Good Neighbours at the Manchester Food & Drink Festival

‘Octogenarian Cooks’ event

On Wed Oct 5th there was an ‘Octogenarian Cooks’ event at the Manchester Food & Drink Festival:-

“Shopping and cooking can be a challenge in older age. Not only due to health issues and affordability but also because many older people live alone. Yet older people often have great cooking skills and tasty recipes to share. Cooking and eating together can also have a positive impact on your well-being.

The event brings together the University of Manchester, Cracking Good Food, the leading chef Maz Linford and older people from across Manchester to cook and share food using recipes old and new.”

The event was reported by Radio Manchester and you can listen to a recording of that item, here

Some of Good Neighbours regulars went down to this event and here are pictures of them

Finishing of the Garden shelter

Today was a good day to finish of the garden shelter at Good Neighbours. So here is the final shelter, which should enable us to use the garden through out the year (well, most of it). It was just Michael and me today, and here are pictures of the finished shelter and Michael standing in front of his creation. Many thanks also to Michael’s friend Ian who helped so much on Friday too


Day Trip to Clevelys

Day Trip to Clevelys

Chorlton Good Neighbours July trip to Clevelys was a great success. A wonderful opportunity for us to enjoy some sunshine, fish and chips and good company.

After lunch in some of Clevelys finest cafes we were able to sit in the sunshine on the sea front, or enjoy some shopping.

Volunteers came along on the day to support those who needed assistance.
We were blessed with uninterrupted sunshine throughout the day and this combined with good company and much laughter, gave everyone a positive boost for the week.

Thank you to all who came along and made the trip so enjoyable. Special thanks to the volunteers and volunteer drivers who gave their time and made it all run so smoothly.

List of Community Groups and Social Support Contacts in Chorlton and Whalley Range

List of Community and Social Support Contacts  for older people in Chorlton & Whalley Range

This list has been drawn from a list of such groups in South Manchester circulated bythe Chorlton Dementia Support Group, As with all such lists it soon becomes out of date as some groups and services close and others emerge. Let me know if you have any updated information or details of other groups that should be included


Age UK Manchester Day Centre – Crossacres: £30 to attend privately and Social Services can ‘spot purchase’ a place from us for £37.74. If the family wish to involve social services they can make a referral via the contact centre, or Michelle can do it on their behalf. That will then mean that they are assessed by a social worker and if they meet the criteria they will receive a funded place(s). Transport available throughout South Manchester including Chorlton. One restriction would be behavioural problems that impact upon others e.g. aggressive. Clients must be able to transfer from a wheelchair to the toilet with 2:1 support. The centre provides excellent respite for full time carers. T. 0161 437 0717 or 0161 498 8266

Barlow Moor Community Association: Over 60’s group at 23 Merseybank Avenue, Chorlton, Manchester, M21 7NT. Contact Elaine Metz T: 0161 446 4805 on Tues, Wed & Thurs at 9.30am

  • Tuesday 10am-4pm – 10am breakfast and craft, 12pm lunch, 1-4pm social activities (personal choice).
  • Wednesday 10am-4pm – 10am mature movers chair based exercise classes, 11am tea/coffee cake and catch up (information), 12pm lunch, 1pm card making, 1.30pm bingo, 2.30pm social activities.
  • Thursday 10am-4pm – 10am breakfast, 11am craft, 12pm lunch, 1pm social activities.
    Lunches are delivered to those who live in the immediate area and are unable to get to the community centre. There are at least 5 trips planned throughout the year at a small cost, and one annual holiday.

Chorlton Good Neighbours:
We are a Neighbourhood Care Group looking after and engaging older people in our community which consists of Chorlton, Chorlton Park and Whalley Range. We offer practical services and social and personal support from both fellow members, volunteers of all ages and our 3 workers.
Befriending visits are provided for older people who have restricted mobility. Telephone referrals only,  Main contact Helen Hibberd 0161 881 2925. Best to call Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri between 9.30 – 12.30.

CGN Meetings and activities take place at Wilbraham St Ninian’s United Reformed Church, Egerton Road South Chorlton Manchester M21 0XJ. Members are mostly 65+.

