Care home staff hit the street for ‘grey pride’ petition

Grey Pride at Ecclesall Road'Robert Dollin, Michael Gallacher, Jason Atford and Sue Benson collecting signatures
Grey Pride at Ecclesall Road'Robert Dollin, Michael Gallacher, Jason Atford and Sue Benson collecting signatures
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CARE home staff from Sheffield took to the streets to encourage passers-by to sign a petition protesting against the prejudices faced by elderly people.

Workers from Eagle House, on Stalker Lees Road in Sharrow Vale, collected signatures on Ecclesall Road to campaign for the appointment of a government minister for older people.

Jason Axford, who is leading the campaign in Sheffield, said OAPs ‘haven’t got a voice’, and said a minister would represent the elderly when discussing council cuts, pensions and care funding, as well as library and post office closures.

Jason said around 40 people signed the petition within half an hour of starting to collect signatures.

“People from all walks of life have been signing up,” he said.

“There’s no actual minister looking after the welfare of older people. There’s one for children and families but not one for the elderly - I think there’s a requirement for it.”

Jason said the reaction had been positive, and that Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield had offered his support to their cause.

“There are great numbers of people over 60 and yet there’s no-one looking after them, they haven’t got a voice,” he added.

Ana Lopez, aged 31, from Walkley, was one of the first to sign the petition, and said it was a ‘great idea’.

“The elderly do struggle. Young people don’t understand how elderly people have contributed to the UK during their lives,” said Ana, a support worker who looks after people with learning disabilities.

“Many decisions are made for them, for example they have to retire at a certain age rather than when they decide to. I think that’s a bit unfair.”

The petition is part of Grey Pride Week, run by Anchor Care Homes who own Eagle House, and will be handed in at 10 Downing Street once the national target of 100,000 signatures has been reached.