20 Jan 2016

Can you hear us if we have no children?

Health Wellbeing

The launch of “Our Voices”, an event tackling the experiences of people who are getting older without children, is being hosted by Leeds City Council.

The event at the Civic Hall is produced by the organisation Ageing Without Children and funded by the Beth Johnson Foundation, takes place on 26th January, between 2pm and 4pm at Leeds City Council's Civic Hall and is open for anyone to attend.

“Our Voices” details experiences and thoughts from what the organisation considers a hitherto invisible group of older people - those getting older but not having children. It tells individual stories of people ageing without being parents and identifies key themes and issues that affect them.

Kirsty Woodard from Ageing Without Children, explains:

“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.

The launch will be opened by Cllr Mulherin, Executive Board Member for Health, Wellbeing and Adults. She 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. And I know how much it can mean for parents to share experiences with younger family members too.

“So for people without that family support, loneliness is more likely and the need for other ways to be involved with the community becomes more important. I hope this event will give us the chance to explore positive ways to help in Leeds.”

For more information about Ageing Without Children or to book a place at the launch please contact Kirsty Woodard, Ageing Without Children on ageingwithoutchildren@gmail.com or visiting the website www.awoc.org.

Notes for editors

“Our Voices” details the experiences and thoughts of a hitherto invisible group of older people, those ageing without children. While there has been extensive and widespread coverage of many ageing related issues such as loneliness, dementia, pensions and the pressure on the NHS, ageing without children has received virtually none.

The aim of the report is to give a voice to people ageing without children so they know they are not invisible whilst helping organisations who provide or commission services for older people to think about and plan for a much larger number of people ageing without children

For media enquiries contact:

Leeds City Council Communications team