Older People's Day takes place every year on 1 October to celebrate the contribution older people make to society.
We are celebrating some of the many wonderful people in our district who are changing lives and making our district a better place to live.
Sue Rodgers was born and raised on a farm between Halam and Edingley and attended Halam School and then, Lilley and Stone High School in Newark having passed her 11+.
Leaving school at 16 Sue’s first job was working in the sweet shop in Southwell and later at the Tax Office in Newark.
Sue enjoys a very close family life and her three grown up children and grandchildren Evie and Max are her pride and joy.
One of Sue’s life passions is archaeology. As Sue’s family grew she studied hard and volunteered at Newark Museums which led to various job roles from Front of House to Collections Officer.
While at the museums Sue started a club for young people – the Newark and District Young Archaeologists Club. For 17 years Sue has shared her love of archaeology with hundreds of enthusiastic youngsters, building replica Iron Age huts and Viking longships, visiting castles and museum exhibitions, learning about the past but most of all, having fun.
In 2017 Sue was awarded honorary membership of the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) in recognition of her long service as a Young Archaeologists Club (YAC) volunteer and her dedication to archaeology over many years.
Sue has also held positions as Southwell Tourism Manager and has enjoyed 8 years as a Town Councillor for Southwell. Giving a little back to the community has been a very strong theme throughout Sue’s busy life.
Today Sue enjoys her garden, making jam and organising the annual yarn bombing in Southwell. If you notice a friendly looking lady standing at the bus stop or sitting in the park crocheting then that’s Sue!
Still busy, still supporting young people and still serving her local community Sue really is a local hero.
Morris Goodman's story...
Morris Goodman was born in 1941 in Bilsthorpe and was one of 11 children born to Elizabeth and Thomas Goodman.
Married in 1962 to Ruby, Morris is the proud father of three daughters.
Morris’ first job at the age of 15 years was as a collier at Bilsthorpe Colliery. Morris then served in the Tank Regiment of the army for 6 ½ years before returning to the coal industry.
Morris has lived with his wife and family in Rainworth since 1971. Whilst working at the colliery and spending many years working under ground Morris dreamt of taking to the skies. In 1981 Morris obtained his pilot’s licence and built his own glider! Morris has flown over 300 times and the glider is still in use in Derbyshire.
Morris has always kept busy, building model aircraft and boats, playing cricket and winning trophies as an excellent bowler before going on to be an umpire. Age never limits Morris and in his 60’s he made parachute jumps to raise money for charity.
More recently Morris, after holidaying in Spain and enjoying the game, has taken up petanque.
At first Morris joined the Fernwood Club near Newark but he enjoyed it so much he decided to bring the game to Rainworth.
Morris has invested his own time, money and enthusiasm to build the pitch by hand in order to start Rainworth Petanque Club in 2015.
The club has grown and now has 86 members aged from 15 to 94 years and they meet 3 times a week. Special sessions are provided for young people with learning difficulties.
Morris says he never lets anyone talk him out of putting his ideas into action. He leads by example and would never ask anyone to do something he isn’t prepared to do himself. He has a strong sense of camaraderie that he puts down to his work in the pits and in the army. He has bought this friendship and community spirit to the petanque club.
Morris says that if you give into the hard times in life and your ailments you won’t last long and with his broad smile and positive outlook we think Morris will be an inspiration to us all for many years to come.
Dez Williams and the Collingham Men in Sheds
“The type of jobs we do can be described as being a bit of everything.
“In the workshop we get involved with wood turning lamps, bowls, pens and wood turning repairs such as granny's old sideboard that has lost its finials. We also repair old clocks.
“We aim to recycle as much as possible and enjoy breathing new life into items that would otherwise be thrown away. It’s like offering a recycling rescue service.
“Wherever possible we get involved with community projects. Examples include making a bed for one of the rooms in Newark castle, making a bone shaker bike for the Tour of Britain, a horse block for the local riding school, creating village notice boards and undertaking repairs to old red telephone boxes.
“We are pretty good with electric repairs too and are starting to take on metal work projects.
“Mostly we offer a friendly social group for local retired men and we always have a very good time.
“In terms of attitudes towards older people I hope that Men in Sheds has started to show younger people just what we can do. It’s great fun when Grandad helps out with a school show and tell project and youngsters say I didn't know you could do that!
“We always enjoy getting involved with youngsters at Collingham fun days passing on skills and helping to change the views of youngsters about older folk.
“Men in Sheds can make a huge difference to members’ lives, especially when they retire men can tend to lose their friends. Many call to ask if can they come but do not visit right away, but once they do I find them coming up and saying this is the best thing I've done.
We think that Dez and the shedders are marvellous and not only are they recycling and keeping heritage crafts alive they are changing attitudes towards older people and are most importantly offering friendship and improving the wellbeing of locals.
Ken Daubney was born in 1933 in Newark. Ken is the youngest of three children to mum Ethel and Dad John Daubney.
