Older campaigners welcome age discrimination research

Age discrimination research

A prominent campaigning and lobbying force for older people has welcomed CAP research launched today, which recommends the introduction of age discrimination legislation in Northern Ireland, as further proof of the need for protection for older people in the provision of goods, facilities and services.

Age Sector Platform, which represents over 200,000 older people from across Northern Ireland, believes this legislation is needed to help older people overcome many problems they face in everyday life.

Crimes against older people must be addressed

The abundance of attacks on older people in the last few months has served to demonstrate that more protection is needed to safeguard the most vulnerable.  That is the message being stressed by a campaigning and lobbying force for older people in Northern Ireland, in response to a strategy currently being proposed by the Northern Ireland Office.

Age Sector Platform, which represents over 200,000 older people across Northern Ireland, has criticised the proposed community safety strategy entitled ‘Together. Stronger. Safer’, claiming that it demonstrates that older people appear to be well down Government’s list of priorities.

Thousands of pensioners call for action

As the coldest winter in years continues, unprecedented numbers of older people have been jamming the switchboards at age sector organisations seeking help with their energy bills.  Almost two thousand phone calls were made to age sector advice and information lines last week alone.  The majority of calls; made by pensioners from across Northern Ireland, concerned the recently announced fuel credit payment, and served to demonstrate the older population’s need for urgent financial assistance.

Fuel credit is step in the right direction

Can't Heat or Eat rally

Organisers of the Age Sector’s ‘Can’t Heat or Eat’ campaign today welcomed the fuel credit announcement from the Executive as a step in the right direction, but warned that many older people in need of help will not benefit from the measures.

Bill Carson, Chair of Age Sector Platform, commented: “We are pleased to see that some progress has been made since the ‘Can’t Heat or Eat’ rally at Stormont one month ago.  This one off payment of £150 will be welcome news for many pensioners struggling to heat their homes during these winter months.  However, ongoing barriers to benefit uptake will mean that tens of thousands of older people entitled to this payment will not receive a penny of it.”

Hundreds attend 'Can't Heat or Eat' rally

Can't Heat or Eat rally

Hundreds of older people from across Northern Ireland assembled outside Stormont today for the long awaited, and much talked about ‘Can’t Heat or Eat’ rally, in response to the increased cost of living.

The public rally was organised by Age Sector Platform, Help the Aged in Northern Ireland and Age Concern NI and allowed older people from across Northern Ireland to come out in force to make their voice heard on the issue.

Landmark day for older people

Landmark day

The unheard voice of the average older person in Northern Ireland boomed through the corridors of Stormont today, as a newly established campaigning and lobbying force for older people was officially launched.

Age Sector Platform, which aims to represent a strong and unified voice for older people, was launched by Junior Ministers Gerry Kelly and Jeffrey Donaldson, thereby securing the organisation’s relationship with those whom it will lobby over the coming months and years, on issues of concern to older people.

Age Sector launches winter warmth hotline in response to worrying statistics

A research report released today, revealing that older people in Northern Ireland are severely worried about how they will cope with the recent hike in the cost of living, has prompted the age sector to launch a new BT Winter Warmth Hotline.

The research, which was commissioned by Age Sector Platform, Help the Aged and Age Concern NI as part of their ‘Can’t Heat or Eat’ campaign, found that older people in Northern Ireland are planning on reducing their energy bills by cutting back on essential heating and electricity.  Nearly two in five (39%) people aged 50 and over claimed that they are planning to cut back on heating their homes as a result of current financial circumstances, with one in three (33%) planning on cutting back on electricity.

Can't heat or eat? Join the Age Sector's campaign

Are you an older person living in Northern Ireland?  Are you worried about how you will survive both financially and physically during the coming winter?  Do you think our representatives in Government should be doing more to prevent unnecessary hardship for older people?  Then get involved in the age sector’s ‘Can’t Heat or Eat’ Campaign.

The campaign, initiated by Age Sector Platform, Help the Aged in Northern Ireland and Age Concern NI, will ensure older people from across Northern Ireland can make their voice heard on the issue of the rising cost of living.

North West older people attend age discrimination seminar

The existence of age discrimination in Northern Ireland was the basis of a research seminar in the Magee campus of the University of Ulster last week.  The seminar, hosted by Age Sector Platform, presented research by Professor Brice Dickson and Lisa Glennon from School of Law, Queen’s University, from their report entitled, ‘Making older people equal: how to reform the law on access to services’.

Bill Carson, Chair of Age Sector Platform, welcomed older people from across the North West and those with an interest in the age sector to the seminar.

60+ smartpass: Not the finish line for older campaigners

Age Sector Platform welcomes the long-awaited introduction of the 60+ smartpass, enabling those aged 60 to 64 to avail of free public transport in Northern Ireland. This comes after today’s launch of the extended smartpass scheme by Minister for Regional Development, Conor Murphy.

Francis Hughes, Transport spokesperson for Age Sector Platform, commented: “The launch of the 60+ smartpass is a positive step and will allow many older people across Northern Ireland to become more independent and active in society. For many of our members, this launch signifies the finish line after several years of effective campaigning for this amendment to the scheme. However, we are not yet finished when it comes to fighting for better transport for older people.”