West Bridgford

An informal hustings focusing on the needs of older people is being held at St. Giles Church, West Bridgford on Thursday, 16 April .

Johanna Langheld, who has organised the Election Forum, says: “We are hosting the Rushcliffe constituency candidates for a hustings specially aimed at older people and calling it ‘Focus on Seniors.’ This will be quite an informal event run from 2.30pm - 4.00pm with refreshments from 2.00 and priority is being given to questions of particular interest to older people - pensions, social care, hospital waiting times, dementia research, public transport, training of carers etc...”

St Giles’ have three declared candidates so far: Ken Clarke (Conservative), David Mellen (Labour) and Richard Mallender (Greens). The Lib-Dems are providing a substitute but so far UKIP have not put forward a candidate.

The event will be chaired by Dizzy Prentice, a member of the congregation, recently retired from the University of Nottingham, and a Governor at Emmanuel School.

“We have been advertising the event to all care homes and retirement complexes in Rushcliffe as well as organisations we think might be interested,” says Johanna. “While the event is primarily aimed at older people, we hope to get some local Sixth Formers along as well to ask some questions about long term pension policy and so on.”

St. Giles’ now regularly have nearly 50 older people who come to a range of events - film shows, outings, short-breaks away, coffee mornings and lunches, crazy golf etc which has enabled a sense of community mutual support to take place.

As part of their ongoing pastoral care, which includes support to those who are unwell, bereaved or needing help in other ways, St Giles’ ran a Seniors Alpha course in 2013 which attracted more than 20 people, most of whom have joined the weekly study group.

They also wanted to address some of the social issues which are particularly pertinent for older people, so with the General Election looming, they decided to hold the election hustings with a particular focus on older people. “Other issues may be raised but we wanted to forewarn our election candidates about what we think will be the main areas of questions. Between them, our seniors have direct experience of all of these topics and so will probably be able to ask some robust questions,” explains Johanna.

“Older people make a tremendous contribution to the country. They have worked hard, paid taxes, volunteer in large numbers and are more likely than any other age group to vote. We are delighted that our constituency candidates will be coming to explain how they see a future government responding to the concerns and priorities of older people. We hope that, by the end of the afternoon, we will all have a better idea of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”

There will also be a Parliamentary Hustings at St Peter’s church, Nottingham
Wednesday 22nd April, from 12pm to 2pm.

The Revd Christopher Harrison says: “All are welcome to attend. The candidates for the Nottingham South constituency from Labour, Conservative, UKIP and the Green Party are all expected to be present.”

AND the Revd Glyn Jones in Clifton says: “In Nottingham South constituency we can confirm a hustings to meet and question candidates on Tuesday April 21st at 7pm at St Francis’ Church.

“They are open to all questions from the community but are hoping to focus on issues around poverty for some, as advised by various Christian agencies such as Church Action on Poverty.” See http://www.church-poverty.org.uk/hustings


For further media information please contact Jane Wyles: The Press Office: 01636 817243 email jwyles@southwell.anglican.org or 01636 817218 pressoffice@southwell.anglican.org

Jane Wyles
Media Officer
Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham
The Church of England across Nottinghamshire
Jubilee House, Westgate
NG25 0JH
Tel: 01636 817243
email: jwyles@southwell.anglican.org