Childless older people in Leeds get voice

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A report which aims to give a voice to people who are getting older without children is to be launched in the city.

“Our voices; the experiences of people ageing without children” will be unveiled at an event hosted by Leeds City Council on Tuesday.

The event, organised by Ageing Without Children, will highlight experiences from what the organisation considers ‘a hitherto invisible group of older people.’ It will tell individual stories of people ageing without being parents and identify key themes and issues affecting them. The report aims to help organisations who provide or commission services for older people.

Kirsty Woodard, from Ageing Without Children, said: “While there has been extensive and widespread coverage of many ageing related issues, the issue of being old and without children has received virtually none. One in five people over 50 have no children yet there is little understanding, discussion or consideration of how this may impact individuals, services for older people and the wider community.”

Ageing without Children was set up in September 2014 to help people ageing without children live a later life free of the fear of ageing alone and being without support. Its first local group was established in Leeds in 2015.

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for health, wellbeing and adults, said: “With 20 per cent of older people not having children, there are many people in Leeds who do not have family to support them or to help them in the later years of their lives. While 50 is not very old, there is plenty of evidence to show that as we get older it can make a big difference if you have children to help out and even keep an eye on how you are as time goes on. I hope this event will give us the chance to explore positive ways to help in Leeds.”

The event takes place from 2pm to 4pm at Leeds Civic Hall and is open to the public.

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