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Updates from our Recent PAiL Meeting – 5th September 2017

PAIL, in association with Age UK London (AUKL),  held an interesting conference on 5th September at the DWP offices in Hammersmith on age and employment and economic development in London, in partnership with DWP who presented updates on their 50+ strategy and the impact of the national roll out of Universal Credit.

There were presentations from David Anderson, Andrea and Corrine Gregory from DWP, from Chris Walsh of PAiL & Wise Age, and Gordon Deuchars from Age UK London. Please find these presentations attached.

The quality of the presentations and of the subsequent discussion were excellent but unfortunately the turn out was lower than we hoped.

In summary, it was made clear just how important the contribution of older people is to the economy and employ situation in London. The impact of both the silver economy and older working age employment is a key factor in the economic development and growth of London

There was also a very good explanation as to how the DWP is progressing with its 50+strategy and the impact of the roll out of Universal Credit (UC) in relation to older people. As 7 current major benefits are being rolled into one with UC this is both an opportunity for people to understand and receive their full entitlement in one package. It should simplify benefits including those of people up to 65. However it was noted that pension payments are not included in this new UC programme and thus will not directly affect those who are solely pensioners, but not receiving other benefits.

A matter of some concern to the 50+ is the fact that this new approach to universal benefits is going to be only online and digital, which as was raised at the meeting, is of considerable concern for those who are ‘digitally excluded’, which can include some of  those with mental or physical disabilities, older pensioners – particularly those aged 80+ – and those with low incomes / low levels of education. This is an issue which the 50+ will need to raise with the DWP to see if there are ways that both older people themselves and also staff can be supported to help those for whom online applications is not currently an option.

This event was finished with a group discussion where point of interest and concern of older people in relation to employment and older people was raised and is now being submitted to the Mayors office for their consideration while drawing up with their strategy for employment and econ dev.

See attached the submission we will be making.

This was the latest in our PAiL series of open events in which older Londoners can have their say om the key issues that affect them and also to provide an opportunity for us to have our say on the different Mayor of London’s strategies.

The next meeting PAiL is organising – this time in partnership with Age UK London and Hyde Housing – is on  Housing and Older People on 18th September, at 336, Brixton Road, London SW9 7AA, from 10.00 (Registration) to 3.30, with a light lunch available. Please click here to book your place.

 

PAiL Members’ Response to the Mayor’s Strategy on Diversity and Inclusion

Following our successful consultation event at City Hall on Friday 1st September, please click here to read Positive Ageing in London’s response to the Mayor’s vision for diversity and inclusion based on older Londoners’ feedback.

Upcoming Meeting on Housing – 18th September 2017

Positive Ageing in London and Age UK London invite you to an event on 18 September on the issues s affecting older Londoners and their concerns and demands relating to Housing.

At the moment housing is in crisis in London and the UK. Where are the new houses going to come from? What housing is available or being built for older and retired people? Where and when will affordable housing be made available to the hundreds of thousands in need of decent, secure, affordable housing in this city? How will older people living in tower blocks  be given the safe and secure housing they need? These and other questions will be addressed at this conference.

With the Mayor, Sadiq Khan, planning a new London Housing Strategy, come along and tell us what the policies should be for housing in London, in particular as they impact on and affect  older Londoners

The debate will be introduced by a range of expert speakers from key organisations talking about the situation at present affecting owner occupiers, private, social and council housing tenants, as well as those in social care homes – both private and public.

This will be followed by group discussions leading to agreed key principles and demands that older people from all types of housing tenure in London and will be forwarded to the Mayor and GLA

We are holding this event as part of a project funded by Hyde Foundation to explore older people’s views on housing.

The event will be held at 336 Brixton Road, London, SW9 7AA,  from 10.00 (Registration) to 3.30, with a light lunch available.

To find out more and to register, please visit the event website.

Hoping to see you and best wishes

Chris Walsh

Chair – Positive Ageing in London

PAiL Update – July 2017

This is to let you know that PAiL now has its own bank account, Age UK London (AUKL) has agreed to continue providing support to us until October 2017  and PAiL has an agreed action plan for the coming months.

We will be using a new email address for PAiL – in fact, if you want to get in touch please reply to positiveageinglondon@gmail.com – and will be updating our website and twitter page besides setting up a Facebook account.

We have 3 events planned as part of our aim to raise the profile of older Londoners, with our concerns, interests and the benefits which we offer and have our voice heard during the Mayor’s consultations over his strategies for London. You have either already received, or will be getting an invitation to attend each of these separately.

