Havering Over-50s day hailed a success

EXERCISE classes, cooking demos and health checks were just some of the attractions in a special event for senior residents in Havering.

More than 400 people attended the NHS Over-50s Day, in Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch, recently, to promote good health, and alert them to services and activities on offer in the borough

Special guests Cllr Pam Light, Mayor of Havering, and Lesley Buckland, vice-chairman of NHS Havering, who both act as champions for older residents.

Also mingling with visitors was Frances Pennell-Buck, chairman of NHS Havering, and Michael White, leader of Havering Council. Representatives from a host of organisations chatted to residents about a variety of topics, including how to reduce the risk of falls, fire safety in the home, stopping smoking and benefits to help older people such carer’s allowance, which was attended

Suzy Willis from Hornchurch, and Phyllis Spurgeon, from Elm Park, are both in their 80s and have known each other since they were at school.

Suzy said: “We find events like this really useful to find out about what’s going on in Havering.”

There was also support on offer for people affected by disabilities and conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease, cancer and diabetes, and information on end-of-life care.

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Visitors to the cookery demonstration tasted samples of homemade vegetable soup and curry and were given a free recipe book.

Brian Lawrence, a retired engineer from Upminster, said: “I was recently widowed and I’m cooking for myself, so this has been very helpful and convivial.”

Free blood pressure checks were popular with visitors.

Elizabeth Feeney from Hornchurch, who attends Havering Over-50s Forum, said: “It’s always good to get out and find some useful information. I’ve just been told my blood pressure reading is a bit high so I will have another check soon.”

Cllr Light said: “This is a great way to show all the services available in Havering under one roof, and you can see from the fantastic attendance how interested people are.”

Lesley Buckland added: “The health and well-being of our older residents is a major priority for NHS Havering, and we really appreciate the support of the council and Age Concern in making events like this so successful.”