Newsletter No. 014

Well, still locked down, with perhaps an air of positivity that isolation has worked to some degree. Let's hope we don't get a second wave and go backwards. Thank the gods for the weather, the good-natured queueing would have been tested if cats and dogs were bouncing off your bonnets in the car park queues. A few of us have got together virtually and having endured the setup process and are now reaping the benefits of online FitNFab and also recently a quiz morning.  More about those below but please come and join us if you can.

We hope you enjoy this and the previous issues but if you missed any and would like to see them email Sylvia and she will gladly send any you have missed.

[email protected]

Contacting Us
We now have a new help line number it is:
01327 612333
Leave a message with your number and we will call you back.
For all newsletter enquiries its       [email protected]

For all other enquiries its       [email protected]

A Message from Angela Jeffery
Hi everyone, I think mostly everyone who receives Northants Parkinson’s People newsletter already knows me but just in case not – Hello my name is Angela Jeffery. I am writing this article for two reasons. Firstly, let's get the elephant out of the room, to thank Katherine Crawford, Director of Services, Parkinson’s UK for apologising for Pam Harrison’s unprofessional statement which was sent out with their newsletter a couple of months ago. 

I also want to thank everyone who offered me support and who also complained about Pam. It is so lovely to know I have such good friends who know me well – thank you xxx

The second and much more important and positive reason for writing is that I wanted to let you know that I am now officially volunteering for Northants Parkinson’s People. Northants Parkinson’s People is a ‘collective’ of individuals who mostly have or are affected by Parkinson’s disease. The idea originated on one of the Friday walks when I explained I would no longer be writing the newsletter for the local branch. Fellow walkers then decided to write their own newsletter and have been doing so for over a year now. Phil puts it all together, gathering articles and positioning them to look pretty and Sylvia sends them all out via email. Doug has been reminiscing about his army days – and I know from feedback this has helped bring back memories for others too. Plus, we have enjoyed extra articles from Simon, who has almost finished his new book and of course Sylvia’s gardening tips, which have been very useful. I hope some of you have also tried out the varied recipes as well.

During the last year, I have written just one article for the newsletter which highlighted social isolation and Parkinson’s disease. At the time we asked the PUK branch to spend some of the donated money on tackling social isolation and I know Val Hamblin (lovely, kind and dignified ex-chair) requested this personally too, but unfortunately, we were ignored. With this in mind, we have decided to offer our own telephone friendship service which has already begun during these ‘isolating’ times. We have volunteers who are ready, willing and able to call and have a chat with anyone who may be feeling cut off from things – and we all know how that feels now.

I hope that Northants Parkinson’s People can grow, we want to offer the hand of friendship and support to everyone who is affected by Parkinson’s and we want everyone to feel part of our friendly community. When these strange times are over, we hope to offer some opportunities for us to get together more regularly. We recognise that one size does not fit all, and ‘support’ comes in different forms so we would like you to make suggestions as to what would help you most.

For my part, I would like to offer a free local information and support service. As you know I have worked for people with Parkinson’s for ten years and have quite a knowledge of the disease and ways of helping manage the symptoms and of services locally who can also offer support. I am happy to help with form filling such as applying for benefits, council tax discounts, blue badge, housing etc. Sometimes you need a third party to fight your cause and I would really like to help. So please get in touch if you need any support, information or just a chat.

Each month I will write a small article about topics I feel may be of benefit and I am happy to answer specific questions and then share any knowledge gathered via the newsletter. I am happy to do a bit of research and hopefully, we can all learn something new! Oh - I feel inspired,  title… ‘Auntie Angela’s Answers …Page’… name suggestions required?? 

Our new helpline number is 01327 612333 – leave a message with your number and I will call you back.

Telephone support and practical assistance
So If you need to talk, or need some practical assistance please get in touch. Our little band of volunteers are all on call
Email us at [email protected]

Help line number is: 01327 612333
leave a message with your number and we will call you back.

