BRANCH NEWS LETTER

It is with sadness that we inform you that Ken Baker, a former member the Aphrodite Branch, passed away this week; Ken and his wife Wendy were greatly missed when they returned to the UK to live, as they had been very popular, hardworking and supportive members of the Branch.  Our thoughts are with Wendy and her family at this very sad time.

 

Notification has come to us from our Spanish colleagues that it may be possible to contest the non-payment of the Winter Fuel Allowance to overseas pensioners.    Because their English language news media had been publishing very negative information concerning this benefit following the UK’s introduction of a temperature criteria, residents in Spain who previously qualified were reminded of the importance of making a written claim for the current winter 2015/2016 before 31st March 2016.  The reason for this is that the benefit at issue is awarded for each winter on a separate basis and time limits for making such claims apply.  To make this claim and to find more information go to:  https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/452239/wfp3eea-jun-15.pdf

Members attending our monthly social meeting have been thin on the ground lately, the two main reasons for this are the problems with obtaining a Station Pass when active ones expire and the other that some people do not like driving late at night, especially as it would be dark both travelling to and returning from an evening meeting at this time of the year.

To help those who have these problems with attending social meetings at RAF Akrotiri the committee came to the decision at the last committee meeting to hold our social meetings on the first Wednesday of the month as usual but to hold the occasional one at lunch time, instead of the evening, at a Restaurant/Taverna off camp. The first such meeting took place on the 6th of January 2016 at the Aphrodite Club in Erimi and was a great success.

We had a very successful Wings Week Appeal outside of Cost Cutters at RAF Akrotiri and we collected a total of €1,135.04. The branch thanks all those members who took part in the fundraising and all the generous people on the camp who gave donations.

The total amount sent to CHQ was 3586 Euros for 2015, a very good amount considering two off our major fundraising events had to be cancelled for various reasons. Off this amount CHQ send us a 20% rebate for our Welfare fund.

For the forthcoming events see Branch Events on this website; we have had some very good speakers lately at our monthly social meetings, and last Nov. social evening  was no exception, when a very well attended meeting was royal entertained and well informed by Judge Raymond Naqvi.

This year the branch was represented by several of our members at the RAF Akrotiri Remembrance Service and Gill and Malcolm Myskow represented the branch at the Waynes Keep Service in the Buffer Zone.

If anyone finds themselves in the Dhekelia area from time to time there is an elderly, former Airman, resident in a Nursing Home who would appreciate occasional visits, so if you are able to pop in to have a word with him our Welfare Officer, Wendy Phillips will provide you with the details. The Branch Donated 25 euros to go towards a Christmas hamper for the Gentleman At Dhekelia.We also gave a 100 Euros to the Chaplaincy centre at Akrotiri as the new Padre is keen to refurbish the outside area.

Finally we hold committee meetings every month prior to our social event, however, this is your branch and if anyone has any suggestions or ideas they wish to put to the committee do not hesitate to contact any member of the committee, their contact details are on this website.

P.S. Don’t forget our next meeting will be our AGM.

 

NHS care for UK state Pensioners Who Live Elsewhere in the EEA 

The issue regarding the change in the ruling that applies to all pensioners who receive a UK state retirement pension and registered for healthcare in Europe with an S1 form, which now allows UK state pensioners who live elsewhere in the EEA the same rights to NHS care as people who live in England is still being looked into for us by Zoe Woodward at the British High Commission in Nicosia, in the meantime up to date details can be found at the UK Governments portal: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-rules-to-improve-overseas-visitors-contributions-to-nhs-care 

Other UK Government portals useful to members living in Southern Cyprus are:

If you would like to receive crisis alerts the go to:  https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/cyprus

Renewing UK Passports:  www.gov.uk/overseas-passports

Obtaining Visas:  www.gov.uk/apply-uk-visa

For travel advice:  https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/  (type at the end any country you want information on)