The Thanet Over Fifties Forum (TOFFs) meeting took place on Tuesday, November 14 before a packed audience at Margate Baptist Church. TOFFS aim is to raise the voice of older people across Thanet on issues of local and national importance which affect the quality of their lives.
There were two guest speakers, Penny Wells, from WASPI (Woman Against State Pension Inequality) and Barbara Roberts, from CROP (Citizens Rights for Older People. There were also advisers and representatives from Thanet Community Wardens, Carer’s Support, Ageless Thanet, Kent Fire & Rescue Service, and Healthwatch Thanet, who were on hand to answer people’s questions and concerns.
WASPI is a national campaign group that fights on behalf of all the woman born in the 1950s affected by the changes to the state pension age. WASPI was started by five ordinary women and now has 3.8 million members nationally.
Penny Wells, who is the East Kent Co-ordinator of WASPI, said: “Can you imagine having planned for your retirement at 60 to be informed with as little as one year’s notice that you would have to wait another 6 years?”
Iris Johnston, ward councillor for Margate Central, added: “It was an excellent presentation by Penny (Wells) and WASPI to the Over 50’s Forum at the Baptist Church Cecil Square. It is vital our MPs support transitional arrangements and compensation for women born in 1950s who expected to retire at 60 and will now be 65 plus.”
After a short break, Barbara Roberts, Area Co-ordinator for Kent based advocacy charity CROP provided information and advice on benefits, Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance (DLA), and Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
If you could not make the meeting, but would like to hear the speeches you can do so, courtesy of KASPAAR Radio who recorded the meeting, by visiting http://kaspaar.info/TOFFS-recorded-meetings.htm or https://www.facebook.com/pg/ThanetOverFifties/posts/
The next public meeting is on Tuesday, February 13 at 10am (doors open at 9.45am) with guest speaker Steve Inett, CEO of Healthwatch Kent.
If you would like to find out more about TOFFs, and become a member (which is free and entitles you to six informative newsletters a year, on everything from scam awareness to local events), please email TOFFs@thanetvolunteerbureau.co.uk or call 01843 609337.