Category Archives: General

#nomakeupselfie: Where are the older women?

Photo: sunshine city (Creative Commons)

Social media has experienced another one of its phenomena over the past couple of weeks – the #nomakeupselfie. Thousands upon thousands of women have been posting photos of themselves on Facebook without make-up. Initially aiming to raise awareness of cancer, this movement, if it can be called that, has led to donations in their millions for the UK’s cancer charities.

It feels like this activity has reached its peak and is beginning to quieten down, with the inevitable analysis taking place about how it happened, how charities jumped on it, and whether it was truly a force for good. But there seems to be one question that no-one has yet asked in all of this: where were the older women?

Certainly, in my experience of the #nomakeupselfie, I did not see any older women. The oldest selfie that appeared on my Facebook feed was from a woman in her forties. Why was it that a campaign emerged to raise awareness of a disease that predominantly affects older people without any involvement from them? Continue reading

And the winner is…

As part of the LGiU and CCLA C’llr awards, Age UK sponsors an award to recognise Councillors who support older people in their local community.

This year the winner was Cllr Janet Burgess from Islington council.

Janet has been a vocal advocate for Islington’s older people throughout her time as a Councillor. Her main achievements include establishing the council’s first Older People’s Champions giving older people a high profile voice within the Council, fighting to provide free swimming for over 60s in all Islington council funded leisure centres and defending the £100 council tax discount for all pensioner households who pay council tax.

Through her efforts lobbying the Mayor of London and Transport for London, she saved the 812 PlusBus – a ‘hail and ride’ service used mainly by older people to take them to the shops.

Her efforts to tackle fuel poverty, an issue that disproportionately affects Islington’s older residents, has seen Cllr Burgess co-lead a delegation of pensioners to City Hall to campaign on the issue.

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Guest blog – The LGiU and CCLA C’llr Achievement Awards

This guest blog was contributed by Josephine Suherman, Policy Researcher at the LGiU

Cllr Janet Burgess from the London Borough of Islington won the Age UK award

The LGiU and CCLA C’llr Achievement Awards aim to recognise and reward those councillors who go over and above what is expected of them; councillors who show absolute dedication to their communities and make positive change happen in the lives of local people.

This was the fifth year of the awards, and was kindly sponsored by Age UK for the third year running.

We were very pleased to partner with the charity once again on the awards and particularly the Age UK award category. The Age UK award is given to councillors who make time to listen to older people in their ward by actively engaging with them and understanding issues of concern, make change happen on issues of concern to older people, and has made an on-going commitment to ensuring that any improvements are maintained in the long term and that older people continue to be engaged in local democracy.

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From the 1953 floods to today

200x160_flooded_street_main (1)Amidst all the terrible weather the recent 60th anniversary of the 1953 floods passed without much comment.

Yet on the night of 4 February 1953, a huge storm surge struck the east coast. In places the sea came 2 miles inland. 307 people were killed, including many families who died in their homes.

There was no warning and it was Britain’s worst peacetime disaster.

One of the most famous rescues was of a Miss Fowler, aged 84, of Canvey Island, Essex, with her 82 year old brother. You can see a photo of them here  but they had to spend nearly 4 days without food, light or heat before help finally arrived.

Today, this is the situation we most fear at Age UK: frail older people marooned in flooded homes, accidentally overlooked and left to suffer alone. However, so far it seems that vulnerable older people have been identified and offered the emergency relief they need, and in a timely fashion. Thank goodness.

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