Christmas Message from the Senior Citizen Liaison Team (by Ash Jones, Chair of Trustees)
2014 has been yet another landmark year for the SCLT, we have seen our small charity grow to new heights, and along the way we have had the opportunity to help record numbers of vulnerable older adults in our communities. We have achieved this by staying true to our stated goals and by working with even more great volunteers who have joined our elite team of staff.
As we enter 2015, our 6th year of operation, we aim to bring new avenues of senior safety to our activities, with the introduction of a Road Safety theme for our Public Presentation Team and an aspiration to push the boundaries of our work to new parts of the United Kingdom and beyond.
Our award-winning magazine, the Senior Siren, has gone from strength to strength over the last 12-months and it is now made available to more than 250,000 older adults every other month. We frequently receive e-mails from readers in the USA, Canada and Australasia, which brings great delight to the volunteer publishing team to see that their efforts are appreciated around the globe.
We were delighted to have been recognised for the efforts of our volunteer team in 2014, not least with our success in the Civil Service Diversity & Equality Awards in London in October, which was swiftly followed by the announcement that we had won the NFU Rural Crime Award (South West Region and National Reserve Winner).These awards have been a great boost for our 100% volunteer team and certainly help us to promote our work on the national stage. It was also a great pleasure to see Mike Wedlock, our longest serving volunteer and Editor-in-Chief of the Senior Siren, recognised by a local police organisation with their 'Volunteer of the Year' nomination.
In the last year, we have also seen our Minorities Outreach Team really come of age, with staff attending a number of quite significant events throughout the UK, to further our commitment of providing a uniquely tailored service for senior members of the many diverse UK communities, who otherwise have struggled to engage with mainstream safety services.
This has included our Outreach team Leader, Mr Roger Ibrahim, spending 3-days embedded at the annual Jalsa Salana of the Ahmadiyyan Muslim Community in Hampshire, as well as attending cultural events in Wales, London and Bristol. On a personal level, I was honoured to have a private audience with His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Caliph and leader of the 30-million strong Ahmadiyyan community at the annual Peace Symposium in London in October, where I had the opportunity to express our desire to foster even closer links with the Muslim community in 2015.
Finally, I have to thank our many sponsors and donors, without whom we would not be able to reach out and protect the most vulnerable older adults in our community. The money which has been raised this year has been used to finance an increase in the size of our hugely popular Public Presentation Team, which is seeing demand for its services growing week-on-week. Not a penny has been wasted or overlooked and we salute all our very generous supporters.
May I take this opportunity to wish all our followers the greatest happiness during this festive time. Regardless of our religious beliefs, we use this time of year to be thankful for all our blessings and hope that your 2015 will be happy and safe (if we have anything to do with it!).
Ash Jones ~ Founding Trustee and Volunteer