Happy Day of the Older Person!
Did you know that Thursday 1st October is United Nations International Day of Older Persons and that this year marks the 30th anniversary of the UN first declaring this date as a day on which to highlight issues affecting older people and to celebrate the contribution they make to society.
2020 is also the year that the UN are launching their ‘Decade of Healthy Ageing’, an initiative which brings communities together to deliver collaborative action to improve the lives of older people, their families and the communities in which they live.
We would normally mark the date by organising a celebratory event and in the past few years in partnership with Dundee Pensioners Forum, have closed a city centre street and marched with banners and a pipe band no less! to raise awareness of Older People’s issues and to celebrate our Older People’s Network in Dundee.
This year though, we are having to do things a little bit differently and we are going to need your help to pull it off. Everyone has a story to tell, so we want to hear yours!
We want to right the negative stereotyping that is happening as a result of Covid that all older people are vulnerable and frail as that is certainly not the case in Dundee with the numbers actively involved in their communities and volunteering in various roles all over the City. We want to use this opportunity to gather your stories and to celebrate Dundee’s older network.
We want to recognise you as individuals with your own life experiences, and want to show the younger generation that you can’t judge a book by its cover as you have all got lots of skills and experiences that the younger generation could learn a thing or two from.
Dundee’s Year of the Older Person
We have been working closely with Councillor Lynne Short as the Older Person’s Champion and have decided that we would like to dedicate this coming year from the 1st October 2020 to 31st September 2021 as Dundee’s Year of the Older Person! We’ve asked Lynne to raise a motion at Committee on 28th September, so fingers crossed the Council agree to this as we have lots of great ideas on how we can gather the voices of our older people!
Whilst Covid restrictions have understandably meant that we won’t be able to get together to celebrate, we do want to mark the event in some way, so why not join us from the comfort of your own settee at 3pm and raise a cuppa to celebrate. I might even push the boat out and have a bit of cake too!
We are planning lots of projects for over the next few months and into next year that will culminate into an exhibition and showcase of your stories at our celebratory event next October. Save the date and let’s give ourselves something to look forward to.
If you would like to help us to plan this event or have ideas for different projects that we can do in relation to active ageing, then please do get in touch as we would love to hear from you.
Spotlight on Older People’s Services – Dundee Pensioners Forum
We also want to a spotlight on some of our Older People’s Organisations over the course of the year. Since we normally celebrate UN Day together, let’s start with Dundee Pensioners Forum.
It’s been six long months since Forum members have been able to meet – but members of the Executive Committee continue to respond to issues and concerns raised by members – making phone and email contact with relevant organisations, investigating each query and trying to resolve matters in our members’ interest. Those of us who can, have also used the now everyday medium of video-link by Zoom or Microsoft Teams to attend virtual meetings, so that the Forum’s voice is still heard around the table.
Indeed, the views of Dundee Pensioners’ Forum were expressed recently at a virtual two-hour discussion between 10 older people from across the UK and four peers of the realm during the House of Lords Covid-19 Committee consultation.
We have also produced and circulated a fortnightly Newsletter to our members and others (12 so far since April) keeping everyone up to date with campaigns and news. Not quite business as usual, but we’re still here supporting and advocating for older people.
Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things
We want to hear from older people to celebrate the contribution that they make to our City as ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Whether you are a volunteer or are a kinship carer looking after you grandchildren in order to jeep your family unit afloat, then we want to hear from you and say thanks. If you would like to nominate yourself or someone else, then we would love to hear from you.
If you would like to be included in either project and would like to share your story, please get in touch with Rachel on 01382 305700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
In keeping with our story sharing, we are to be working in partnership with over the next few months to do some reminiscence projects. V&A Dundee are asking for our help to explore the significance of a vast postcard collection produced by former global printing firm J. Valentines & Sons of Dundee and wants to uncover stories from the firm’s print and photographic past – and they would like former workers’ help to record those generations of social history.
If you or your family worked at Valentines, they are keen to find out what your role was, what you did each day, and what the experience was like? What role did Valentines play in your life and how is the firm remembered across the city? Even if you didn’t work at Valentines, you can still get involved.
Anyone interested in getting involved should contact me on 01382 305745 or email email@example.com
See Me, Hear My Voice Campaign
Thanks to everyone who has shared their short bios and pics with us so far to launch the start of our See Me, Hear My Voice Campaign, you can view them below on out Facebook page. If you would like to be included in either project and would like to share your story, please get in touch with Rachel on 01382 305700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org