Wigan charity boss supports calls for a commissioner for older people

The boss of a Wigan charity has backed calls for a commissioner to represent the needs of older people.
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More than 70 organisations, including Age UK, Independent Age and the National Pensioners Convention, have joined forces to urge the Government to create a commissioner for older people and ageing.

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It is hoped they would raise awareness of the issues faced by older people and work with the Government to resolve them.

Bryonie Shaw, chief executive for Age UK Wigan BoroughBryonie Shaw, chief executive for Age UK Wigan Borough
Bryonie Shaw, chief executive for Age UK Wigan Borough
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So far more than 2,000 people have signed a petition set up by the campaign calling for a commissioner.

The petition states: “Across the UK, not everyone is having the retirement they'd hoped for. Many people in later life face challenges – these could be worries about having the money to live well, trouble accessing the right care and support, or experiencing ageist attitudes.

“Older people need a voice for later life, now and for the future. In less than 20 years, one in four of us will be over 65 – and so we need solutions to the problems people face in later life now, to help plan for an ageing population.”

Among the signatories on the petition is Age UK Wigan Borough, which helps people over 50 living across the borough to improve the quality of their lives.

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Chief executive Bryonie Shaw said: “We are living in an ageing population, a period of great demographic change, and Age UK Wigan Borough wants to shine a light on the many positive contributions older people make to our society.

"The pandemic has unfortunately hit our older population harder than any other group in society, it has highlighted many stark examples of ageism and we will work to raise public awareness of this deeply damaging form of discrimination.

"We support the call by Independent Age for a commissioner for older people and ageing, a role that is independent of Government, raising awareness and working to resolve issues that people face in their later life, bringing together Government departments to put in place solutions that resolve these issues, which would benefit everyone as they age.”

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