With AWOC Director, Kirsty Woodard and Justmandlilley's Trish Faulks
This is a webinar I was asked to partake in with one of the Directors of Ageing Without Children, Kirsty Woodard.
Kirsty is very passionate and knowledgable about the subject of childlessness. She spoke about the general statistics of those of us, aged 50 and over, who have no immediate family. Also of the direction many of the older/ageing childless can find themselves going, because of illness, lack of familial advice and the nervousness that can occur when one is ageing without children and alone.
The important news to impart was that AWOCuk is now a fully registered charity. Excellent news, certainly, and hard won.
My part in the proceedings was to give a very brief (never easy for me - brief) introduction about myself and then how both me and TED (talking, eating, drinking) organisation at Ageing Better, East Lindsey, Lincolnshire got together to start an AWOC group in our part of the country.
It seemed a straightforward operation but, if I'm honest, was a tad wobbly, at times.
Jane Berni, Principle Officer at TED Ageing Better, and I set off on this journey of ours together. We planned and we planned and...so on...
Eventually, after much deliberation we were ready with our first press release. Jane and Heather from TED, District Councillor William Gray ELDC and justmeandlilley (plus photographer Becca) met for the first time April 2021, at Horncastle Memorial Gardens, Lincolnshire. It was exciting for me and Lil as we hadn't been in proper contact with any other humans since March 2020.
I love the photo and so have added it to the page, below.
Jane organised a terrific Launch Event with excellent speakers, including Paul Goulden, Director of AWOC, Professor Mo Ray, head of Research Dept, Lincoln University, along with her colleague Dr Hayden Bird.
In the meantime, being of PR and marketing 'blood', I'd arranged an interview with Melvyn Prior of BBC Radio Lincs for Jane and I. We felt it was a pretty decent interview. In fact it's time for a follow up.
I also contacted our local MP, the Rt Hon Victoria Atkins. At least, I spoke to her constituency manager, Mark Storer, who spoke to her. She was interested and an online 'chat' was arranged.
This is where awoc time hit the buffers, for me, at any rate. And any of the 'struggling to top the tech' childless out there will get my meaning. Assuming we would be speaking via zoom I felt confident. After all, I'd been zooming now for a while. But wait...it was not zoom ...t'was TeamViewer. Convinced I'd got it downloaded I fiddled about with buttons on the laptop, whilst Mark, Victoria and Jane B chatted. I couldn't do it. I simply could not do it. Mark Storer phoned frantically. I pressed buttons, frantically. I could hear Jane B calmly taking it all in her stride. Devastated was not the word. Embarrassed was the word.
Her team were lovely. Mark assured both me and Jane that Victoria still wanted to speak to me (and Jane) in person. We are to arrange a coffee in our town of Horncastle (Victoria's constituency). So that is our immediate 'to do/arrange' job. (Not easy to grab an MP for a chat. You have to wait whilst they pass Bills and stuff).
What I'm saying here is this - no family no TeamViewer? Do you see? We childless have no family, be it son, daughter, grandchild, whoever, to show us how to do it. So many times I've heard friends say: 'Oh, our Chris showed me how to do it'. When you don't have an 'our Chris' you can be scuppered. Or, and here's the other rub, you pay someone to show you.
We've started our AWOC group and soon we will meet in person as we're gathering numbers to it.
And breaking news today is: a new AWOC group is starting up in Dorset.
So, if anyone fancies starting an AWOC group locally, please do it. Contact Kirsty Woodard at AWOCuk for the How To Start an AWOC Group Toolkit and off you go.
Or, contact myself or Jane B at my website address here, or Jane on www.lincsymca.co.uk. Q
quoting TED AgeingBetter East Lindsey. .
Just do it...please. We need new groups if we are to make a difference to social care for the childless.
Click the link below to watch the talk on YouTube.