Auntie Angela’s Info Page (working title) 
How ‘Care’ is funded….. borrowed from Safeguarding Futures Health & Social Care Support
Facebook page. link:

There are 4 types of funding for care
Self Funding - this applies to people who are in need of care that is classed as social care, and have savings and/or assets over £23,250, this means you would pay the full cost of your care until your assets reduce down to the £23,250. At this point, social services would become involved and complete a financial assessment to see how much they would contribute to your care (whether this is in your own home, or in a Care home).
Social Care Funding - if your assets are between £14,250 and £23,250, and you need support in relation to activities of daily living, i.e. washing, dressing, eating, drinking, toileting, attending social activities, then social services can pay towards your care in these circumstances. However, you would need a financial assessment to see how much you can contribute to your care. They would consider any income or savings you have when doing the financial assessment. The formula they use is different depending on whether you need care in your own home or in a residential setting. 
Funded Nursing Care (often called FNC) - if your needs mean that you need oversight of a nurse (in a nursing home setting), then the nursing care element of your care is free and is usually paid directly to the Care home (by the NHS), and social services pay the remaining balance. However, you will still contribute to the social care part of the package. If you are self-funding, you need to ensure that the home does not charge you for the nursing care element if you are in a nursing home. This should be deducted from your overall costs - ensure you check the Care Home contract carefully.
Continuing Healthcare Funding (CHC) - this is the most complex of all the funding streams. If you qualify for CHC funding, then all of your care should be paid for by the NHS and is completely free, i.e. not means-tested. Your care can be delivered in any setting, either in a care home, or your own home. To qualify for CHC funding, there is a 2 stage process to go through. There is an initial checklist, which is to identify if a person should go through for a fuller assessment (called a Decision Support Tool).

The purpose of a CHC assessment is to identify if a person has what is termed a ‘primary health need.’ Although this sounds quite simplistic, it is anything but! The assessment looks at 11 domains individually. The whole process is not based on a specific diagnosis, but about how a person’s needs interact with each other. At the end of the assessment, all of the information gathered is looked at and the assessors have to then identify whether the needs are complex, intensive and unpredictable in nature. This then determines whether a person would qualify for CHC funding. You can obtain further information online with regards to what the Checklist and Decision Support Tool involve.

This article was written by a third party: Safeguarding Futures Health & Social Care Support. For free advice join the Facebook page (link above). To enquire about professional support call: Mike Hales: 07931 585004
Disclaimer: Safeguarding Futures is a business. We wish to share information with you which may be of benefit to you, but we cannot accept any liability whatsoever should you decide to use any of the services we inform you of.

COVID 19 Virtual FitnFab
Virtual Fitnfab is up and running via 'ZOOM' conferencing app. The app is available for PC, laptop, smartphone and Tablets

Angela will send you a link if you want to join in, It's free but as Angela has paid to have an uninterrupted professional conference session a small donation would be gratefully received (a post-emergency bucket will be available after the emergency!)

Currently two sessions a week Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:30 am  A mix of social and light exercise.
As you will be exercising at home we strongly suggest you remain seated during the exercises. Obviously you will not have the same people at hand and we do not want any accidents. So please stay safe and use a stable solid chair without wheels such as a dining chair.
COVID 19 Virtual Quiz

We tried a Virtual quiz a couple of weeks ago and had 15 or so participants. As soon as this newsletter is out I shall start to compile another quiz. If you do not get an invite to FitnFab you probably are not on the quiz list either.  You can get on either or both by emailing...

Entertaining evenings on YouTube
YouTube is the premier video sharing site that lets you watch just about anything. It's safe, moderated for disturbing images and a huge source of material.
I find Youtube a great source of entertainment. Lots of videos on gardening, cooking, DIY, great music promotions, sport, history, just about anything.  In case you are getting fed up with the TV I list below some alternative entertainments that I hope you find interesting
  • Fancy a night at the Opera?  Carmen, Figaro, La Boheme. Not enough? there are over 200 full opera's listed many with subtitles which is a must for me.  Search Youtube for Full Opera
  • Like a bit of history? The History Guy presents stories of forgotten history about five to fifteen minutes long. Topics range from aviation history to forgotten battles, historical figures and events and more from around the world. Search YouTube for History Guy
The History Guy 'History deserves to be remembered' This dapper Bostonian researches and delivers history in his own distinctive and entertaining style
  • Musical Theatre with a western style?  Look no futher. This recording from a Proms Concert in 2011 will entertain you grandly for an hour or so. The Orchestra (there are only 4 but sound like a full Orchestra) is from Australia the music is all  Ennio Morricone's Its just brilliant Search Youtube for The Spaghetti Western Orchestra - Live at the Royal Albert Hall 2011 - Full Concert
  • Like a bit of Ukulele?  Its not all leaning on a lampost you know. The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain have a great reportiore on Youtube and they have some fantastic lockdown tracks the recorded at home. If you are a budding player they also have some playalone tracks Search Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain and browse for tracks you fancy or try Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain: Live from NYC, 2018 (full concert)
  • Like a bit of candid video that isn't all pillocks dropping birthday cakes. Try searching Die besten Videos.  Mostly animal / pet related, no annoying commentary. world wide contributions. A mix of funny, dramatic, cute and to be honest, strange. Well worth a browse.

