People across the South East will be celebrating Older People’s Day by participating in a range of activities in keeping with this year’s theme of ‘getting and staying active’.
Launched today to coincide with Older People’s Day celebrations, the Age Action Alliance will now work together to improve the lives of older people and help transform communities into a better place to grow older (more below*).
Image: Lucy Johnson helps Mike Cooper in Bridging the Online Digital Divide.
In its fifth year, Older People’s Day (1st Oct 2011) wants to change attitudes about ageing and older people and celebrate the valuable contribution that older people make.
UK Older People’s Day happens on 1 October to coincide with the UN International Day of Older Persons and celebrates older people’s contributions to society and economy and also their opportunities, achievements and aspirations. Events will be taking place around the South East and across the country to showcase the talents of older people, including dance and fitness classes, singing lessons, 5-a-side football matches and cookery clubs.
Minister for Pensions, Steve Webb said:
“It is good news that we are living longer, and we want to ensure people maintain a good quality of life in retirement. We have already launched a series of initiatives to help older people remain active such as Get Digital and Active at 60.
Find out about local events in the South East here: www.direct.gov.uk/fulloflife
October 1st also marks an important milestone for people who wish to work longer, as this is the date when the Default Retirement Age (DRA) legislation which allowed employers to compulsorily retire employees when they reach 65 will be removed. Further information on removing DRA is available on DirectGov www.direct.gov.uk/workingpastpensionage
*Voluntary, private and public organisations from across the South East are coming together in partnership to celebrate the lives of older people and address the challenges of our ageing society. Launched to coincide with Older People’s Day celebrations, the Age Action Alliance will work together to improve the lives of older people and help transform communities into a better place to grow older.
Prime Minister David Cameron has welcomed the launch of the Age Action Alliance:
“People are now living longer, more active lives and we must do more to reach out to older generations, not only to help the most vulnerable but also to better understand their needs and recognise the important role they play in society.
“So many older people take an active role in their local community that puts many of us to shame. I want to encourage others to follow in their footsteps, through volunteering and being part of the Big Society so we can all benefit from their experience, knowledge and enthusiasm.
“The launch of the Age Action Alliance will unite those working in this sector in celebration of the role of older people in this country and ensure their voice is heard at the very heart of Government.”
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith said:
“Just as we recognise the real opportunities of an ageing society we need to be alive to its challenges. We have a huge number of organisations doing fantastic work to get older people engaged in their local communities – the Age Action Alliance is about getting them together, talking to one another, and sharing ideas about how social justice can be achieved for older people at a local level.”
Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director of Age UK said:
“We celebrate the fact that not only is life expectancy increasing, but that also society’s view of retirement is changing. But there are still too many people not able to enjoy later life as much as they could, because they live on the edges of communities, often with little human contact. We want to see older people brought back into the heart of society and this is what the Age Action Alliance will work towards by bringing together the collective talents of the member organisations and the older people who help shape our work.”
The Age Action Alliance will be informed by older people themselves. It will tackle several issues relevant to older people, including public health and active lifestyles, safe warm homes, improving the lives of excluded groups, combating loneliness and isolation, working on age-friendly neighbourhoods, promoting digital inclusion and new attitudes to ageing.
South East organisations that have signed up for Age Action Alliance include:
· Age UK Oxfordshire
· East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service
· Hampshire County Council
· Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service
· South East England Forum on Ageing
· Kent Fire & Rescue Service
The Alliance welcomes new members and believes its success will in part depend on a broad and diverse membership. For information on how to join the Alliance: www.ageactionalliance.org website.
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