  • Exercise class Mon pm, Wed pm and Fri at 1.30 – 2.30pm.
  • Tues 1pm-3pm Snooker, darts, bowls and cards afternoon at a local cricket club in Chorlton for older men
  • Crafts group Wed pm.
  • Thurs 10am-11.30am Coffee and Craft Session (Transport available if you have limited mobility)
  • Thurs 11.30am –12.45pm Melodics Singing Group at Wilbraham, St Ninians Church
  • Thurs 1.30pm-3pm History Talks £1.50 plus coffee and tea. For Older Men (1st Thurs of the month at St NiniansChurch Hall, Egerton Road South).
  • Fri 10am – 1pm Gardening Club at the plot of land at the back of CGN
  • General care and support includes prescription collection and one off shopping, wheelchair pushing, dog walking. Transport to and from hospitals and GP’s etc. Handyman service / help with small practical tasks and DIY.

Chorlton Library

Grand day out – Informal IT drop in and social group. Over 55s.  People can take their own tablets, laptops etc. People can learn computer skills e.g. using social media and organising photos. Also arrange trips out too. Contact Dale: T: 0161 227 3700 or 07717788559 Fridays – 14:00 – 16:00. No need to book just turn up.
Chorlton Library:Regular Events:

  • Benefits surgery (Help and advice about Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit) on Thursday 10am – 4.30pm (Please phone the Revenues and Benefits Unit on 0161 234 3695 for an appointment)
  • Coffee Morning on last Friday of the month 10am – 12pm
  • Silver Surfers 55+ ICT group every Friday at 2pm – 4pm

Other services: Books in a wide variety of languages, newspapers and magazines, talking books, cds, dvds and videos for loan, health information point. Open Monday and Friday: 9am to 5pm: Tuesday and Thursday: 9am to 8pm: Saturday: 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm. At Manchester Road, Chorlton, M21 9PN. Phone 0161 227 3700 Email

Chorlton Park Adult Learning Centre:
Mauldeth Road West, Chorlton, M21 7HH. Computer and internet courses. course run at least 3 times a year in main centres. You can join after a course has started if there is space. Phone 0161 254 7421 for more information.

Chorlton Nutty Knitters:
They meet on Fridays 1pm – 3pm at Arden Court off Cundiff Rd, Chorlton, Manchester, M21 8EW. Entry is £1 including a hot drink and biscuits and there’s an optional 50p raffle. All welcome from beginner to expert! For more info contact Brenda on 0161 860 0061 or

For the 50+ The drop-in sessions run every Wednesday between 12-4pm, it’s completely FREE! Takes place at Stitched Up, 527B Wilbraham Road, Chorlton, Manchester M21 0UF, opposite the North Star Deli on Wilbraham Road. Go down the short lane by the side of Maple Kitchens & Bathrooms. It’s right opposite a bus stop and 50 yards from the tram. Phone 0161 881 7141 for more info or email

Chorlton Alternative Art Class:
Includes still life drawing, theatrical drawing, performance drawing, photography and more! Wednesday evenings 7.30 – 9.30pm at the Edge Theatre and Arts Centre, Manchester Road, M21 9JG. This is a peer-led drawing group with occasional guest tutors, specialising in life drawing, theatrical drawing, performance drawing and more. The group was founded in 2010. They aim to provide a drop-in art class for South Manchester and all levels of ability. Costs £6 per class. Contact Chris Bartram for more information on 07900 436 466 or email

Pottery Corner:
Paint your own pottery studio. They will then professionally glaze and fire your items within a week. You pay a £5.00 fee plus the price of the ceramic items you wish to paint, which start from £3.00 per item. Open Tues – Sat: 10am – 6pm (Late night opening Thurs till 8pm) Sun: 11am – 5pm. Venue: Beech Road, Chorlton,
M21 9EL. For more info phone 0161 882 0010.

St. Barnabas Church,
Hurstville Road, Chorlton, M21 8DH: Coffee Morning – Takes place every Friday from 10.30am. Contact Phil Gay on 0161 881 1871.

