• Looking forwards to a special day 09 July 2018 | View comments

  • 9th July 2018 | By David Jolley

    Wednesday is the annual review of the work of Dementia Pathfinders. I have seen the programme for the day and am amazed at how much is being done. I shall learn things and meet people, as well as having chance to say something about our small contribution at Dementia Conversations.

    Having attended my second meeting of the executive of Christians on Ageing I feel I am getting to understand and love the organisation and people. Thirty five years of effort have yielded a modest membership of 200 or so, some nice and relevant publications, though the one I am reading on Spirituality in later life is oddly frustrating in not including list of references which are cited in the text. It is felt that references might be off-putting to readers who are not used to them. There is huge potential and a need to increase the membership – surely every church should have a champion for older people – and an annual meeting to review what is being done and what is next on the agenda, would be a powerful mans of bringing the organisation to the awareness of a wider congregation. Let’s see if we can do this by 2019.

    In my parks’ life, we are struggling to keep up with the watering requirements of the most vulnerable plants. We were pleased with our visit by North West in Bloom but uneasy with the dialogue with the council and Amey – the independent contractor doing the work on parks and other places. The work of Friends groups is crucial to the maintenance and best use of parks in Trafford and elsewhere. More revenue is needed than is allocated because of reduced funds in Local Authorities. This can be countered by revenue generation and we have heard of good examples in Leeds, Wigan, Newcastle upon Tyne and elsewhere – I hope Trafford will use these examples to develop its own model. But success requires trust and mutual respect between the professionals and the volunteers of Friends groups. We need to be able to talk with each other whenever necessary – The official position here denies this and would insist on a formulaic communication through a website which makes no differentiation between Friends and everyone else – and has been seen over the past 2 years to be slow, unsatisfactory and to claim that work has been done when it has not. It is a great sadness that so many people are signed up to the religion of management theory – and adopt it even in their lives away from the office. What kind of life is this?

    Computers getting more like humans? Humans giving up their humanity to become computer-like. Addictive - can we regain control?

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