On 5th September at the DWP premises in Hammersmith  in partnership with the DWP and Age UK London we will be hosting a conference on the role and impact of older working age people and the silver economy as part of our input into the Mayor’s Economic Development and Employment strategy plus getting an update on the impact of the roll out of Universal Credit on older people.

On 18th September  in partnership with AUKL we will be hosting a conference in Lambeth on Housing and Older Londoners – again to have our voice heard as apart of the Mayors Housing strategy consultation.

The Mayor’s office have also asked us to help with their Strategic consultation by recruiting people to come along and join in some focus group discussions and we will be inviting older people from all the diverse backgrounds Londoners come from  to come along and be part of these discussions.

Finally we are looking to work in partnership with other older Londoner networks and hope to arrange meetings to see how best we can do this in the near future as well as looking for sources of funding. Anyone with any ideas please get in touch.

Updates from our Recent PAiL Meeting – June 2017

Following our recent meeting it was unanimously agreed by those attending – the founding members – to agree to set up Positive Ageing in London as an independent body and to agree the Articles of Association now amended.

We will be circulating the final Articles of Association in the near future along with the Minutes of the Meeting.

However  I wanted to update everyone who registered an interest or attended one of the last 2 meetings of  the agreed actions that will now take place.

We are in the process of setting up a bank account and have 3 people who will act as signatories but are in urgent need of a treasurer. The work will not be onerous particularly at the beginning as we have little income or expenditure at present but is vital for us to be able to open the account. We would welcome any offers from people prepared to take on this task.

We are also actively looking for sources of funding and would welcome any information or help in contacting bodies who maybe prepared to support us financially or running joint events In terms of events: Firstly we will be jointly organising with Age UK London ( AUKL) a series of meetings around the issues of Housing and Older People. This is a project managed by AUKL and funded by Hyde Housing  and will aim to feed in the expertise and concerns of older ( 50+) Londoners into the  London Mayors Strategy and consultation on Housing.

We aim to have the first meeting at the beginning of July in the Lambeth / Lewisham area and will send you full details when this has been arranged.

The co-ordinator for this project is Gordon Deuchars of AUKL  who can be contacted at gdeuchars@ageuklondon.org.uk.

We are hoping to have a number of expert speakers addressing these meetings and informing the discussion around different housing issues, including older people in private rented accommodation;  in social housing;those who own their own homes and referencing issues of downsizing, house share, adaptation plus issues of homelessness and of social care housing as well as co-operatives and other housing solutions in London.

If anyone has expertise in these areas and would like to speak or knows someone with such expertise please contact either myself or Gordon.

The second meeting planned is to be held in partnership with the DWP at the beginning of September and will cover issues around 50+ Employment and Self Employment, Ways to Tackle the  3.5 million 50+ currently out of work and wish to work as well as the Impact of the roll out of Universal Credit. While we have expert speakers lined up again anyone with specialist knowledge willing to be  a speaker should contact myself or Gordon The other event currently being planned is to have a Wellness Day – which will address both mental and physical well being-and again we welcome any input from people able to make contributions to this event which it is planned will be more a series of interactive events and group discussions and less  formal presentations.

I do hope that you will continue to support us, to become active members – we are still looking for more people to volunteer to join the committee, and at least come along and be part of our future events.

Best wishes

Chris Walsh

Chair – Positive Ageing in London

Upcoming PAiL Meeting – Friday 26th May

Dear Fellow Positive Ageing in London members,

This is to invite you to the next PAiL meeting which we hope will be both important and interesting.

The feedback from members to our recommendation that PAiL becomes an autonomous organisation registered as an Unincorporated association with its own bank account  was positive so we are now going ahead to launch ourselves as Positive Ageing in London at our next meeting at 2 pm on Friday 26th May at Age UK London, 6th Floor, 1-6 Tavistock Square.

The key decisions to be made are: who is to become Treasurer, Secretary, and Membership Secretary of PAiL respectively; who would like to join the Committee to help myself as Chair and Irene as vice Chair to carry out the important work we are committed to doing. We would welcome anyone to contact us to put their names forward for any of these positions as well as thanking those who have already said they are prepared to help. After that, we will get appropriate signatures needed to start our bank account.

Our next important decision will be to agree our fundraising strategy and action plan and to ask members for help in contacting suitable funding agencies and in preparing funding and partnership bids.