Younger Gents Group
The Younger Gents Group have been 'getting together' virtually for some weeks now. They recently had a quiz night and decided to jazz it up with fancy dress.  One attendee did not get the memo about the fancy dress, the editorial staff duly helped him out with an impromptu outfit. 

Let's get Quizzical
Name the biscuit, answers down below

Sylvia's Gardening Tips


Look out for greenfly on roses. Don’t go buying pesticides, good old-fashioned washing up liquid diluted with water is marvellous and much more wildlife-friendly. Much cheaper too. Just thoroughly wash out an empty household cleaner spray bottle, fill with water and a squirt of washing liquid. Works on most pests.

If you have a pond put a bag of barley straw in it and it will discourage algae and keep the water clean all summer. Unfortunately, I don’t have a pond and as my garden is quite small don’t have room for one. However, last year I bought a large galvanised oval-shaped container. My plan, when I get released, is to fill the bottom with cobblestones. Buy a couple of aquatic plants to help clear the water. Of course, I will have to top up the water regularly as it evaporates so quickly. 
So, until I can get out to buy what I need I have filled it with water and put a rock in the middle so there is a bit exposed for the bugs to sit on while they have a drink. It’s amazing what even that can do to attract wildlife. I’ve seen wasps drinking and loads of damselflies around it. I look forward to setting it up properly.
I absolutely adore ferns and they are ideal for a shady corner. Make sure you have cut off the tatty old fern fronds to make way for the new ones starting to unfurl.
Water conservation is now being brought into the news reports. We can all do a little to help. Wash vegetables in a bowl then the water can be used in the garden. Also washing up water can be used. I have two water butts but sadly there is not much left in them at the moment. Our very dear friend Angela, tells me that she puts the plug in the bath so that when she showers the water collects. She then carries it downstairs and into the garden to water plants. Now that is dedication! I would end up with more water on the stairs than in the garden!

Some readers do not have gardens but you can bring a beautiful garden into your own home. Many of the UK’s finest gardens have been forced to close due to Covid-19. However, the National Garden Scheme is running virtual tours all summer with new gardens added each week to its website The charity is facing an 80% drop in income due to the shutdown and is asking viewers for a donation in return at One of the first gardens to open online visitors is Hever Castle in Kent.

And finally…did you know that pee is the very best fertiliser of all? Apparently, it works wonders on lawns. It must be fresh, cold. and diluted 20-1 with water. Trouble is it’s no good if the person providing it is on medication. Hmmm, that’s probably 95% of my age group.
Until next time…..

I Remember Part 12

Place: 3 B. O. D. (Base Ordnance Depot)

(221 BVD (Base Vehicle Depot. attachment RAOC)


Time: March 1969


As the new year turned my wife and I took stock of our situation, we had some decisions to make. So, looking at things, all seemed to be on the up. I was 26 and Tina was 24 and pregnant with our fourth child. We already had 1 girl (Carolyn 6), 2 boys (Robert 4 and Michael 18 months). I had recently been promoted to Sergeant (acting/paid), and on reflection all seemed well.

However, my good lady was finding this pregnancy to be a bit more of an ordeal, mainly due to the extreme humidity (around 80% most of the time). This with a temperature of 70 degrees constantly but she did have assistance in the form of Muna. Muna was our godsend of an amah and she ran a very tight ship with the children. We chugged along merrily until around May when we were informed that we had been allocated new quarters. This was to be a house with 4 bedrooms. It was not as luxurious as Airview Towers but it was a house, with a garden and not on the fourth floor. Which had to be taken into consideration with a new child. The time seemed to have stopped but I think that was due to the fact that every couple of days I was playing cricket. Each day I played, Tina and I would meet at the ground and then after the match, we would take the kids out for their evening meal. I recall Bob remarking something about couldn't mum have babies all the time so we could have dinner out every night! Each day followed a pattern, early morning I would drop Carolyn and Bob at school on my way to work. It was all quite convenient, the hospital and the schools were all on Alexandra Road. On the days that Tina had a check-up I would drop her at BMH (British Medical Hospital) then drop Carolyn at the junior school then Bob at the infant school.

