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After Prince Philip’s car crash, one local charity says mediation is the answer

The debate as to when individuals should end their driving careers was highlighted again following the road traffic crash that involved Prince Philip, on 17th January near to the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.

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One local charity, West Sussex Mediation Service, has been helping families deal with this dilemma, and many other tricky subjects that result from our ageing population.

The Charity launched its Elder Mediation service in 2016 having recognised that we have an ageing population in the UK and families with older relatives are facing various difficult issues to resolve. This extends beyond driving careers to caring duties, living arrangements, dealing with change, wills/inheritances and powers of attorney.

Mediation helps everyone involved to hear and understand one another and to work together, with the aim of finding the best solutions that suit all those involved. West Sussex Mediation Service offers this service free, with an invitation to make a donation to help sustain the charity.

Service Co-ordinator for the charity, Nick Handley said,

“We know that this can be an emotive subject, as the ability to drive provides great independence. However, there can be positives out of hanging up your car keys. With free travel on buses and subsidies on trains, there could be a financial saving. Accepting lifts from friends/family can sociable events and most of us would agree that driving is very stressful anyway and not great for your blood pressure.”

By 2020 the number of people aged over 80 will have doubled. In 2016 18% of the population were aged 65 and over and 2.4% were 85 years or older. The over 65’s will account for roughly a quarter of the population by 2046.   If you would like any advice on this or associated issues, the charity can be contacted on 0300 200 0025 or via info@wsms.org.uk

Lifestyle

Live or work in Ifield? Make sure you attend ‘Talk Ifield” Community Forum

Over one year after its successful re-launch in autumn 2017, the ‘Talk Ifield’ local community forum will be holding its next open public meeting from 7.00pm to 8.30pm on Monday 4th March 2019 at Elim Church, The Mardens, Ifield, Crawley RH11 0HD.

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‘Talk Ifield’ was first established in 2013 as a neighbourhood forum, run by local people, for local people.

It offers an opportunity for people who live and work in Ifield to meet and share ideas for improving and developing the local community for the benefit of everyone.

Anyone who lives in, who works in, or who has an interest in Ifield is welcome to attend the open forum meetings.

This year they are delighted to announce their guest speaker on 4th March will be Crawley Borough Councillor Martin Stone, who will be giving a presentation and leading a discussion on the subject of ‘Crawley Museum, and a short history of Crawley and Ifield’.

Crawley has a rich and varied history dating back several centuries, and the new Museum has now become a focal point for anyone who is interested in the heritage of our town and its changing character over the years.

Martin has had a leading role in helping to establish the Museum and has himself also undertaken extensive research into the history of Ifield in particular.

Mark Sudan, Chair of the ‘Talk Ifield’ Management Committee, said:

“Very many people attended our last open forum meeting in September, and we enjoyed a most interesting presentation on maintaining our neighbourhood environment from the Borough Council officer responsible for leading that work.

We are now looking forward to our next forum meeting on 4th March, at which Cllr Martin Stone will be bringing us up to date on the new Crawley Museum, and sharing with us his own extensive knowledge and research into the history of Ifield in particular.

This will be a fascinating evening’s discussion, and we urge as many people as can do so, to come along and share the experience as Martin takes us on a unique journey through local history.”

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