamy. For the additional posts it was agreed that Ann & Pamela are Distribution coordinators and that Ann is Publicity officer. Delegates to GLR NPC were confirmed to be Janet Shapiro and Sylvia Roberts. Unfortunately we still need a delegate to the GLPA.

Five motions, notified earlier, were proposed. These stimulated discussion and were supported unanimously.

‘Haringey Big Community Energy Switch’ followed the AGM

Joanne Barratt from ‘Living Under One Sun’ helps people with their energy bills. Joanne began by explaining payment types & tariffs, and how unit and standing charges affect what we are charged. The ‘Big Community Energy Switch’ works like an auction. To take part in this mass customer negotiation for an affordable deal with energy companies – or just to get advice – you would need to bring your bill to Joanne at a Library Drop-in. It could also be done online at

Although Joanne does not guarantee your making savings, she has helped many people reduce their bills. Those receiving pension credit or other benefits are entitled to the ‘Warm Homes Discount’ worth £135 per year, but it is mainly the bigger companies operating a ‘Care Plan’ that deliver this efficiently. Joanne narrated various problems that people experience with direct debit schemes; such as being in credit by a large amount or having difficulty cancelling a direct debit.

She had many tips for saving electricity, such vacuuming behind a refrigerator – dust diminishes its efficiency, heating only enough water in a kettle, using slow cookers, wearing warm clothes, making sure one ate hot food, and the usual tips about insulation, many of which are in our booklet ‘Scrimp & Save’ that has been handed out to HPAG members.

We have her Power point presentation that can be referenced.

The Haringey Big Community Switch Library Drop Ins are:

  • Marcus Garvey Wednesday                   9am-12pm
  • Coombes Croft Wednesday                   2pm-4pm
  • Wood Green Thursday                            9am-12pm
  • Hornsey  Friday                                        9am-11am* Joanne’s session

Joanne stayed to answer questions and help with the raffle.


The National Pensioners Convention (NPC) has negotiated with many organisations – hospitals, local authorities etc. to sign up to the Dignity Code. We have copies of the Dignity Code or see  It is important that older people are treated with respect in all situations, particularly when being cared for.

During the last week of January Hornsey Pensioners Action Group members joined with Islington Forum for Older People manning a stall at Whittington Hospital where many passers by signed up in support.

On February 1stDignity Action Day, we organised a meeting at Hornsey Library.  A big thank-you to the speakers who gave up their time. These were Councillor Bernice Vanier – Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Services, Haringey Council, Mike Wilson – Director Healthwatch Haringey, and Judy Downey – The Relatives and Residents Association. Saskia Schreuder of Haringey Forum for Older People (HFOP) also attended but Pam Moffatt was unfortunately not well. While we should have wanted a bigger attendance, there was a very useful discussion on problems with implementing the code.

This was a good practice run for October 1st, United Nations Day of Older People, when our concerns could be publicised locally. Let us know of any ideas for activities.


Our membership secretary reminds you that 2014 subscriptions are due. Cheques should be made out to Hornsey Pensioners’ Action Group. Please post to Mrs Pamela Jefferys,  Flat 38, Bishops View   Court, 24a Church Crescent, N10 3NQ, or pay at the next meeting.


Look out for the article written by Pamela due to be published in the Ham & High on 20th February.  Members please buy your copy!

Social Lunches at Jacksons   Lane are held on last Thursday of each month from 11.45am-2.30pm at Jacksons Lane.  There is often entertainment.

Note: Wheelchair spaces must be booked in advance and discussed with Stuart over the phone. Due to space they can only accommodate 3 wheelchair spaces. For information about the next lunch Email Stuart at or call 020 8347 2411.

Assisted travel

If you’ve got mobility impairments and have trouble using public transport, you might be able to use subsidised taxi and minicab travel in London. The two schemes are called Taxicard and Capital Call, the latter for longer journeys up to 11miles. Tfl consults on whether the latter should be closed from April 2015.   See  Closing date for comments is Friday 11 April 2014.