Wednesday in the Secret Garden

Fifty-Plus Secret Garden Party

The long-running sporadic podcast from St Mary’s Secret Garden has made way for this new social event that can involve far more people.

There is an overwhelming need for older people to get out of their flats, feel safe, and share the experience with others. That need is greater than the demand for digital support, but we will try to offer some form of digital help if we can.

This is now a regular Wednesday afternoon event (2 to 3:30 pm).

For the details, please visit page 50-plus Digital at St Mary’s Secret Garden

Friday HelpSpace

Online help for digital beginners

If you are new to this, perhaps uncertain about how anything works, but you have an Internet connection and you are reading this — you are probably a relative beginner, and our Friday HelpSpace is for you.

HelpSpace is our online meeting room that we set up mainly to provide help for people who have a problem they are able to describe. It’s open most of the time.

The regular Friday session is an experimental drop-in event for up to five people who would like to talk to an authorised helper (or to each other) without the rigmarole of making an appointment.

When, where, more info

  • Every Friday, 12 to 1 pm
  • HelpSpace online venue « 50pd.uk/helpspace »
  • There is more information on our Help page – 50pd.uk/help
  • Previous experience of online meeting rooms is not necessary. We are here for beginners.
  • Do not try to log in or sign up for anything. You will never have to do that. Those links are for the meeting room host. not for you.

More about our meeting rooms

  • Our rooms are persistent — they don’t close when the meeting ends.
  • Our rooms might be locked for planned events, otherwise they are normally open and unlocked.
  • You don’t need an invitation to enter an unlocked room.
  • If a meeting room is locked, you will land in the waiting room and then tap on a button labelled Knock. The meeting host will let you in.

Social distancing and safety after 4 July

Keep a safe distance. It's still 2m | 6ft

Official government guidelines

Social distancing

The web page link below explains why our meetups must be outdoors, and limited to a maximum six people in each group.

Staying alert and safe (social distancing) after 4 July

Using community centres

The web page link below explains why we may have to wait a long time before returning to Whitmore Community Centre, Dalston Library, Finsbury Park Trust, or any other indoor venue.

COVID-19: Guidance for the safe use of multi-purpose community facilities

NHS test and trace

The web page link below explains what happens if anyone who has been part of an outdoors group tests positive for COVID-19. Every member of that group must self-isolate for 14 days to prevent transmission of the infection.

NHS test and trace: how it works

Tablets and wifi for disconnected older people

While the drop-in centres are closed, we have been moving the drop-in tablets (and some laptops) to where you live.

Typically, a DBS-checked volunteer delivers to your doorstep …

  • an Android tablet
  • a portable Wifi with a 3G data SIM card, prepaid for 2 or 3 months.

You look after the tablet until we start our drop-in meetings again.

The 3G connection is not fast, but it is reliable — and definitely adequate for email and normal web use. It is not suitable for watching films, or online meetings with video.

If you have basic Internet skills, but no connection that you can use, please contact us about this (details are on our Contact page).

Everybody reads a letter

Everybody replies if they can

There is no point offering a service that few people know about, and fewer can use.

We have paused most of the online events until we have made real contact with all our disconnected IT drop-in users.

We are sending out 425 information packs, each with a Stamped Addressed Envelope, for a two-way update about what is happening in all our lives.

Thank you Ashurst, for helping to make this happen.


Update 24 June 2020.

After a long delay caused by Amazon delivery issues, all the letters have been sent out.

Expecting one, but haven’t received it? Probably because we don’t know your postal address.

Bienvenido al Café de la Mente

Some of our older english-speakers are learning or re-learning Spanish under lockdown. They have started a weekly session in El Café de la Mente (an online meeting space).

It’s a regular Monday afternoon event – 2 to 2:30 pm. Who else would like to join?

No lessons — just practice, reinforcement and lockdown support in spanish.

Los hablantes nativos son especialmente bienvenidos, por supuesto.

¿Interesado?

  • Send an email to hello@50pd.uk
  • Envíe un correo electrónico a hola@50pd.uk

Universal Credit & Personal Independence Payment (12 May)

Universal Credit & PIP - how to claim - how to appeal

Pre-retirement benefits workshop

Are you under the State Pension Age?

Have you got questions about claiming Universal Credit or Personal Independence Payment (PIP)?

Join MRS-Independent Living Advice and Community Worker Terry Bednall to find out about your rights and what you are entitled to.

You can join the workshop online in Google Meet, or by phone call.

Hosted by MRS-Independent Living.

Date and time

  • Ended.
  • Tuesday 12 May, 2 to 3 pm.

Link to click or tap (after 1:50 pm)

  • 50pd.uk/benefits

Extra info

  • Please use a headset or earbuds if you have them.
  • Please use a webcam if it makes you feel more comfortable. Otherwise — please don’t.
  • Phone-in callers are especially welcome — and will have the advantage of much better audio. quality.

Preparation

  • If you use a laptop or desktop computer: nothing to install.
  • If you use a smartphone or tablet — install the Google Meet app.
  • If you are not sure how to do that, please email info@50pd.uk

How to join with a phone call (at 2 pm and after)

  • We do not accept the exclusion of people who do not have Internet access or skills.
  • So we encourage phone-in to all our online sessions that do not require screen-sharing. Our Google Meet platform handles it very well
  • Our Google Meet phone-in numbers are UK standard rate 020 3*** **** numbers.
  • We don’t think we should publish the phone number here — but if you phone or text 07761 887927, we will provide you with all the information and help you need.

Benefits Chat (30 April)

Get some socially-distanced help from Terry

The world of benefits can be a confusing place. If you’ve got questions about Government social support and what you might be entitled to, join a chat session with MRS-Independent Living Advice and Community Worker, Terry Bednall.

Terry has told us …

“This session will be the first of three on Welfare Benefits.

This week, we will focus on post-retirement benefits. I will introduce the series, and then the topics will be pension credit and attendance allowance, each followed by questions and experience sharing.

I may offer my phone number so people can call me for a one-to-one follow up.”

Hosted by MRS-Independent Living.

Date and time

  • Ended.
  • Thursday 30 April, 10 to 11 am.

Extra info

  • Please use a headset or earbuds if you have them.
  • Please use a webcam if it makes you feel more comfortable. Otherwise — please don’t.
  • Phone-in callers are especially welcome — and will have the advantage of much better audio. quality.

Preparation

  • If you use a laptop or desktop computer: nothing to install.
  • If you use a smartphone or tablet — install the Google Meet app.
  • If you are not sure how to do that, please email info@50pd.uk

Link to click or tap (after 9:50 am)

  • https://50pd.uk/benefits

How to join with a phone call (at 10 am and after)

  • We do not accept the exclusion of people who do not have Internet access or skills.
  • So we encourage phone-in to all our online sessions that do not require screen-sharing. Our Google Meet platform handles it very well
  • Our Google Meet phone-in numbers are UK standard rate 020 3*** **** numbers.
  • We don’t think we should publish the phone number here — but if you phone or text 07761 887927, we will provide you with all the information and help you need.

Google Meet for beginners (29 April)

Google Meet workshop, Wednesday 29 April, 2 pm

  • Ended.
  • Catch up with what other people are doing on Google Meet.
  • Be ready for the Thursday morning Benefits advice event.

Preparation

  • If you use a laptop or desktop computer: nothing to install.
  • If you use a smartphone or tablet — install the Google Meet app.
  • If you are not sure how to do that, please email info@50pd.uk

How to join (after 1:50 pm)

  • Click or tap on https://50pd.uk/workshop