The Director of Silver Voices, Dennis Reed, can be contacted for comment on any issue impacting older people by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Silver Voices is the only independent, UK-wide membership organisation representing older people, and our membership numbers and influence are growing fast.
RECENT MEDIA ACTION
RECENT SILVER VOICES QUOTES/ MENTIONS IN NATIONAL MEDIA
Sunday Express 6/6/21: Abuse by Carers
Daily Mirror 1/6/21: Breaking the Impasse on Free TV licences: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/pensioners-demand-end-deadlock-row-24230012
Daily Express 20/5/21: Psychological Warfare by BBC on over 75s: https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/1438744/bbc-tv-licence-fee-over-75s-letter-silver-voices
Daily Express 5/5/21: Broken Promises Over Social Care Reform https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/1432230/boris-johnson-local-elections-update-results-social-care-reform
SAMPLE PRESS RELEASE 30/03/2021
COUNCIL TAX FIGHTBACK ON SOCIAL CARE
As notices of above-inflation council tax rises hit letter boxes, campaign group Silver Voices is planning local fightbacks to highlight the social care crisis affecting hundreds of thousands of older people.
Councils will be raising council tax by up to 5%, at a time when inflation stands at less than 1% and millions of people are on reduced wages and income. They are being forced to do this by the Government to pay for the increased costs of the pandemic and particularly for adult social care. Ironically, however, social care provision by local government continues to be cut and older people are being asked to pay more for a lot less support.
Before the pandemic it is estimated by the charities that 1.6 million older people in the UK were not receiving the social care support they need, and it is likely that this number is now more than 2 million. Local authorities have progressively cut back on social care over the last ten years, as a result of reducing central government funding, and eligibility criteria have been tightened up to exclude all but the most critical cases.
The Government has repeatedly promised to sort out social care ‘once and for all’ but has taken no action. The Budget contained more references to animal care than social care, which gives an idea of the warped priorities facing older people. Local authorities have delivered a decade of social care cuts, with barely a whimper of protest.
Silver Voices is urging its members to rally round those older people who have been denied the support they need, by getting their friends and neighbours to sign letters to the local authority, threatening to stop council tax direct debits unless such cases are reconsidered. Silver Voices wants local authorities, including Tory ones, to ramp up pressure on the Government.
Dennis Reed, Director of Silver Voices said: “The Government has proved itself a serial liar over sorting out the social care crisis. They are responsible if local authorities are not delivering on their duty to support the most vulnerable members of communities. Why should we accept council tax rises at five times the rate of inflation when social care is being rationed? Our action is intended to highlight the realities of the social care crisis, with hundreds of thousands denied the support they need for a dignified old age. A few hours help with dressing, cleaning, bathing and eating would make so much difference in preventing loneliness, neglect and ill-health. The fight back on social care begins now”.
SAMPLE PRESS RELEASE
12/12/2020 SENIOR CITIZENS COVID-19 SURVEY
Over 800 members of the over 60s campaign organisation Silver Voices completed an independent survey, conducted through SurveyMonkey, on their opinions about the Government’s Coronavirus measures and their attitudes on issues such as Christmas visits and vaccines. Some of the key findings include:
- 65% of senior citizens judge the performance of the UK Government in suppressing Coronavirus as either “disastrous” (32%) or “poor” (33%)
- The devolved Governments fare a little better, with 39% judging performance “as effective as could have been expected in the circumstances”
- A massive 84% have no confidence that the current restrictions will prevent “a major resurgence of the virus in the New Year, necessitating further lockdowns”
- 72% consider that the measures for the five-day Christmas period are too lax
- 61% will not be mixing indoors with other households over Christmas despite being permitted to do so
- 60% judge that social distancing is not being widely observed in their areas
- By contrast 66% judge that the wearing of face masks is being widely observed in their areas
- 15% will not be taking an anti-virus vaccine, the main reason being “worried about personal safety at this stage” (48%).
Dennis Reed, Director of Silver Voices, who commissioned the survey, commented “As the group most likely to die from Covid-19, the views of our members should be taken very seriously by Governments. There is clearly no confidence in the measures being taken as sufficient to prevent a third wave; and the majority are not going to take advantage of the Christmas break as they consider it too dangerous. There is also a big job to do to convince even this most vulnerable group that being vaccinated is the best option for their health. The verdict of senior citizens on the woeful performance of the Westminster Government is damning, as it should be, with so many older lives lost unnecessarily.”
Silver Voices protests with Age UK outside Tory HQ in London about the scrapping of free TV licences for the over 75s
SILVER VOICES SURVEY ON A NO PAY CAMPAIGN BY THE OVER 75s WAS A FRONT PAGE STORY IN THE DAILY MIRROR