Pensioners gather to say 'Hands Off' our benefits

Michael Monaghan

Pensioners from across Northern Ireland are expected to gather in Belfast's Cornmarket area at 1pm this afternoon to make their voice heard on the need for universal benefits such as the bus pass and winter fuel payment.

The rally, which has been organised by Age Sector Platform to coincide with Older People’s Day, is part of a UK-wide day of action in support of the ‘Hands Off’ campaign. With the aim of defending the need for universal pensioner benefits in the lead up to the general election next year, the campaign has already been supported by over 70,000 people across the UK.

The Platform is on Facebook!

Facebook page

Age Sector Platform is now on Facebook, and with more than 200 people 'liking' our page within the first two days we're delighted with the response so far!

We hope over the next few weeks and months, our page will grow in popularity, and allow us to communicate with a whole new audience about issues relating to older people.

Visit our page by clicking HERE, and simply 'like' it to keep up to date with all our news, campaigns and events.

Older people's charities call on NI Executive to deliver on promise to stop age discrimination

Stop Age Discrimination

Representatives from Age Sector Platform and Age NI will today meet with Junior Ministers Jonathan Bell and Jennifer McCann to stress the importance of legislation to outlaw age discrimination in areas like healthcare, financial services and retail.  Age NI and Age Sector Platform are calling on the Northern Ireland Executive to progress with the legislation urgently to ensure older people are provided with the same protection as their counterparts in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland.  As the charities launch their position paper Stop Age Discrimination, they say action on

Platform says 'Hands Off' our bus pass

Francis Hughes

Following the announcement from DRD Minister Danny Kennedy indicating that funding for the concessionary fares scheme could be under threat, Age Sector Platform is calling on the Northern Ireland Executive to reassure older people of its commitment to the Smartpass scheme.

The charity which is responsible for the Northern Ireland Pensioners Parliament says defending the need for the scheme forms part of its ‘Hands Off’ campaign which also highlights the importance of benefits like the winter fuel payment and free prescriptions.

Running the Belfast half marathon?


Are you, or someone you know planning to run the 2nd Belfast Half Marathon on 14th September?  Why not run it for Age Sector Platform!

The money you raise will help us to improve the lives of older people in Northern Ireland by engaging with older people to identify the areas of concern to them, and supporting projects which will tackle these concerns.

We will support the efforts of runners as they raise awareness of Age Sector Platform and raise funds that will make a difference to the lives of older people in Northern Ireland.

Issue 17 of aspire magazine

aspire magazine issue 17

Issue 17 of aspire - Age Sector Platform's magazine - is now available to view online.

Inside this special edition you can read all about the 2014 Northern Ireland Pensioners Parliament, including the local parliaments and two-day parliament at the end of May.

Also read about the Heating Costs Report launched at the Parliament and find out about our recent meeting with the Secretary of State.

Platform responds to research on wealth and income of older people

Francis Hughes

Age Sector Platform has welcomed new research into the incomes of older people in Northern Ireland, and called for greater financial support for pensioners struggling to make ends meet.

The charity responsible for the Northern Ireland Pensioners Parliament, has commended CARDI for producing two reports which help to illustrate the economic circumstances of older people in Northern Ireland.

Half of pensioner households cut down on essentials like food to pay for heating

Heating Costs Survey

A new report launched today has revealed that one in two pensioner households in Northern Ireland has to cut down on other essentials, such as food, in order to cover the cost of heating.

The research will form the basis of discussions and voting during the final day of the Northern Ireland Pensioners Parliament in Belfast today, with a number of fuel poverty experts and a panel of politicians expected to respond to the concerns of around 200 older people from across Northern Ireland.

Health budget warning sparks Pensioners Parliament debate

Michael Monaghan

The Northern Ireland Pensioners Parliament will begin its two days of discussion and debate in Belfast today, with the hot topic of health and social care due to take centre stage during the first day of proceedings.

Following the stark warning from the Health Minister earlier this month indicating that patient safety could be at risk if the Department does not receive extra funds, the charity responsible for the Parliament claims it’s essential to gauge the opinions of pensioners across Northern Ireland about how they feel the process of health reform is affecting them.

Co. Tyrone Pensioners Parliament in Omagh

Co. Tyrone Pensioners

Pensioners from across County Tyrone gathered in the Silverbirch Hotel in Omagh yesterday for the last of seven local Pensioners Parliaments held across Northern Ireland in the last few months.

All eager to make their voices heard on the problems they face at present, the County Tyrone pensioners raised issues including community policing, energy prices, pensioner benefits and health and social care provision.