Counselling – Face to Face:
An independent organisation run by volunteers. One-to-one personal counselling for adults (i.e. over 18) and a weekly 2 hour therapy group. The adult service is exclusively for people on low income who cannot afford to pay private rates. Open 7 days a week 9am – 8pm. Venue: St Clements Church, St Clements Road, Chorlton, M21 9AE. For more info phone 0161 881 1535 or email

Chorlton Anxiety Group – Support Group:
For sufferers of all anxiety disorders, including panic attacks, OCD, social phobia etc. Meets every Tuesday 7-9pm. Contact: Andrea Phone: 0161 226 3871 The service is free and works on a drop in basis. Email: Website: Address: Chorlton Methodist Church, Manchester Road, Chorlton, M21 9JG.

Chorlton Allotment Project / The Lost Plot: Gardening group
based at Southern allotments off Nell Lane, Wintermans Rd, Chorlton, Manchester, M21. Takes place every Sunday from 1pm onwards. Free attendance. Each member may take home some produce for themselves. Phone or email before attending to check its going ahead. Contact Clare Walker on 07595 873 221 or Sarah 07930 898 935.

Grow For It: Gardening group and drop in at Scott Avenue Community Plot weekly sessions at Sat at 11am (2 hrs), Sun at 2pm (2 hrs), Wed at 6pm (1.5 hrs) (British Summer Time only for this last slot). Phone Lucas 07973 139 068 or 07521 500 223.

Debdale Eco Centre
Chorlton: (Whalley Range and Cheetham areas too). Gardening club based at Arden Court, 1 Oakhouse Drive, Chorlton, M21 8EW meeting every Monday at 2-4pm in the communal lounge, FREE to attend. Contact: Helen Dodd T: 0161 220 9199 / 07954 362 896 Email:

Hough End Leisure Centre: 480 Princess Rd Manchester M20 1HD tel: 0161 641 6300

  • Swimming for Manchester residents aged 60 and over, this is a free activity all year round during public swimming sessions.
  • Zumba classes for the over 60’s every Friday at 11.30am costs £1.50

Egerton Court Lunch Club:
Open to anyone 55+ and resident in Manchester. It’s a good way to get out of the house and spend time with other people having a chat and something good to eat. Venue: 35a Edge Lane, Chorlton, Manchester, M21 9HF. Lunch is served at 12pm prompt every Friday and is followed by a game of bingo. Costs £3 for a meal, including dessert and a drink. Contact Frances Farley for more information on 0161 881 0894 or Email

Holland Court Sheltered Scheme:
383 Barlow Moor Road, Chorlton, M21 8BF. Contact Jabeen Qurashi on 0161 881 4046 or email Free exercise class every Monday at 10.30am onwards. Yoga 10.30am every Wed. Coffee Morning every Wed 11.30am onwards. Hairdressing every Thurs 12pm onwards. Services are open to anyone aged 55+ you don’t have to be a resident.

Pakistani Resource Centre:
Drop in available at Ashville Medical Surgery, Chorlton on Fridays 9 – 12pm. Aims to empower South Asian Communities to confront some of the problems they may experience, includes Trafford South Asian Mental Health Project, Help the Aged Project, South Asian Offenders and families Project, Welfare Rights Project, Counselling and translation services. All workers speak Urdu and Punjabi. Based at 1 Great Marlborough Street Manchester M1 5NJ Tel: 0161 434 7800 Email: Other drop in’s available in Cheetham Hill and Longsight.

The Edge Theatre, Arts Centre and café:
At Chorlton, Manchester Road, M21 9JG. 70 seat theatre. For more information or to get a programme phone 0161 282 9776.

Ashiana – Middle Eastern, East African, Asian and Sub-continent meals service: Available 7 days. Meat, Vegetarian, Fish, Halal, Diabetic and low salt diets catered for. Meals delivered 9.00am to 3.00pm Groceries-To-Go – purchase of additional groceries, collecting prescriptions, checking up on clients recently home from hospital, small handiwork, hot and frozen meals. Covers Burnage, Didsbury, Withington, Chorlton. 262 Upper Chorlton Road Old Trafford Manchester M16 0BNTel: 0161 861 9829 or 07958 284 498 07944 405 332 E-mail:

Chorlton and Didsbury Food Bank:
Opening Times – Monday 11am to 1pm at Buckthorn House, Nell Lane, Chorlton, M21 7UG. Wednesday 11am to 1pm at Christ Church Hall, Darley Avenue, West Didsbury, M20 2ZD. Friday 11am to 1pm at St. Barnabas, Hardy Lane, Chorlton. M21 8DH. For enquiries please contact us on
07938 191 038 or email

