70 Not Out!

By Jan Collier

"Picture of Dora May Hancock being interviewed by Jan"

As Age Concern Epsom and Ewell celebrates its 70th Anniversary, Jan Collier talks to Dorah May Hancock from the charity, about the many services on offer for older people in the borough.  She also finds out more about the free nostalgic, open air celebration in July to which everyone is invited.

Click on the Play button below to hear the interview.


Our Newest Volunteer

Counsellor George Crawford, the Mayor of Epsom and Ewell, ended his Mayoral year in office this week, having organised and attended around two hundred fundraising and awareness events all over the borough. Although donations for his chosen charity MacMillan Cancer Support are still coming in, it’s estimated that George has helped raise more than £20,000.
George, who as Mayor was the President of EETN, told us in earlier chats that he and his partner Mayoress Jackie Hennings had enjoyed every minute of their time in office, although it had tended to take over their lives and had been on occasions quite exhausting. When his year ended, his plan, he said, was to take a good rest for a while.

During his time as Mayor, George supported the Epsom and Ewell Talking Newspaper from the beginning, for example popping in to say a few words of thanks and farewell last year to our long-serving volunteer Angela Sargent, then joining us at Christmas when he entertained us all musically with his ukulele. He and Jackie also took the time to come in for an interview with us, despite their overwhelming work schedule.
So everyone here at EETN says a huge thank you to George for his support and interest in our 43 year old local service, which as you probably know is run totally by volunteers.

Photograph of George Crawford

Counsellor George Crawford taken by Mike Sampson

Today, however, far from resting and relaxing a while, George, who admits he loves keeping busy and active, came in to see us and offer his services as our newest volunteer! We are delighted to welcome him on board and very honoured that he has chosen to work with our team, saying

‘The work being done by the volunteers here is excellent and I will do whatever you think would be most helpful, whether that involves information gathering, meeting new listeners, or fundraising, all of which I enjoy very much.’

Needless to say, we’re all very excited and now busy putting our heads together on a few ideas – but one thing we do promise is not to make George’s new work schedule quite as hectic as his last one!


Safety Warning

We would like to bring an important safety issue to your attention.

Recently one of our listeners reported that the charger for her boom box had broken in two, with the result that some wires were exposed. This would have been very dangerous if the plug was in a socket and the socket was switched on.

As far as we know this is an isolated incident and we do not want to alarm you.

However, in order to ensure safety when charging your boom box we strongly recommend the following for all listeners, regardless of the type of charger you are using:

  1. Ask a sighted helper to conduct a visual inspection of your charger. If there are any signs that it is cracked or that the cover is loose, do not use it and let us know by phone or letter.
  2. Always use a socket with an on/off switch when charging your boom box and turn off the switch before unplugging the charger. This ensures that if the cover does come off the charger the wires inside are not live. It is also safer when you next come to plug in another appliance.

We would also ask you please to let us know if you have a charger of  the following type:

– It’s made of shiny black plastic and is no bigger than an ordinary three pin plug;

– The words “TRAVEL ADAPTOR” appear in white letters on the underside of the plug

– The large earth pin is metal (rather than plastic as on most chargers);

– The charger body appears to be glued together with no visible screws.

Picture of the type of charger that failed

The type of charger that failed

A picture showing another view of the type of charger that failed.

Another view of the type of charger that failed

If this description matches your charger, please contact us by putting a note in your envelope when you return your memory stick or by leaving a message on our telephone answering machine at 01372 721519.

As a precaution we propose in due course to exchange it for a different design.

As a matter of general good practice, we also recommend that you do not leave your boom box charging overnight. We realise that this may be different from the advice that you were given when you received your boom box.

Finally, take great care with all electrical appliances and if you have any doubts about an item do not investigate yourself but call a sighted helper.

Talking News Is Priceless

Report by Jan Collier

Photograph of the Mayor and Mayoress

Epsom’s Mayor credits Mayoress for the charity lunch

On Friday 3rd March, EETN’s President, the Mayor of Epsom and Ewell, Counsellor George Crawford, was in his element as the only male attending a Ladies Lunch at the Chalk Lane Hotel with his partner the Mayoress Jackie Hennings.

Warmly greeting more than fifty-five ladies who were there to support his charity and raise money for MacMillan Cancer Support, the Mayor admitted the lunch had been Mayoress Jackie’s idea and he was enjoying the event very much.

Volunteers, charity workers, local business women and Mayors from neighbouring boroughs chatted over lunch, which was followed by a fascinating talk by guest of honour Lynne Owens CBE QPM, Director General of the National Crime Agency.


"Photograph of Lynne Owens and Epsom Mayor"

A warm welcome for Guest of Honour Lynne Owens, CBE, QPM

One of the three most senior law enforcement officers in the UK, Lynne Owens described how complex law enforcement has become, saying: ‘‘When I was a child it was ‘stranger danger’ don’t to talk to strangers in the park. Now in many instances, children may be more at risk at the computer than in the park.’’  She explained that whilst new technology, particularly the internet, can be a good thing, it has made crime much more complicated. Giving a brief insight into modern law enforcement, she gave sound advice about monitoring children on the internet. “We can all play a part in safety,” she told us, “by installing anti-virus protection on computers, and in many other simple ways such as calling 999 when necessary, or by being a witness and by fitting locks to our homes.’’

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Mayor of Elmbridge, Counsellor Mrs. Tannia Shipley and Jan Collier

During the lunch, I caught up with the Mayor of Elmbridge, Councillor  Mrs. Tannia Shipley, who  told me how much she admires the work done by volunteers at her local Elmbridge and Runnymede Talking Newspaper.  Comparing notes on our respective Talking  Newspapers, she said: ‘‘My local TN operates from Weybridge Hospital and their little studio looks remarkably like yours in Epsom! I was most impressed when I visited them last year to record a Christmas message. I was greeted very warmly by the two volunteers who were recording the message on that day and they explained that some 50 volunteers help to run the TN.  Like Epsom and Ewell TN, they have around 130 or so listeners and the service the volunteers provide is invaluable. I am looking forward to my next visit, when I will be discussing my incredible year as Mayor of Elmbridge. I have been staggered by the amount of volunteering that goes on in the Borough.  I am reminded of a quote that I read some time ago    “Volunteers are not paid, not because they’re worthless but because they’re priceless!”

The  Ladies Lunch was a huge success and raised around £1100 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

*Credit: Picture of Epsom’s Mayor with Lynne Owens by Mike Sampson.