LEEDS Older People’s Forum is celebrating 20 years with a ceremony today at it’s city centre Oxford Place Centre.
Since 1994, the forum has aimed to promote the well-being of older people in Leeds, and to give a more powerful voice to older folk in shaping their city for the benefit of all its citizens.
They tackle health and housing issues, work on promoting Leeds and ensuring older people have a positive image.
The forum is a vital source of advocacy, networking and information for more than 100 voluntary organisations who provide services to older people in Leeds.
Bill Rollinson, MBE, chairman of LOPF, said: “It has been a very exciting and busy year for the forum. We are able to operate because of the quality and commitment of the staff at the forum and I would like to register a big thank you to Rachel Cooper, Sean Tunnicliffe and Maggie for all of their hard work over the last year.
“I would also like to thank the members of our management committee who work tirelessly for the benefit of the forum, the city and older people in Leeds and for
the continuing support we receive from Leeds City Council.
“The past six months have been dominated by the extensive work and consultations that were needed to complete a bid to the Lottery for £6M to tackle
loneliness and social isolation experienced by many older people in Leeds.
“We worked with a wide range of partner organisations and I was really impressed by the commitment and enthusiasm expressed by many individuals and organisations to work together to tackle this major problem.”
The annual meeting and 20th birthday event titled ‘Yesterday, today and tomorrow’ will include a scene-setting of the changes in the forum and wider attitudes to older people over the last two decades with several speakers sharing their memories of the forum and its early days.
There will be an inter-active creative session where participants will be asked: “What would you want life as an older person in Leeds to look like in 2034?”
Mr Rollinson added: “We are keen to get as many older people as we can to this event and see what the future may hold.”
The Leeds Dementia Action Alliance has also been established in the last year and is being run by the forum.