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The new season for the club started with the September meeting; this first meeting of the new year taking on a different format to previous years; the first meeting has consisted of registration and a quiz, but this year it was decided to get straight into the programme of speakers.

The subject was ‘Hearing Dogs for the Deaf’, the charity that provides and trains assistance dogs for those with impaired hearing – these dogs are trained to alert their owners to the telephone, doorbell, cooker and smoke alarms. The speaker for this meeting was extremely interesting and entertaining; having very kindly stepped in at short notice when the original speaker was taken ill, but the undoubted star of the evening was his black Labrador ‘Nevis ‘.

The October meeting was a talk by the founders of ‘Front Line Aid’, a charity set up to help British soldiers. The mother and daughter (who has a serving soldier husband) - who started this charity send boxes of goodies (sweets, biscuits, magazines etc) to soldiers in places such as Afghanistan – these boxes provide the soldiers with some much appreciated treats they would not normally get. The ladies were able to show numerous letters of gratitude from the soldiers, which proves the immense value of their work – increasing morale and showing that the people back home are thinking about them. Some of the money raised by the charity also goes to Selly Oak Hospital, which is the first stop for wounded soldiers returning home - this money is used to help with their rehabilitation. It was a most moving experience for our members and we have made a commitment to bring along items for the parcels and arrange for the ladies to collect them! We were given a list of suitable items.

The November meeting will be on Thursday 19th November and will be ‘Antiques and Collectables’. We end 2009 with the Christmas Party on December 17th – tickets for members and friends are now available. There is a full programme of speakers and events planned to take the club through to July 2010 – there is something for everyone, and as we always say you don’t have to be over fifty to join us!

The meetings take place at Rowley Regis Handicapped Centre, Birmingham Road, Rowley Regis (next to Tesco One Stop), starting at 7.00pm - we guarantee you a very warm welcome.