Pensioners campaign group floundering due to lack of volunteers

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A CAMPAIGN group for local pensioners is likely to disband due to a lack of volunteers.

The Calderdale Pensioners’ Association has been fighting for older people since 1991.

Members have attended numerous health, council and community committees down the years putting forward the interests of the elderly.

They have also attended conferences and demonstrations around the country.

Information relevant to older people is communicated to more than 200 members by hard-working committee members.

But, they are now in their 70s and 80s and the workload is too much - and younger pensioners are reluctant to take on the responsibility.

Chairwoman Joan Stocks said the officers would be stepping down at the March annual meeting.

“We have done it a long time and people in their 60s don’t seem to be interested,” she said.

“We have been the voice for pensioners but can’t keep it up now.”

The group is part of the Yorkshire and Humber Pensioners’ Convention and the National Pensioners’ Convention from which it relays information into the local community.

When significant changes happen - such as changes to pension credits - the association has been active organising speakers to attend local meetings of members.

“It’s a very active job we do and it’s all voluntary,” said Mrs Stocks.

She believed changing social trends resulted in people being reluctant to take on organising roles.

More pensioners today had commitments caring for grandchildren and pursued social interests but the heavy workload of a serious campaign group didn’t appeal, according to Mrs Stocks.

Executive member Gordon Landall, 79, said the association’s voice would be widely missed.

“We deal with items that affect pensioners,” he said.

“At the political party conferences pensioners have hardly been mentioned.

“It’s always hard workers, families and events - it seems pensioners are invisible.”