Stroke Café
Barlow Moor Community Centre (2016): 23 Merseybank Avenue, Chorlton, Manchester, M21 7NT from 10am to 1pm on Tuesdays  5 January, 2 February, 1 March, 5 April,  3 May, 7 June, 5 July, 2 August, 6 September,  4 October, 1 November, 6 December. A two course lunch is available for a small charge. Tea and coffee are free. Phone Helen Gilbertson for more information: 0161 742 7482 or 07983343003. N.B if we’re signposting people to this then they should be referred to Helen Gilbertson from the Stroke Association so she is aware of the person’s background, needs etc.

Together Dementia Support:
Carers drop in group on 3 out of 4 Tuesdays 7-9pm at Chorlton Central Church Barlow Moor Road M21 8BF. If you cannot leave the person with dementia at home our volunteers will chat with him or her and engage them in simple activities whilst you participate in the group. It’s best to phone head. Contact Sally Ferris on 07854 335 890 or

Buckthorne House Centre: 2-4 Buckthorne Close Chorlton, M21 7UG. Contact Diane Roege Community Centre closing March 2017

Intergen (Chorlton Cluster):
Volunteering which brings older people and children together in primary and secondary schools for their mutual benefit. Activities variable. Contact Estelle Longmore on 0161 264 0089 or 07798 707 795. The process involves: you or the potential volunteer contacting Estelle by phone or email. She would arrange to meet the volunteer either in their own home or in a coffee shop.  They would complete an application form; Estelle would interview them about what they hoped to get from volunteering as well as what Intergen might expect.  She would follow up 2 references and do a DBS (no cost involved). They would discuss which school they might like to help in and what they might do. When all that is done satisfactorily Estelle would introduce them to the school of their choice. The volunteer would meet the school co-ordinator and things would begin! (not sure this is still operating in Chorlton-BL)

St John’s Centre: St John’s Road, Old Trafford, M16 7GX. T: 0161 872 7795. Email:

  • Trafford African Carribean over 50s club. Every Wednesday in the main hall from 12-4pm. For over 50’s with an African Caribbean heritage. There is an exercise group and dominoes before the serving of lunch.  This is followed by a popular game of bingo with cash prizes.
  • Lots of other permanent activities eg women-only Step Aerobics class; courses: Discover Manchester (ESOL) Computing (various levels) Chemistry (FREE) Photography, Gardening

Southway Housing Trust:
Manages and improves homes in Chorlton. Website has information on how to report repairs, paying your rent online, buying and renting a home. Phone 0161 448 4200 Fax: 0161 448 4334 Email It has its own Age Friendly Team. It also has its a Time Banking scheme (sharing skills service) run by Ian Peppard,

Adastral House: (“Johnnie” Johnson Housing Trust Limited) A lively and friendly retirement scheme for those aged 60+. Each self contained property has its own kitchen, bathroom and front door. For more information phone 0845 604 1095.

Adactus Housing: Neighbourhood Development Officer on the Neighbourhood Team Natasha Lows 0161 203 2640.

South Manchester Men’s Shed  Whalley Range and Chorlton.38 Merseybank Parade, Chorlton Park, M21 7NN r Contact: Hywel T: 0161 861 8456 Email:  FB:


Whalley Range

Angolan Community Centre:
(Deriving from the Republic of Angola in Southern Africa). Services include occasionally women’s discussion groups, basic advice and free interpretation services. 136 Withington Road Whalley Range M16 8FB 07940 076853

African and Caribbean Mental Health Services:
Includes casework, advocacy, drop-ins, counselling, self-help group, education and training and a carers group. Windrush Millennium Centre, 70 Alexandra Road, Manchester, M16 7WD. Tel: 0161 226 9562.

  • There’s also a Men only group every Thurs from 10am – 12pm, the group is introducing a voluntary £2 subs to contribute towards trips out etc.
  • There’s also a Women’s group every Tuesday from 1.30-3.30pm.
  • There’s also a music drop-in every Tuesday from 12.30pm – 5pm. Encourages people to express themselves through music and learn how to play an instrument. Contact Paul Roberts 0161 226-9562 for more information.

