Older People's Reference Group

Elsie Richardson

What were your involvements before NDA?

Elsie Richardson

I was an administrator for the Prudential Insurance Company, for the last 5 years of which I was on the Executive of the National Union of Insurance Workers. I took early retirement at 58 and did some voluntary work at a children’s clinic. But then for the last 25 years I worked for older people. In 2000 I became a member of the Northumbria University research group on gerontology. I am also on the board of CHESS (Health and Education Users and Services) in conjunction with Northumbria University with a focus on carers. I am a member of the Pensioners Parliament which meets once a year in Blackpool when 2-3,000 pensioners gather. I am on the Board of Trustees of The Elders Council of Newcastle and on the OPAG group for Newcastle.

I am Vice-Chair of the northern region of the National Pensioners Convention. Since 2009 I have been the Chair for the North East Forum on Ageing, now called Years Ahead, and also in 2009 became the Chair for England of the Older People’s Advisory Group. In February this year I organised a conference organised only by older people and with 150 older people and 50 delegates from organisations attending, to identify what older people need. In July 2010 I took part in a new DWP initiative called The Older Citizens Sounding Board. I am also in the final year of a PhD and my thesis is “The Influence of Older People in Policy-Making in the UK”.

Why did you join the OPRG?

Almost as an experiment! It sounded good as those of us in Better Governance for Older People knew what we wanted, and we thought it would be a step in the right direction: to get more influence over those in influence around the country.

What has been the most rewarding part of being a member of the OPRG?

It’s very rewarding to be involved in research projects - I think it highlights some of the issues other bodies miss.

What would you like to see the NDA achieve?

We need much more publicity about what the NDA is doing, both nationally and regionally. I meet lots of older people who have never heard of it.


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