Married to Dorothy in 1958 Ken has lived in Newark all his life.
Ken’s first job was in Alexanders Men’s Outfitters on the Market Square, he then went to work at Smith Sawmill before becoming a corporal in the RAF. Ken and Dorothy have also worked at Ransome and Marles bearing company, but Ken is best known in Newark as the Co-op Insurance man, he did this job for 35 years.
Ken says he feels he has been a carer all of his life. His Mum went blind when he was young and he would walk her into town to evening classes where she learnt brail. He looked after his sister Ethel when she had Parkinson’s disease and his Aunt Florence who was widowed in WW1 and lived to 96 years. Kens Mother in law also lived with his family.
As well as working and caring for family he learnt to play the piano with Mrs Karle of Kirkgate and then Saxophone. He played in Alf Marshall’s Band at the Corn Exchange in Newark and also at RAF Scampton where he met one of his heroes Count Basie in 1960. Ken is to this day a member of a 16 piece Big Band called The Monsonaires.
In 2012 Ken’s wife Dorothy was diagnosed with dementia and Ken like many other carers felt overwhelmed. He turned to local groups and made friends with people in a similar situation. When Dorothy was placed in a care home Ken wanted to dedicate his time to helping others with dementia and their carers and founded the Newark Dementia Carers Group.
The group offer support to people who care for someone with dementia. The group has flourished and as well as regular local meetings and activities they have enjoyed a number of group holidays and day trips and lasting friendships have been made.
Ken knows first-hand how hard it is to care for a partner who has a long term medical condition and the loneliness of not having that partner around, but he says he makes the most of everyday playing in the band, gardening and meeting up with the Newark Dementia Carers Group. He always looks smart (we have never seen him without a shirt and tie!) and this is important to him.
Ken says that fighting to get help for carers of people with dementia is what keeps him going and he constantly looks for new opportunities and ideas and is always learning. He has big plans for the future and says nothing is impossible there just might be a few obstacles to overcome along the way.
He would advise any older people who feel lonely to think about what they like doing and go out and join a group of like-minded people.
Ken lives by the saying “Treat others as you would like to be treated.”
We are in awe of Ken and the care and dedications he gives to caring for others in our Newark community.
Carol Hiscock lives in Newark and has lived and worked here all of her life.
“I went out for a curry and came home blind. It was the most shocking thing that’s ever happened to me and I don’t want to be dramatic, because that’s not my style, but My Sight Notts quite literally saved me when I didn’t know where else to turn.
“Until that night I was leading a fairly normal, if slightly hectic life. I ran my own book keeping business and cared for my daughter Amy who has cerebral palsy.
“On this particular night I’d been out for a curry with friends and was driving home when I noticed my vision was a bit blurred. I thought it was a migraine so I took a tablet and went to bed.
“But when I woke the next day it was worse, in fact overnight I’d completely lost all the sight in my right eye! Due to having Encephalitis as a child I already had very little vision in my left eye. Becoming blind was really frightening. I didn’t understand what was happening, so my brother drove me to hospital.
“I was at the hospital for nine hours and was diagnosed with a retinal artery occlusion, or in non-medical jargon, a blood clot behind the eye caused by a mini-stroke. The doctor said there was nothing he could do.
“Thank goodness for my family and friends who rallied round! My daughter researched support services for people with sight loss. I made contact with My Sight Notts who really opened up my world.
“For the last 2 and half years I have had to meet the challenges involved with being severely sight impaired. I have needed to be brave and really push myself. I do not let anything stop me. I really believe that you just need to work with what you have got. We can all do something, you just need to work out what that something is. And I recommend everyone to always give anything and everything a go.
“I have been trained to use a cane. I travel by bus to Nottingham each month and have travelled to London with a friend. When Amy and I go shopping we work together as a team! Amy is our eyes and I am the muscle! The day after I found out that I had lost my sight I went out with Amy shopping as I knew that I just had to get on with things.
“I was invited to join a peer to peer support group where I talked to a trained counsellor about my experience and learned practical ways of coping. I’ve now got equipment, like a USB player, which means I can listen to audio books -it’s been brilliant getting stuck into a good book again!
“I love being part of the local My Sight group. I am a volunteer for My Sight Newark. I help on the committee and in the social groups. I am the Hub Rep for Newark at the Nottingham meetings, volunteering at support groups across the district. We organise a varied programme of activities and support for people with sight difficulties. We go walking, enjoy arts and crafts, gardening, cooking, we do flower arranging, enjoy music, listen to talks and guest speakers and get out and about on visits.
We think that Carol is absolutely inspiring and we hope her story helps to empower others who are going through challenging times.
Jenny Frost lives in Farnsfield. Jenny is a local councillor for Farnsfield Parish Council and is also the Secretary for the Farnsfield Friendship Club, which runs every other Friday.
