New charity to help people living with dementia in Hampshire & IOW

Dementia Support – Hampshire & IOW is a new charity that has been set up by local people with lived experience, to respond to the needs of local people living with dementia and their family carers. The charity provides free emotional support, information, and signposting for anyone and everyone living with dementia in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. 

Charity Director, Helen Hamblen says “We know from first-hand experience the emotional impact a dementia diagnosis has on patients, families, and caregivers. Common feelings during this life-changing experience can include anxiety, distress, and depression, not just for the person that has dementia but for the whole family. Families and friends provide most of the care for people with dementia and it is vital that everyone living with dementia receives the help and support they need to maximise their health and wellbeing.” 

According to the Department of Health there are now 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, costing the economy around £26.3bn a year. 52% of people in the UK know someone who has dementia. By 2025, one million people in the UK will have dementia, and this will increase to two million by 2050. 1 in 3 people born this year will develop dementia in their lifetime. 

Hampshire is one of the top five UK areas with the highest incidence of dementia, with over 24,000 people in the county being diagnosed with dementia in 2020. (ARUK) 

Dementia Support – Hampshire & IOW provides a helpline which is available 8am – 6pm Monday to Friday (excluding Public Holidays). Anyone struggling with their emotions due to a new diagnosis or because they are feeling overwhelmed with their caring responsibilities is invited to call and chat with a member of staff or volunteer that will be on hand with a listening ear. People can also phone if they are struggling to find information about dementia, and pathways for diagnosis, treatment, or care, and a website full of information is being launched this week. The website will include information about dementia, dementia pathways, finance and benefits, memory and living aids, as well as details about support groups and social events across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. 

Helen Hamblen says “Support for people living with dementia is hard to find, and at a time when your whole world is upside down and you are dealing with the emotional impact that dementia brings, the last thing you need is to have to search tirelessly for support near to where you live. The national charities are great, but face-to-face support and local knowledge is what you need at times like this. We know how exhausting living with dementia can be, that’s why we’ve created this charity, to help make things just that little bit easier.”  

“We host our own support and social groups and also work with other voluntary organisations across the region so that we can provide information about all the support and social events available in our local communities.” 

 For more information visit 

 Helen Hamblen
07899 077249

Hampshire Library Services for Ukrainian Refugees settled in Hampshire

Membership card for Ukrainian refugees

We are pleased to let you know that as part of our continued work to support refugees we have set up a new membership card category ‘Emergency Refugee Membership Card’, which includes:

  • Borrow up to 60 items
  • Make up to 30 free reservations
  • Loans for up to 56 days and up to 5 renewals (exception is for an eBook or an eAudiobook which have standard loan policies of 2 weeks for each item and a maximum of 5 loans per format).
  • Reservations can be placed either by the customer or staff, which will trigger no fee when placing the request.
  • Access to our Go-Online terminals in branch


Use our free app Libby to download eMagazines directly to your phone, tablet, or computer. All you need is your library card number and PIN to get started. New to Libby? You can register on your mobile device. Tap the ‘register now’ link on the app’s main page to create your account in a few easy steps:

  • Answer whether you have a library card
  • Search for Hampshire Libraries
  • Enter the requested library account details, you will need your library card number and 4-digit PIN
  • Once registered, you will be automatically logged in and can enjoy our content.


PressReader allows you to Access more than 7,000 publications from around the globe from your mobile phone or tablet. This includes magazines in other languages as well as offering the ability for articles to be translated into 18 different languages.

To access all you need is your library card number

  • Select the sign in option and choose Library or Group
  • Search for Hampshire Libraries and select from the list
  • Enter your library card number

Scott Hyde (MCLIP)
Library Team Manager
Alton Library
Vicarage Hill
GU34 1HT

Save Alton Cinema campaign

East Hampshire District Council rejects calls to help protect the future of Alton’s cinema

  • East Hampshire District Council has rejected an application to list the Palace Cinema as an Asset of Community Value.
  • Alton’s Save the Cinema campaign is questioning the wisdom of building so many new houses in the town whilst simultaneously stripping it of cultural and leisure facilities.
  • With over 2000 signatories on the Save Alton Cinema petition and continued vocal support across the community, it is clear that residents’ and councillors’ priorities do not align on this topic.
  • The Save the Cinema campaign is encouraging local cinema-lovers to make their support clear.

ALTON, Hampshire – 16/05/2022: Alton’s Save the Cinema campaign is determined to keep fighting after the district council rejected its application to list the 110-year-old Palace Cinema as an asset of community value.

“Essentially, the application was rejected on the basis that not enough people use the cinema,” says one of the campaign’s founders, Kat Guenioui. “It’s frustrating because it feels like there is no vision from EHDC as to what the cinema could be for our community. We’re stuck in this catch-22 where people don’t currently use the cinema because it has been allowed to become run-down, and the council won’t protect it because people don’t use it.”

“Our research clearly shows that Altonians would use the cinema more regularly if it were renovated,” agrees co-founder Annie Lancaster. Respondents to Save Alton Cinema’s market research cited factors such as a “musty smell”, “litter in the aisles” and the fact that there is no ceiling in the Ladies toilets as reasons for not making much use of the Palace Cinema. “With investment, all of these issues currently preventing use of the cinema could easily be remedied,” notes Annie.

The campaigners were in Alton’s Public Gardens at the weekend, drumming up support for their petition and giving out free popcorn to draw attention to the Palace Cinema’s plight. Many people did not know the cinema is set to close this September, and were disappointed to hear about the lack of support from local council.

Sadly, it is widely anticipated that the current or a future owner will apply for permission to convert the cinema for residential use. But with so many houses being built in the town, the Save the Cinema campaign believes that this would be a missed opportunity.

