Phoebe and her brother, Thomas, have to flee the evil regime of Benjamin Bladderwell when an accident results in them being labelled machine breakers. Hunted with nowhere to run, the mysterious Matthew saves their lives.He is a man of many guises who Phoebe instinctively trusts, but Thomas does not. Their future depends upon this stranger, unaware that he is also tied to their past.
My mother passed away on September 1st 2014 and fortunately Margaret my sister and I were both at her side when she died peacefully in my house.
Suddenly I was no longer a carer. Mum’s words to me when she was dying are still with me. “Make an even bigger success of the website love and bring people together to try and end loneliness. You and Margaret have looked after me so well and I have been really lucky having you both.”
Congratulations on The Independent on Sunday Top 100 Happy List Award, but I am very sorry that you lost your mum. She must have been very proud and appreciative of both you and Margaret and the loving care you took of her.
So…… since then, so much has happened. I have been on local radio twice, interviewed my folk hero Ralph McTell, along with Dr Mark Porter, the owner of Laithwaites Wines, and many more celebrities. I appeared in Wetherspoons magazine in March 2015.
I evaluate many products for companies and send out a monthly newsletter to over 480 people.
I have 126 wonderful contributors now and over 1130 articles for people to read and comment on. Ranked at just over 12,000 in UK website rankings as at 11/11/2016, 2016 is drawing to a close better and busier than ever.
So what do you plan for 2017?
My aim is to hopefully be in the top 5,000 UK websites and to be the most popular online community magazine. The purpose for starting the website was to help combat loneliness and bring together people from all walks of life to forge new friendships and online companionship. This has certainly happened, but there is still a long way to go. My ‘baby’ born in November 2013 is now a toddler at three years old this month and true to toddler behaviour is more demanding and growing at a rate that I never thought possible!
I hope you hit the 5,000 ranking!
I love what I do and have met and am meeting new people all the time. One never stops learning and almost every day I receive a new article or write about a different topic myself.
I hope you have a very Merry Christmas Valerie and a Happy and Healthy New Year and thank you for inviting me back for an update.
It is inspiring to read about your progress with this extremely valuable site. I wish you, your family and OAPschat community a Merry Christmas and a very happy, prosperous and healthy 2017!
I am happy to welcome the creator of Oapschat.co.uk – a website with a mission to help the community it serves.
Could you tell us something about yourself?
Hello Valerie and thank you so much for inviting me. My name is Janice Rosser, (please call me Jan!) I was born and bred in Hereford, where I still live fifty plus years later. I have one sister, the author Margaret James. On leaving school, I had a career in banking, followed by a few enjoyable years working as a book keeper in a local Veterinary Surgery. I took a career break to look after my two sons. I then spent twelve years working in various Pharmacies. Since 2010, I have looked after my elderly mother full time.
What inspired you to start Oapschat?
A family conversation around the dining room table one lunchtime. We realised there were not many online community pages for the people approaching the silver and golden years of their lives. So, I started a Facebook page in April 2013 and began posting and commenting on various topics to do with the over fifties age groups.
How did you visualise the concept of Oapschat initially?
I thought I would see how the FB page took off and then write a weekly blog to see if any interest was generated. It quickly became clear that people were very interested and commented and posted daily. I was mentioned in The Daily Mail and once I reached 300 plus members on FB, I decided the time was right to launch the website in November 2013.
You encourage interaction between the readers and contributors to the site. Have you found it encouraging to see the response and also the number of sponsors that support it?
I find it extremely encouraging to read the various viewpoints and comments and to know that I am helping people engage in online conversation. I do not have sponsors as such, I have had various companies and individuals that have donated raffle prizes for me which is fantastic and I also have fifteen contributors to date who have written their own articles for the website.
Did its success surprise you, or were you aware of a need for such site for this age group?
The website is building very nicely after launching on November 1 2013 and the Facebook page now has 408 members. I realised last year that there is a real need for this age group after the Facebook launch in April 2013.
Being a carer and developing a website are both demanding activities.What do you see as the next step forward for Janice and Oapschat?
Caring is indeed very demanding. It can also be very tiring and isolating. Oapschat is hard work, but extremely satisfying and rewarding. I want to see it grow and develop in order to reach out and help many people who may be in a similar situation to myself. I receive many messages of support from people who are living alone and they say that it is a good way of interacting and realising you are not on your own. It is a great way to make new friends and develop my writing skills. Oapschat is my baby and I shall nurture it for many months and hopefully, years!
Thanks you for taking the time to answer my questions and I wish you every success in your very worthwhile venture in reaching out to others.