Jenny has volunteered and managed the friendship club for the last 12 years, joining the club along with the late Pat Tyler back in 2008 when the friendship club was at risk of closing. Jenny and Pat managed to turn the club around and rejuvenated the membership making it an active and vibrant group once again.
Jenny has been a supportive and caring person throughout her life, leaving school at the age of 15 to look after her brother and support her father who was a farmer, as her mum sadly passed away. Jenny married at 21 and along with bringing up her two children she also supported family members with long term conditions and helped with rearing 40000 turkeys in a small holding.
Jenny has worked as a carer in a nursing home and then as a Senior Care Officer at East Bridgeford Manor. As well as being very involved with Farnsfield community life Jenny is playing a key role in the care of her grandchildren.
Jenny is now 74 years young and is still a very busy lady, she would love to recruit new members to her Friendship Club, where she puts on a busy and interesting programme.
If you are interested in becoming a member or a volunteer please contact the group on 01636 883476 as Jenny would love your support.
"Throughout my working life, I have had a role working with the community. Unfortunately, in my late forties I had a road crash that led to Chronic Rheumatoid Arthritis throughout my body. I kept working until I reached sixty, but this was only with the support and encouragement of my family and my GP. After I retired through ill health I wanted to support my local GP Practice and do something for my community. It was in 2009 that I firstly joined our local Patient Participation Group (PPG). Given my background within the NHS I soon got involved more with the local Newark and Sherwood Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), trying to give patients a voice in their local healthcare provisions, trying to get what is needed for our specific communities. This then led on to me becoming a Patient Leader for Newark and Sherwood in 2011. Around this time I also joined the wider Nottinghamshire NHS by becoming a volunteer tutor with their self care service. I helped run courses for people living with long-term conditions, pain management, support for carers etc. Unfortunately, due to funding cuts these courses stopped some 4 years ago. I have also been involved with MacMillan at the Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust and at the City Hospital being a member of their steering groups for patients/carers. Currently as part of this role I am supporting work to ensure GP surgeries across Mid Notts have information areas in their surgeries for their communities to keep people informed, as early diagnosis is so important for recovery.
I continue to work with the NHS locally in Mid Notts as a member of the Patient and Public Engagement Committee, which is directly linked at the commissioning level to the NHS. I am part of the Newark and Sherwood group of volunteers who work hard to give local citizens a voice in local NHS resourcing. We appreciate that funding is limited, and need grows daily. However, without letting those who do the commissioning know what is needed in a particular area, we would miss out on so much. So we do try to give our patient/carers a voice. As well, as this work in my local area I remain active with my local Abbey Medical Group Patients Participation Group, where we are trying to make our GP surgeries more dementia friendly. And with the support of a range of local groups and organisations plus our MP, we are trying to tackle isolation as an issue in our village.
As well as trying to do local voluntary work I have been involved in the launching of the 'End of Life' project at Sherwood Forest Hospitals. This project is designed to help people plan how they want to manage their lives when they have a condition that is not curable or that they have been given a diagnosis where they have to make choices as to how they manage their lives. At home, in a community facility, hospice or hospital. The essential part is to provide that particular person with what they need, where and when it is needed.
I am also part of a project helping people understand what Self Care means, in respect of managing your life and particular condition. This is something that GP surgeries will be introducing this year and within each GP surgery patients will have access to a Link Worker who will help them look at ways of giving them a reasonable lifestyle despite their illness.
Personally, I do try to do all I can, but I do have a condition that can't be cured and doing voluntary work is my way of having a purpose in life. I do have a supportive family and friends, but I feel I need to help people know about what is available to them in respect of healthcare and social support. As part of this work I now sit as a lay person on the Newark and Sherwood District Council Health and Wellbeing Partnership Group along with local providers of services. I hope to continue this work as long as physically possible."
Ann Mackie is 73 years old and a very active member of Collingham patient group and the GP practice. Ann was one of the main catalysts in setting up a new vibrant patient group, supporting the doctors surgery and the people of Collingham.
Collingham PPG is one of our most active patient groups achieving some fantastic outcomes for their community.
Ann is also active in her community, being a member of the U3A offering lifts and support to members.
Finally, Ann is a member of the clinical commissioning group and feeding back to the CCG any issues or concerns raised. Ann was a physiotherapist during her career and is now using her skills to support our local communities.
Janet Farrell is 68 years young, she first joined Newark Shotokan Karate Club 32 years ago. Her initial objective was to inspire her children to take up Karate to learn how to defend themselves. Janet fell in love with the discipline. 10 years later she was awarded her black belt, she has since gone on and gained her second Dan and is currently in training to go for her third Dan next year.
Janet has been an instructor at the club for nearly 20 years steering many students through their belts.
Earlier this year at the age of 68 Janet returned to combative competition and entered the National Champion veteran class (over 40s) where she was thrilled with her bronze medal. Janet continues to instruct and train for that third Dan. Age really is just a number!