Lewisham Pensioners celebrate Black History Month

Tea & Cake

I popped into the Saville Centre today to share in the Black History Month celebrations put on by Lewisham Pensioners’ Forum. Tea and Cake from Around the World was the order of the day and it was great to see so many of our older citizens there to enjoy it.

The Forum had also organised a “hopes and fears” tree – everyone was asked to think about what they are concerned about today and what they think their concerns would be in the future, then to write it down on a paper leaf and to stick it to a cut-out tree (that’s what I’m doing in the picture above).

One of my big political concerns at the moment is about the environment and how we tackle climate change – it seems to me that it needs to be addressed urgently but I’m concerned that not enough is being done internationally (despite the efforts of our government). Whilst the talks at Copenhagen provide an opportunity, the US really needs to pull its finger out and I’m not sure the signs are too good.

In terms of my concerns for the future, I can’t help but think that in 5 or 10 years’ time, the needs of our ageing population are going to be even greater than they are today and I’m concerned that we are shying away from some hard decisions. The government has been running a “Big Care Debate” and has been consulting on how we might pay for elderly care in the future – one of the big problems though is that residential care doesn’t factor in these discussions and the costs of that, for some, are astronomical. So, “how we provide for the needs of our ageing population” was my concern for the future (although I guess climate change is a future concern too!).

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