Now I will digress a little; this area of Singapore, which is close to the world-famous Singapore Botanic gardens is infamous for the fact, that when the Japanese invaded at the start of 1942, The BMH was the horrific site of mass rapings of the QARANC (Queen Alexandra Royal Army Nursing Corps) and the murders of several hundred allied British and ANZAC (Australian, New Zealand Army Corps) troops. Some were bayoneted whilst they were on the operating tables. Others were tied to the trees in the nearby Botanical Gardens and surrounding hospital grounds and used as targets for newly arrived Japanese troops, who were not involved in the initial landings. One can understand why they have been listed and classed as possibly the most horrendous war crimes ever.
But back to the tale, we just about had everything packed ready for the move when I was given my date for moving; it was to be the 12th August. Tina's due date was to be the 13th/14th August. But as you know nothing is straight forward with my family, so obviously Tina's waters broke at 01.15 am on 12th August, I rushed her to the hospital, leaving the kids in the capable hands of Mina.

But you must realize that this was 1969 and father's were not involved in the birth, so after leaving her at the hospital I went back to the Towers.

Early in the morning, I first rang the hospital to find that I was a dad to another boy, he was to be named Richard and the nurse's assured that all was fine. Secondly, I made sure that her friends were going to be ready at the new place and I hurried back to pick up Bob and Carolyn and took them to school. Back to the old place and I arranged for Muna to take Michael to her sister's for a couple of hours. I then quickly showered and changed and went over to the hospital to see mother and the new born. After a short visit I went and checked out of the old place and picked up kids and of we went to the new house.

This wasn't as grand as the Towers but it had 4 bedrooms and a fenced garden with a lawn. I now had about an hour to get the kids ready to go and see Mum. No worries as I put on a clean shirt Muna had all 3 kids ready. The kids then had some time with mum and their new brother.

When it was time for Tina to come home she did not even know the new address! It was 21, Jalam Hittam Manniss, Chip Bee Estate, Singapore.

We soon settled in, the kids loved the garden and the 3 geckos who lived in the kitchen (they are lizards and they eat bugs and flies, this amused the kids no end).

So, another chapter ends, and another begins

Farewell from Doug in Singapore

We aim to be...

an inclusive group so if you have an idea for an article that you think would be of interest then get in touch with us.
You don't have to be a journalist, and if you find trouble getting your idea onto paper or email we'll give you a helping hand.

Answers to the Quiz
  1. Chocolate digestive
  2. Party ring
  3. Hob Nob
  4. Ginger nut/snap
  5. Garibaldi
  6. Viennese whirl
  7. Fig rolls
  8. Shortbread
  9. Malted Milk
  10. Custard Cream
  11. Bourbon
  12. Rich Tea

And Finally...
We have all seen and heard in the news of Covid-19 scams going around. Some enterprising villains have tried charging ridiculous amounts to spray your driveway with anti-virus substances. Opportunistic doorstep con artists are also pretending to be NHS surveyors offering to survey your house while stealing anything not nailed down. So please be vigilant and careful. Always ask for identification from any 'official' visitor, and if you are not sure ask them to come back later. All real visitors will understand.

Similarly, the recent rollout of 5G mobile phone services has led to a very enterprising con where you are invited to buy a device that can protect you, your family and your whole house from the evils of 5G radio waves.  The device is just a standard USB drive worth less than a Fiver. The addition of a sticky label (1p) that has magical “quantum holographic catalyser technology” gives them the cheek to try and charge just under £300!!
Do Not Be Conned (get them from me, only £25)

STOP PRESS: NHS contact tracers will be phoning and texting people to warn them about being in contact with a potential virus carrier. One of the many problems with this scheme is it's dangerously easy for someone to pose as a government/NHS contact tracer. The official number they call from 0300 013 5000 is relatively easy to spoof and because its a published government number it is more likely to be taken at face value. 

So what do you do?
  • If a SMS Text arrives saying its a track and trace message DO NOT click on any included link. 
  • Do not reply to one of these texts as you may be engaging with a scammer
  • Never disclose any banking information, usernames or passwords or other personal information 
Genuine NHS Contact tracers will not ask for sensitive personal information. They will be more interested in tracing your recent contacts. 
Example Scam Text
The link will take you to a website, It will entice you to disclose personal information. 
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