Community on Solid Ground:
Older men’s group (55+). Every Friday 2 – 4pm at Manley Park Play Centre, York Avenue, M16 0AS. Pool, board games, other activities and refreshments. It’s mainly Asian men attending however men from other ethnic backgrounds are also welcome to join the club. Contact: Mr Munir Afzal T: 07811348059 or Mr Hafiz Chohan T: 07758884146. Main office: 0161 881 4631.

Indian Senior Citizens Centre: Day centre for those aged 55+ offering advice and information, English language classes, advocacy service (the cost depends on the amount of work undertaken), library, respite care, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, chiropody and screening clinic. Social and recreational activities, including arts, handicrafts, sewing, exercise classes. Daily lunch club and hot meals costing £2.50. There are also occasional outings and coach trips. Transport is provided to and from the centre for £1.50. They cover Manchester, Stockport, Trafford, Salford and Bury. Based at 16-18 Whalley Road, Whalley Range, M16 8AB. Tel: 0161 232 7994 or 0161 232 0999. Email: Open Mon – Thu 9:30 – 16:30. Yearly membership £15:00.

Age Friendly Whalley Range – Chris Ricard, email: web: phone 0161 881 3744

  • Time to Change: Whalley Range self-help and wellbeing group. Every Friday from 13/11/15 at 6 – 8pm. Free and volunteer led offering pool, table tennis, Tai Chi, food and good company. Takes place at JNR8 Community Centre, Cromwell Avenue, 82 Cromwell Ave, Manchester M16 0BG. 0161 881 3744 or
  • Cromwell Community Cuppa: Chat and a cup of tea. Every Wed between 14:00 – 15:00 at JNR8 Community Centre, Cromwell Avenue, 82 Cromwell Ave, Manchester M16 0BG. Contact Chris T: 0161 881 3744.
  • Whalley Range Taste Buds / Eat Well Stay Well this winter.
  • Tai Chi class at JNR8 during term time on Mondays at 1.30 – 2.30pm

Link Good Neighbours:
Fallowfield, Rusholme, Whalley Range, Hulme & Moss Side: 1-1 Befriending visits T. Referral by email including clients personal and contact details, social and basic health information or call through on 0161 225 1064 (Mon– Fri 9–5). Suzanne Cooper (LINK) Simon Bradley (LINK TWO) Brian Owen (LINK TWO) Lydia Anthony (Trinity House CRC). Services – home visits, gardening for people who can’t manage it, taking wheelchair users out to the local park, reading letters and newspapers to people who are sight impaired, helping to do the shopping for people with mobility problems, helping people with mobility problems to get to medical or other appointments.

Whalley Range, Rusholme, Fallowfield, Hulme & Moss Side: Group activities which take place at Trinity House, Grove Close, Fallowfield, M14 5AA T. 0161 225 1064

  • Monthly coach trips out across the northwest phone for more info.
  • Coffee and computing, Arts & Crafts, quizzes and movies every Mon 2pm – 4pm at Tangmere Court, Dudley Road, Whalley Range, M16 8DF.
  • Arts & Crafts, quizzes and movies (no computing) every Wed 2pm – 4pm at Hibiscus Court, 16 Sedgeborough Rd, Manchester M16 7HU.
  • Arts & Crafts Group, every Wednesday at 1.30pm at Trinity House or, on the last Wed of each month, at the Gallery of Costume, Platt Hall, Platt Fields Park (just across Platt Lane from Trinity House). Costs 50p no need to book.
  • Coffee mornings every Friday from 10:30am including quizzes or art projects, and leading right through to lunch at midday. Lunch costs £3 per person and includes a main course and dessert.
  • Health walks, take a gentle stroll around Platt Fields Park, followed by refreshments. Phone for more info.
  • Easy Rhythms Circuit Class, Every Thurs at 12-1pm. A low impact circuits based exercise class suitable for older people or people new to exercise. Exercises can be adapted for chair based exercise and everybody is welcome. Sessions are £1 each.
  • Every Thursday at Will Griffiths Court, 3 Elwick Close, Whalley Range, M16 7LAfrom 10am to 1pm, join the local men’s group for tea/coffee, food, activities and use of the computers. £2 per session. Phone for more info.
  • Coffee and Computing sessions run to help local people get online and understand how to use the internet. Sessions are open to people of all abilities, whether you’ve used a computer before or not. If you know someone who’s like to get online for the first time, why not pass the message on. We have volunteers ready and willing to talk you through simple activities in basic computer use, email and social networking. All sessions are free of charge and there is no need to book, although the number of computers available is limited. Our Coffee and Computing Sessions run as follows:
  • Every Wednesday 2:00-4:00pm – Zion Community Resource Centre, 339 Stretford Road, Hulme, M15 4ZY
  • Every Friday 2:00-4:00pm – Trinity House Community Resource Centre, Grove Close, Rusholme, M14 5AA

