Digest- February 2022

Digest- February 2022


February 2022

 “Don’t worry about temptation.  As you grow older, it starts avoiding you”

(Winston Churchill)

David Norman

On your behalf we congratulate him, our President, on becoming a Freeman of the Borough.  In process of becoming a City of course. 

We are well aware that he was a long time Councillor and past Mayor.  The report in the Leigh Times 8 Feb edition gives us a lot more information about him.  His family background were fishermen and boat builders.  He first became a Councillor at the age of 21 for the Victoria Ward.  He kick started the social housing scheme and oversaw the building of the Queensway flats.  He was a founding member of the Endeavour Trust and remains its chairman. The boat was one of six from Leigh to go to rescue the BEF from Dunkirk.  It was rescued and rebuilt with the aid of generous donations and the help of a small army of volunteers.  He has been awarded an Honorary degree from the Open University and an MBE both for services to education.

January Talk

Was by Jennifer Marshall  and  Emma Donnelly of Carers First. This is a government funded administered by Southend Council.  It is not a provider of long term carers.  It is a support service providing education for carers via a 4 week online course.  It also provides short term support filling in for carers called away for example to appointments. 

Its website, Carersfirst.org.uk gives information on the support available to carers.

Its free helpline 0300 303 1555 gives carers access to advice and guidance.

Its one-to-one support team will listen to carers specific needs be it health, carers roll, managing at home, free time, finances and work commitments.

It organises carer wellbeing groups that make connections with other carers and gives access to recreational activities.

Health Travel card

UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) application form.

The quickest way to apply for a card is online at www.nhs.uk/ghic or by calling 0300 330 1350 from the UK or +44 191 279 0575 from abroad. Lines are open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, and Saturday 9am to 3pm (UK time).
How to complete this form:

You’ll need your National Insurance number.

One of our Member Dave Wiggins recently purchased his GHIC card and  reports that he found  the process very easy.  His financial guru Martin Lewis says:
 ” If you plan to travel to the EU, these cards give you access to  state-run hospitals or GPs at the same price as a local.  So if it’s free for them, it’s free for you.

 If you’ve the old European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), check it is still valid. If you don’t have one, since Brexit it’s been replaced by
 the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) [though frankly it’s misnamed, as it actually covers fewer countries and all are EU – Martin], and you can get a GHIC for FREE. Never pay for either card (not even if they promise fast track – that’s a scam)”

Update on home heating from NPC

You may have heard the two big announcements on energy bills:
  From April 1st, the energy price cap will increase by  54%.   The Chancellor has announced a package of support to address this rise, including a council tax  rebate for some households, and a £200 reduction  to energy bills from October.
The fact that the Chancellor has taken this action is  testament to the strength of our campaigning over  the last few months. It was inspiring to deliver our petition to No.10 alongside some of you this week,  and it’s paid off as photos of our protest have featured in the presss.

However, this support does not go far enough. With average energy bills now set to increase by a staggering £693 per year, many older people will still be left facing energy costs they cannot afford to pay.

I’m really concerned that this will lead to many more  turning their heating down or off altogether because  they know the support on offer won’t cover their costs. The Government must urgently think again and do more to help.

We’ll keep up the pressure. I believe your hard work has pushed the Government to finally wake up to the reality of this cost of living crisis. Together we’ll urge the Treasury to listen to older people and to take further, significant action so that everyone is able to make ends meet.

News from royal Mail

31 January 2023 may seem a long way off but it is important to know that that is the day when the current 1st and 2nd class stamps cease to be valid. From then on all stamps will be bar coded.  You may have noticed the fuzzy bit beside some of last Christmas’ stamps.  That was a bar code.

Later in the year you will be able to exchange old for new.  Of obvious interest to hoarders such as those who bought in bulk to avoid future price rises.  To effect the swap you will need a form obtainable on line or from a delivery office.  Note, not from a post office incredibly.

The information came from Martin Lewis’ Money saving Expert.  Finally, commemorative and special issues will remain valid.  As these are mainly of interest to collectors not many will get used.

Age Concern’s Haven Hub Open Day

This is on 23 February from 12:30 to 3:30pm and is to be found at 138 Hamlet Court Road.

There you can find out about day care services, in house services and activities.  It’s also an opportunity to meet the team and find out how you can get involved.

Leigh Town council Volunteer of the Year

Nominations are now open for proposals for anyone living or volunteering in Leigh.  `To make a nomination call 01702 716288.  Closes 28 Feb.,

Local Boat and Fishing Trips

Are on offer from Brownes boat the Daisy Margaret for three hours from Leigh Marina.  They will follow the coast as far as the pier then go out to see Mulberry Harbour and the SS Montgomery masts.

Expect to pay £50.  Book on 07590 637 233.

The London

Is the 17 century wreck lying a little way off the end of the pier and close to the shipping lane.  It was part of a fleet on its way in 1658 to the Netherlands intended to restore Charles II to the throne.  It has provided a regular supply of artifacts that can be seen in Southend Museum.   The most recent is a quarter size bottle presumed to be a personal possession.

It is now run by The London Shipwreck Trust.  They would be grateful for any donations.  Write a cheque to the Trust and I will deliver to the managing solicitors.

New Zoo

Now open on the site of Tropical Wings, Wickford Road, South Woodham Ferrers.  Features lemurs, servals, marmosets, macaws and meerkats.  Later penguins and crocodiles will be added.

Dates for your Diary

Until 19 Feb:  Luminocity.  Town Centre various locations.

Until October:  Display of the White Witch’s Chest at Southend Central Museum.  Once Cunning Murrell’s known for his herbal remedies and casting and breaking spells

23 Feb:  Haven Hub Open Day.  12:30 – 1:30.

2 Mar:  Fundraising lunch at the Beefeater, Strawberry Fields, Thanet Grange. (by Tesco Extra).  Reserve with David Stansfield.  Tel 01702 472670.

16 Mar  Members meeting at Balmoral Centre. 2 – 4pm.   Talk on keeping active. 

© JDS/ February 2022.  Tel 01702 472670


Email:  bartonpye@aol.com