A GROUP of seniors got together last month to host a special social event in partnership with other organisations all across Swindon.

Swindon Seniors Forum hosted their first Open Meeting of the year at Grange Leisure Centre in Stratton in which more than 50 people attended, including 11 new members.

Norma Thompson, chairman of Swindon Seniors Forum, said: “At Swindon Seniors Forum we provide an independent inclusive forum for discussion and debate on issues and concerns as senior citizens within the borough of Swindon.

“We aim to engage with the over 55s from all backgrounds and on a wide range of issues important to our quality of life, including loneliness and isolation, transport, social care, universal benefits and ageing.

“We had on that afternoon invited partner organisations there with information about their services.

“As well as our speakers from AgeUK and the University of the Third Age we had representatives and information stalls from Healthwatch Swindon and the Fire Service.

“An update was also given about our recent Loneliness and Isolation survey.”

Attendees heard a speech from a representative from Age UK, who spoke about access to benefits that people may be unaware of and the support AgeUK offer with advice and filling in forms.

Martin Preston from U3A also spoke about what his group has to offer in Swindon. The afternoon was even brightened up with a performance from the U3A ukulele group, which included renditions of Beatles and Elvis songs.

Swindon Seniors Forum was established in 2011 and has grown to a membership of 212.

Norma added: “The Forum also provides good quality information on subjects such as loneliness, health, social care and personal safety through speakers at the Forum’s Open Meetings which are held twice a year, and our twice yearly newsletter.

“We were delighted that five students and a teacher from Dorcan Academy attended our Open Meeting.

“A big thank you to Callum James, Kieran Wichall, Ellie Love, Kat Lawton, and Maya Grounsell for giving up their time to help with refreshments.”