I pledge to speak up for older people, at Age UK’s ‘Age Champions’ annual reception
On Wednesday 5th July I met with older people from across the country at an event in Parliament organised by the charity Age UK.
The Age Champions event was the charity’s annual summer reception and highlighted the challenges of an ageing population and opportunities in later life.
My fellow MPs and I heard how they can tackle issues affecting older people in Nottingham North and across the country, including loneliness and isolation, social care and the importance of a decent income.
The UK has an increasingly aging population which the Government seem content to let struggle, but here in Nottingham North we stand up for our older people. Labour’s election performance has already shown the Government that the public share this view, and forced them to abandon changes on the pension triple-lock and winter fuel allowance in the Queen’s Speech. I will continue to pressure the Government to provide the support they need.
Nottingham North is one of the most deprived constituencies in the UK, where people of all ages already struggle to get by, and support from the Government is often essential to the older generations who don’t have anything else to fall back upon in harder times. Indeed there are 6,214 pensioners living alone in Nottingham North, and 110 excess winter deaths in 2014/15 show how important it is that these people are made to feel safe, comfortable and secure at home. We can bring that number down.
That’s why I support Age UK and have pledged to speak up for the older people in my constituency.
Speaking at the event, Age UK Chief Executive, Tom Wright CBE, said: “I am delighted to say that we now have over 130 Age Champion MPs from all sides of the House and I hope that many others will want to join as this Parliament proceeds.
This new Parliament offers a great opportunity for policymakers to work together with organisations like Age UK with a view to ensuring that every older person can live with dignity and enjoy a fulfilling later life.
Issues like the fragility of our social care system and the chronic loneliness that affects too many are not going away and our older population badly needs us to find solutions for them”.
The event also heard from Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke, who spoke about the Department’s work, as well as the challenges and opportunities of an ageing population.
Throughout the event MPs learned more about how Age UK can help them to improve the lives of older people in their constituencies and make the most of their role as an ‘Age Champion’.