Christmas Message from the Senior Citizen Liaison Team (by Ash Jones, Chair of Trustees))
2013 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 2014, our 5th year of operation, we do so in the knowledge that we will continue to expand our footprint of assistance by providing a tailored service to our senior community in the fields of crime prevention, victim support and social advocacy.
Our award-wiining 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. In fact, it has proved so popular that we have increased our publications from quarterly to bi-monthy to meet demand.
We hope you will have also noticed a significant improvement in the magazine in the last year, from the quality of our articles to the design of the layout. This has all been made possible due to a modest investment we made in early 2013 in equipment and software for the Senior Siren production team. But the human aspect of the process is of course the key element and I must offer my congratulations to Mike Wedlock, the editor of the Siren and his determined team, for their excellent efforts in the last year.
There are more great things planned for the magazine in 2014 and these will be evident from the next edition (17) which will be hitting the streets (and internet) in February. The Siren will be 25% larger in content, with great new features and articles to keep all our readers, all over the world, interested.
We were delighted to have been recognised for the efforts of our volunteer team in 2013, not least by the surprise announcement in February last year, that Prime Minister David Cameron had chosen the SCLT to receive one of his Big Society Awards. I will never forget the privilage of meeting the PM at No 10 Downing Street and having the chance to brief him on the work of the SCLT over a glass of wine in one of the reception rooms. More recently some of our trustees were again in London to accept the honour of the Fighting Fraud Award for Fraud Awareness, for our ongoing crime presentation programme. The awards have been a great boost for our 100% volunteer team and certainly help us to promote our work on the national stage.
In the last year, we have been joined by some great volunteers who have really added value and bredth to our growing team, we appreciate all that everyone has done in 2013 and look forward to making new friends in 2014. Of particular note has to be the great achievement of Roger Ibrahim, the leader of our Minorities Outreach Team. Roger only joined the SCLT in 2011, but surged ahead with his innovative outreach programme to reach older adults from the many diverse communities that make up our society. We were delighted to hear the news that Roger had been recognised with the highly prestigious Hari Joshi Award for his community building efforts in Bristol (UK).
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 hundreds of 'bogus caller' kits which we have distributed to victims of doorstep crime and also to make improvements to our magazine and production equipment. 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 2014 will be happy and safe (if we have anything to do with it!).
Ash Jones ~ Founding Trustee and Volunteer