We're pleased to announce that the dormant Ivybridge DSV branch is back in business. Former chair David Snelling kindly shares a history of the branch and invites members old and new to get in touch...
Eleven years ago, community spirited ‘over 50s’ recognising the impending demographic time bomb which was to affect their age group throughout the county of Devon, responded to the then Government’s commitment to set up unitary councils
throughout the UK to address their future needs. At a meeting in November 2007 in Old Chapel Place, the previous town hall, in Fore Street, 35 people of Ivybridge and the surrounding twelve or so hamlets and villages formed a committee to see how the council could work, submit proposals outlining priorities and approve a constitution.
In Ivybridge, with an ever increasing awareness of needs to maintain a quality of life, the number of members grew to 180, some being pro-active but most being happy to offer their opinions and concerns candidly at meetings, having a mouth piece through which they could air their concerns. Being one of the larger ‘branches’ in the county, meetings continued on a monthly basis, initially in some members’ homes
and thereafter at the Sportsman’s Inn, Exeter Road.
Issues being identified, led by sub–committee members ranged from transport, housing & inrastructure development including neighbourhood planning, health & social care including dementia, consultation on the establishment of ‘memory cafes,
‘healthwatch’ and patient participation involvement etc. The branch, together with the other 28 in the county, had diminishing resources from county council and the NHS and whilst being chaired by Mr David Snelling, who was failing in health, it ceased activities and remained ‘dormant ‘ until such time when circumstances changed, awaiting guidance from the board.
“My diagnosis of prostate cancer combined with two total knee replacements dented my enthusiasm for continuing and maintaining the branch under a feeling of insecurity,” said David Snelling.
Following the ‘marriage’ of DSV and DCT, David, following successful treatment, is now appealing to the previous branch DSV members to contact him in order to continue the activity in dealing with issues affecting the over 50s in Ivybridge, now being suppored by the team at DCT.
“Celebrating the resurgence of one of the most active groups in Ivybridge has to be one of the highlights of this year so far,” added David. “Over the past years in Ivybridge, through the local branch, a number of ‘speak out’ healthwatch forms have been completed, members have organised and held many events for issues around ageing, entertained stimulating and informative speakers at the monthly meetings, advised on ‘the care act’ implementation and had distributed over 100 newsletters to local elderly folk. Within the next six months the rejuvination of the ivybridge branch will take place!”
All 180 past members are asked to support this unique organisation by making contact with David Snelling and ensuring continuity of action on the relevant issues effecting residents of the larger Ivybridge area.