Lewisham Pensioners Forum

Lewisham Pensioners Forum

At a glance

Causes

  • Older people / later life

Other details

Geographical remit: 
Local

Objectives

Lewisham Pensioners Forum works to provide a voice for people 55+ in the London Borouh of Lewisham. We consult our members on matters of interest and concern through bi monthly meetings and a weekly 'desk' at Lewisham shopping centre. We inform them of policy and service development and change through our bi moonthly newsletter. Members engage with policy makers and service providers in the public sector to help shape services, e.g.police, local authority, health and we campaign on local (NHS closures) and national (pensions policy, freedom pass etc) issues in order to make our voices heard. We are valued by our members (feedback), by local service providers and policy makers (being regularly consulted and serving on working groups to develop policy/services) as well as at national level by academics, (regularly providing qualitative material,ILC-UK; UCL) and at international level (Europen Union) where we share good practice and learn from others.

Activities

The Forum meets its objectives in a variety of ways:
Consulting and informing: Our bi-monthly meetings, attended by over 70 people have speakers on topics of interest and act as a vehicle for consulting and informing. At larger events organisations (public and voluntary) are also invited to have a ‘stall’ where they can inform participants about their services. The bi-monthly newsletter contains information on current issues to older people and is produced by a dedicated group of members who fold, stuff envelopes and deliver to cut costs. A small but growing number receive their newsletter by email. Every Friday a small group of members staff an information table at the Lewisham Shopping Centre. This enables the Forum to reach out to a wider group of citizens and learn of their interests and concerns as well as giving them up to date information.
Engagement and campaigning: As well as responding to requests to give views to the public services, members are also involved in local and national campaigns; for example, keep warm and well, dying matters and most recently the fight to save services at Lewisham Hospital which has brought a wider network of groups together.
Partnerships for financial litteracy and tackling the digital divide: Our recent 2year EU Grundtvig funded project has raised the importance of sound financial planning, the benefits of digital access and the need to beware of fraud and scams. We have partnered with City firms and national ‘financial help’ organisations e.g. Money Which? to hold local financial fairs where participants can get key financial advice and be directed to specialist help. In addition we have partnered with local IT projects to develop computer training using our own ‘tablets’ and delivered at a pace suitable for older people. This enables our members to access cheaper services on line

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