Local property expert Phil Spencer agrees:

“It would be a crying shame to lose the Palace Cinema. Architecturally, culturally, historically, Alton has so much going for it. But at the moment planning decisions seem to be geared towards adding houses, rather than protecting leisure facilities. We need more amenities here, in town. We all know there are several large development schemes currently being built in Alton and they have produced numerous challenges and debates. But we are where we are, the developments are underway now and whether you like or loathe them, an increase in local population numbers is surely good news for the local business economy? Increased numbers of residents has the potential to increase local expenditure. I therefore struggle to compute how it makes sense for our councillors to almost oblige residents to go elsewhere to spend their time and money.”

The cultural value of local cinema is acknowledged by the significant injections of cash the Palace has received over the last two years from the government’s Cultural Recovery Fund, totalling more than £35 000.

Thankfully, there is some protection for leisure facilities in planning guidelines. The National Planning Policy Framework includes stipulation for the protection of heritage assets and guards against the loss of valued facilities. However, it is by no means guaranteed that this will be enough to prevent change of use – particularly in light of the failed ACV application. The Save the Cinema campaign is therefore encouraging people to continue to sign its petition to demonstrate local support for the Palace Cinema, as well as to write to their town and district councillors to express their desire to maintain this historic building in the town.

“One of the arguments we come across regularly is that people just don’t go to the cinema anymore. One has to wonder if anyone has told that to the people investing in new cinemas in Liphook and Farnham,” says Kat. “Farnham lost its cinema years ago, but the new one is a central component of the town’s redevelopment. If we allow the Palace Cinema to be torn down, it sends the message to the residents of Alton and surrounding villages – not to mention those out-of-towners thinking of moving here – that we don’t care about protecting people’s lifestyles or giving them safe and inclusive places to spend their leisure time. I don’t think that’s the message that our hard-working district council want to give.”

The Save the Cinema petition can be found at Anyone interested in supporting the campaign should contact

Kat Guenioui
Clear Skies Content

‘Gods and Dogs’ – Rude Mechanical Theatre Company

The very popular Rude Mechanical Theatre Company will be back in Ropley on Saturday 11th June with a brand-new outdoor play at the recreation ground. Always good for a laugh, great live music and a bit of provocation, you won’t want to miss them. Their new play is called ‘Gods and Dogs’ and is an hilarious allegory about love, marriage and celebrity in 2084. Will the world really be like this?

The story follows Tina who enters ‘Marriage Maker’, a ‘telepavision’ gameshow. The idea of the game is if you win you get to marry the super-glamorous footballer, Harry Best, on the Saturday, have a weekend of love, then divorce him on the Monday. ‘All the fun & no ties!’ as the compere, Rich Nobb, puts it. Unfortunately, Tina makes the mistake of falling in love when she wins & doesn’t want to divorce. Doreen, her best friend, has her own opinion, but then she might be a Nevnop & the Mind Police might get to her first & send her to the wolves on the ‘Other Side’ – a dangerous world over ‘the mountain’ where the inhabitants of Abatina, according to Big Al, must not go, with dangerous freethinkers & wolves that might get them. Will Tina get to keep her man! Will Doreen be caught by the Mind Police? You’ll have to get off your telepafones and come to find out!

The show starts at 7.30pm but you can get there from 6.00pm for a picnic and wine. Bring your own low-backed chairs and warm clothing. High-backed chairs block the view of people sitting behind and won’t be permitted.

Book online at – or ring 01323-501260, or email

Elizabeth Lewis

Parish Hall Committee AGM

Please come and support your Parish Hall Committee at the AGM in the small hall on Tuesday May 24th at 7.45pm. We are looking for a new secretary and additional committee members. Meetings are only alternate months, so if you have a little time to spare, please volunteer.

Clare Monkhouse

Ropley Dramatic Society Needs You!

We are delighted to announce that we are able to revive the Ropley Dramatic Society with experienced input from our new members, in particular Beth Henze and Karen Williams.

The next RDS production will be held at 8pm on the 18th and 19th November in Ropley Parish Hall. Our Director, Beth Henze, brings with her a wealth of experience and expertise, and will be producing a fantastic new comedy which will be a joy for the cast to perform and hilarious for the audience to watch!

Rehearsals for the November production will be held every Tuesday and Thursday, commencing Thursday 15th September. There will be additional rehearsals held every evening during the production week on Sunday 13th November, Monday 14th, technical rehearsal on the 15th, dress rehearsal on the 16th with an evening off on Thursday 17th November.

RDS would like to invite any adults who are interested in joining the society and being part of this exciting production to come along to our Open Auditions on Thursday 14th July at 8pm in Ropley Parish Hall. No prior experience is required just enthusiasm and commitment!

If you have any questions prior to the auditions, please contact Beth or Karen via the RDS website  We look forward to hearing from you!

Beth Henze

Ropley Cricket Club Update

After an active winter of nets and indoor competitions, we are finally heading outdoors and cricket returns on the rec at Ropley. As a club we continue to reach out to all and this year Ropley will be playing with 15 teams! A truly amazing number for a club our size:
* Two open senior Saturday sides, plus a Sunday Xl
* Two women senior sides
* One mid-week 20/20 side
* Five Junior open sides  (9 to 15yrs)
* Four Girls sides (9 to 15yrs)

and if that isn’t enough, later in the summer we will also be running ECB All stars and Dynamos cricket courses for youngsters who are wanting to try out cricket and improve their skills.
Tom Wood our groundsman has waved his magic wand and our square looks immaculate. Let the sun shine and play commence!

If you fancy joining in please do drop us a line.

Quentin Sandell