Debdale Eco Centre – Whalley Range: (Chorlton and Cheetham areas too). Gardening club based at Trafalgar Court, 199 Withington Road, Whalley Range, M16 8JW, meeting every Monday 10.30 – 12.30pm. Contact: Helen Dodd T: 0161 220 9199 / 07954 362 896 Email:

RSVP Freewalkers:
RSVP Freewalkers, usually on a Wed pm, organises easy-paced “health and discovery” walks exploring interesting routes in the local countryside, starting and ending at points serviced by public transport. The main aim is to help over-60 bus pass holders to enjoy active recreation at no money cost; other walkers over 50 are welcome to take part but, of course, have to fund their own fares. Address: 44 Brantingham Road, Whalley Range, Manchester, M16 8PP. Main contact Will Peters 0161 226 2454

Together Dementia Support:
Walk and Talk Group – Wednesdays 11 – 12.30pm Alexandra Park Whalley Range. They are a mix of people living with dementia, relatives and volunteers who will enjoy chatting with you. After the walk (taken at your pace) there are refreshments and nature-based activities in the café. It’s best to phone head. Contact Sally Ferris on 07854 335 890 or

Relationship, family and sex therapy. Cornbrook 0300 003 2331 (appointments) 0161 872 1100 (admin). Sliding scale fees (minimum £20/session). Offers 10 free sessions of counselling for people with a diagnosis of prostate cancer.

Manchester South Central Food Bank:
Opening times – Wesley Centre, Royce Road, Manchester, M15 5BP on Sat 11am – 1pm or St Edmund’s, Alexandra Road South, Whalley Range, Greater Manchester, M16 8EZ on Wed 1pm – 3pm. Queries relating to agencies and issuing vouchers to or for general to 0161 226 3413

St John’s Centre:
St John’s Road, Old Trafford, M16 7GX. T: 0161 872 7795. Email:

  • Trafford African Carribean over 50s club. Every Wednesday in the main hall from 12-4pm. For over 50’s with an African Caribbean heritage. There is an exercise group and dominoes before the serving of lunch.  This is followed by a popular game of bingo with cash prizes.
  • Exploring art and architecture in Manchester. A 6 week course including 3 guided trips. From November 5th 2015 Thursdays 2-4pm. Course fee £21 (free if on means tested benefits).
  • Lots of other permanent activities available see flyer for full details.

Adactus Housing: Neighbourhood Development Officer on the Neighbourhood Team Natasha Lows 0161 203 2640.

Meet Moira Bowater – Good Neighbours new worker

Hello my name is Moira, I am a retired Psychiatric Nurse.moira

Moira Bowater, community support worker

Most of my career in nursing has been working with Children and Adolescents.

I started volunteering with CGN in March 2015 when I retired and have been visiting two ladies in the community for the past 18 months which I have found very interesting and enjoyable.

I started working three days a week as the community support worker at the beginning of July 2016.

I have met a number of people with various needs and have enjoyed getting to know the people I visit. Some of the people I visit I take out shopping in a wheelchair and my driving skills are getting better the more I do it!

Others I visit for a chat or we go for a walk or go to a cafe for a chat and cup of tea or coffee.

I am really enjoying my days getting to know all the people I visit and find the time I spend with them truly rewarding.

Last session of the year at Good Neighbours Garden

Last session of the year at Good Neighbours Garden 

cgn garden dec 11 2015 (3) cgn garden dec 11 2015 (1) cgn garden dec 11 2015 (2)

The Chorlton Good Neighbours garden group has met outdoors, come rain or shine, in our garden throughout the year.