We are also pleased to say that Age UK London has now got the funding from Hyde Housing to hold a series of meetings to engage with older people  over the issue of Housing and Older People and to make a contribution towards the Mayor’s housing strategy – whose consultation process and strategy will be launched later in the year. We are happy to be partners with AUKL in this and help to organise,  promote and recruit participants for these events and even join a steering group.

Part of the meeting will include a discussion on how members wish to continue and solidify our working relationship with age UK London and how best this and other partnerships can work.

In addition we hope to agree at the meeting  the organisation and dates for other events including developing working partnerships with relevant organisations to help us hold successful events around Employment and Benefits for Older people and also on Wellbeing and Older People.

You can view the proposed agenda by clicking here.

All in all this should be an important and interesting afternoon. Please confirm your attendance to Gordon Deuchars, gdeuchars@ageuklondon.org.uk

We look forward to seeing you there

Best wishes

Chris Walsh

Older People’s Brexit Concerns Sent to Government and Parliament

After our joint event on Brexit and Older People on 11 January, the main issues and concerns that participants raised have been sent in a letter to David Davis MP, the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, and you can see the text here, and as a submission to Parliament’s committee on Brexit. Issues were raised in areas including health and social care services, equality and human rights, employment and training, access to goods and services, and the rights of older UK and EU citizens living in EU member states and in the UK.

PAiL Joins the EngAgeNet Forum

PAiL is now a part of EngAgeNet – the new national forum for older people comprising of 50+ regional forums from across England.

It was launched at the House of Lords on Monday 20th March 2017.

This is good news for older people and will help us to get our voices heard.

Since the DWP stopped funding 50+ regional forums there has been a lack of opportunities for we older people to be consulted or heard. Now that there is a new national entity – which was helped to fruition by the good offices of Lord Filkin – we have high hopes of getting the views and interests of older people better known and understood.

We are very pleased that PAiL has been invited to join and is now a part of this exciting new initiative.

 

Conclusions from the Brexit and Older People Conference

The Brexit and Older People event jointly organised by PAiL and the Age Platform Europe (UK branch) was held at Europe House on 11th January and was very successful.

The aim was to bring speakers with expertise on the issues facing older people during and after Brexit together to inform people of what rights, laws and benefits they currently have as a right under EU law and to ask people at the conference what they want to keep, what to lose and what to improve.

This, we think, was the first attempt to inform and involve older people in the Brexit process and to discover what their ‘red lines’ are.

It was clear from the discussion that many people are worried that basic rights may be lost and that key issues of concern include the following:

  • Keeping age and employment rights
  • Extending age equality to the provision of goods and services
  • Maintaining our health and care services by keeping EU workers in place as well as training UK people
  • Ensuring the rights of  existing EU citizens here and reciprocal rights for UK citizens in Europe
  • Keeping pension and workers rights
  • Defending consumer protection
  • Ensuring that the rights we currently have in EU law are enshrined in UK law and not just till 2020.

You can view the slides to four of the presentations given on the day by clicking each title below:

Additionally, click here to access the list of concerns raised in the breakout group over the issue of older people’s employment and pension rights.

We would like to see more such events organised in London and across the UK as we need to develop a plan for a People’s brexit and for us especially an Older People’s Brexit. Anyone who would be interested in such an event, please contact us.

Brexit and Older People

Positive Ageing in London and the AGE Platform Europe (UK section) invite you to a meeting to discuss the impact of Brexit upon older people. The full title of the meeting is “Brexit for Older People – What Does This Mean For Us?”

This meeting is the first of a planned series of discussions to ask older people (50+) what they want from a post Brexit UK, so that they can start to have their voices heard during the Brexit negotiations.

There will be a panel of expert speakers, who will outline the current rights and laws and initiatives that apply to UK older citizens at present and may or may not be transferred to UK laws, rights and policies in the future, as well as raising issues of concern for older people in or out of Brexit, including pensions, health and social care, employment rights etc.

This will be followed by a discussion involving all participants as to what are the key red lines for older people in both the negotiations and also the post Brexit Britain we will live in. This is part of an exercise to listen to and communicate with as many older people and their representative organisations as possible about what they want from Brexit- not an argument over pro or anti Brexit, or hard and soft Brexit, but to find out what issues matter most to older people that directly affect them.

The meeting will take place on Wednesday 11th January 2017 and will run from 13:00 to 17:00. To read all the details and to sign up for the event please click here.