Today (Dec 11th 2015) we met for the last time before our Christmas Break. As usual, told us his 7 ‘joke of the days’ he has saved up, plus a bonus 7 to take it to the end of the year. We then sat around the fire and had soup, baked potatoes and cake on a beautiful morning. We didn’t get much work done!

bonfire cgn

We meet again in the new year starting on Friday 22nd January from 10.30am onwards

Helen’ MBE presented to her at Buckingham Palace

Helen Hibbert, the Good Neighbours coordinator was awarded an MBE earlier this year. Today (9th Oct 2015) she went to Buckingham Palace in glorious sunshine to receive her medal. We all congratulated her warmly at the recent  Annual General Meeting of CGN and we do so again today. Well done Helen, you deserve this recognition for all the hard work you have put in to make this organisation such a success

Here are Helen’s comments about the day:

What an amazing day on Friday at Buckingham Palace . Everything is so incredibly well organised, from the police checking your car before you drive through the gates, to us receiving directions every 20 paces from Palace staff. Once I went into a room with the other 60 or so recipients we were very politely told ” we don’t need any initiative from yourselves from this point on ” –  music to my ears for once !!!

The overwhelmingly atmosphere was one of genuine support and warm congratulations for yourself and your family. Even if they have carried out these Investitures a thousand times before you would never think it, as they focus on you, and gently direct your time with them, whilst giving you the feeling that there is all the time in the world for you to enjoy and savour the moment.  And savour you must …as the rooms and corridors are magnificent ; full of paintings, glorious artefacts and furniture…leaving a memory of so much opulence and grandeur.

In the main ballroom there is an orchestra playing throughout and even your guests are given directions such as ” no cheering or clapping please , even though they recognise how proud everyone is of their family member” . It is all quiet dignity and formal respect but not all so that it feels uncomfortable.

I met some interesting people who were also receiving Awards including a Headmistress from Scotland, a lady who had looked after pre adoption babies, a chap who actually worked at the Palace  and a lady from up the road in Hulme working with Youths/reducing violence…you can sense the nervousness and I had to work hard to control my own, which I did until  I reached the point where I was about to go into the main ballroom to receive the medal….talk about heart thumping..but once inside that room you know any minute it is your turn!

The highlight of course for me was being presented the medal by the Queen herself. Apparently she does not carry out many of the Investitures nowadays so we felt very blessed indeed. I was able to say that the Group had been going for nearly 50 years, with so many volunteers,  and it was now all about keeping people occupied and active. I recall her responding about ” it is easy to become isolated if you are indoors all the time ” and “everyone living so much longer”. It really helps that at that point you have your back to the main audience as it feels so easy having a conversation…only now can i think i was talking with the Queen of England!

After the ceremony, we all went out into the courtyard for the photos and luckily we were still there when the Beefeaters came out from the Palace and spent some time posing with recipients.

The sun was shining through out couldn’t have been be more perfect. Just thank you to everyone who nominated me and gave me that chance to have an unforgettable day.

Here are some photos from the day in London

helen mbe 03 helen mbe 04 helen mbe 05

Helen with her husband Frank and son Ky

helen mbe 07

Helen’s other son Morgan had ruptured a calf muscle so couldn’t make the presentation. So Helen’s other guest was an old school friend also called Helen (pictured above) . Apparently the two Helens used to be known at school as Little & Large !

helen mbe 06


helen mbe 02

Helen with a beefeater

helen mbe 01

Helen with the medal

Good Neighbours AGM 2015

 Good Neighbours AGM. Thurs 17th September 2015

This year’s AGM was attended by over 90 people. Helen talked about the many achievements of the care group over the previous year and some of the challenges ahead. She was presented with a bouquet by the chair, Sarah Mitchell, both on behalf of all the work she has put in over the year but also to celebrate the award of an MBE. She will be presented with this at Buckingham Palace at an event over the coming weeks.


Helen with her bouquet of flowers


CGN’s chair, Sarah Mitchell and our treasurer Sue Cockerill sharing a joke


Sarah presents the Annual Report

annual report 2015

The front cover of the annual report


Wayne – with his bouquet!


Amelia, a new volunteer, talks about her experience of visiting Margaret and the pleasure they both get from these visits



Community Health Clinic Award

Community Health Clinic Award 

The community health clinic project set up by Chorlton Good Neighbours and active case managers based at Chorlton Health Centre won a NW Health and Social Care award in the Learning Together category

Gaye Jackson, Programme Manager for Health NW presented the certificate to the team at the coffee morning on 25-06-15, and was joined by Kathy Hearne, Head of Integrated Teams and Sue Ware, Lead Nurse for Community Services

Helen Hibberd who is the CGN coordinator (and was recently awarded a much deserved MBE) outlined the project and several volunteers and users shared their experience of using the Health clinic which runs at Thursday coffee mornings. All agreed that the project has been a great success and hope that it can continue indefinitely in the future

Eyewitness Theatre – Safeguarding adults workshop

On 25th Feb 2015 a group of volunteers from Good Neighbours went, together with the coordinator Helen Hibberd, to a workshop run by the Eyewiness Theatre company at Trinity House Rusholme. The theme of the workshop was Safeguarding adults. The did sketches in which the issues of discrimination against older people, their abuse and who makes decisions for older people where raised.

Following each sketch there was a discussion of the issues that had been raised and how volunteers assisting older people should react to the various scenarios presented.

It was certainly an innovative and engaging way of addressing some serious issues but I think we were all relieved when the actors announced right at the beginning that there was going to be know audience participation required in the sketches, so we were all able to relax and enjoy the workshop

IMG_20150225_144123 Volunteers from CGN , with Helen at the workshop


The three members of Eyewitness theatre company who performed at the workshopIMG_20150225_154615 eyewitness (1) eyewitness (2) eyewitness (3)  eyewitness (5)

Bill Howe’s poem

“Manchester’s Traffic on a Warm Summer’s night”

Bill Howe comes along regularly to the Chorlton Good Neighbours gardening group held each Friday morning in the garden we have created at the back of St Ninian’s church. This Friday Bill read to us a recent poem he had written called “Manchester’s Traffic on a Warm Summer’s night”. Bill lives next to a noisy Princess Road. The noise is usually shut off by keeping the windows closed, but in the recent warm nights he had to keep the windows open. On one such night the noise kept him awake and he wrote this poem

Session on Frailty at Good Neighbours

Talk on  Frailty at Good Neighbours

At the Good Neighbours coffee morning on Thurs July 24th 2014.  Ken Rockwood, Professor of Geriatric Medicine at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada,  came to give a talk about frailty. He was assisted by his colleague Judah Goldstein, a paramedic and PhD Student.

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Professor Rockwood and Judah Goldstein about to give their talk

Frailty describes the declines in health and function as you get older with associated weakness, slowing, decreased energy, lower activity, and, when severe, unintended weight loss.

This talk on Frailty came about because Professor Rockwood is involved in a Manchester University research project called fRaill,(Frailty, Resilience And Inequality in Later Life) and Good Neighbours are represented on the Advisory Board of this study. Ken is a renowned authority on frailty being the originator of the widely used Rockwood Clinical Frailty Scale. This uses various measures to grade individuals (usually older people)  on a scale of 1 to 9, with one being ‘very fit’ and 9 ‘terminally ill’ (see below)

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What he came to Good Neighbours for was to try out a new pictorial scale of frailty where older people or their care givers could assess their own level of frailty by choosing the picture that most typifies their normal state across a range of 11 activities. A sample of these is given below. Take’medication’ as an example, if you took no medicines you would tick the first box, if you took a lot every day you may tick the 4th or 5th picture down

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Professor Rockwood explained this and then distributed the picture sheets to all the people there. On each table someone would help explain the categories. A short clip of Professor Rockwood talking to the Good Neighbours members can be viewed here:

This was the first trial of this pictorial approach to assessing frailty, so the feedback Professor Rockwood will get from this and other trials will lead to the index’s revision and improvement. He and Judah will copme back later this year to give feedback on the results of this session. The idea is that if it proves to be workable and robust, it would be used in circumstances such as visits to Accident and Emergency when the older person/carer could fill it in to give the medics some idea of where on the scale of frailty the person was before the catastrophic event that led to them being in A&E

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Professor Rockwood explains how to use the pictorial questionnaire

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Thinking about how to fill in the questionnaire

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