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Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington

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Councillor Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council

Honouring Our Community Heroes and Protecting Our Elderly

Thursday, 17 June 2021

Before I begin this week, I want to take the opportunity to congratulate the Tameside residents whose heroic efforts in their communities have won deserved recognition in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for 2021.



Pauline Town was selected to receive an MBE for going above and beyond in her quest to end homelessness and domestic abuse in Tameside. As well as running The Station Pub in Ashton, where she has been landlady for three decades, she has transformed the building into a hub for her “We Shall Overcome” organisation. Not only does she distribute food, funding and clothing to those who need it most, she has worked closely with Tameside Council’s homelessness team to help find permanent accommodation for a number of people, many of whom have then been able to find employment and turn their lives around. She has also raised money for a variety of causes by organising benefit gigs and fundraising events.

Local Tameside councillor Vimal Choksi has also been honoured with an MBE. Elected as the first councillor of Indian-origin for the ward of Ashton Waterloo and the first Asian-origin councillor in the whole town of Ashton, he has combined this with playing a vital role in a large number of organisations within the borough. This has included, but is not limited to, translating for MPs, councillors and community volunteers, and being heavily involved in the wider Hindu community in Ashton and Greater Manchester as well as building bridges between Christians, Jews and other religious groups in the area.

A British Empire Medal was awarded to Heather Shepherd on account of the work of her and her team at the Tameside East Foodbank. When the coronavirus pandemic hit, they worked to ensure their services were still there for those who needed them by amalgamating their three centres into one hub in Dukinfield, coordinating the movement and delivery of vast numbers of items and co-ordinating with other agencies. All of this took place while guaranteeing the safety of volunteers and users.

Two local community groups, “Our Kids Eyes (OKE)” and the Anthony Seddon Fund, were recipients of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Groups, also commonly known as the “MBE for charities”. Both organisations have worked closely with the council to put in place support, including group breaks and therapeutic activities, to improve mental health and champion disabled children.

It’s especially appropriate that we pay tribute to the work of these groups and individuals on the same week as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, which took place on Tuesday. A number of events have taken place across the week, unified by the theme of purple which is colour associated with the national campaign.

 

As the Lead for Age-Friendly in the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, I want to make our city region the best place in the country to grow old and be old in. And part of that mission is facing up to the unpleasant truth that abuse of the elderly can and does happen. Research carried out at the end of last year by the national charity Hourglass suggested that as many as 1 in 5, or around 2.7 million, people over 65 in the UK have been abused. While this can take the form of domestic or other physical abuse, it is by no means the only way that elderly people can be mistreated or neglected. Abuse can also take psychological, financial, or even sexual forms. Our website contains a large amount of information on identifying elderly abuse here, and our communications team have produced a powerful video here on how you can do your part to raise awareness of elderly abuse.

But if the first step in fighting elderly abuse is recognising it the second, and even more important step, is reporting it. We cannot assume that somebody else will take action, and even just one person standing up for the human rights of elderly people can make all the difference. You can contact our Adult Social Care team to share any concerns, in the strictest of confidences, at 0161 922 4888 or by e-mail at protectadult@tameside.gov.uk.

The recognition of Pauline, Vimal and Heather has shown the incredible work that can be done when we rally our communities around common values. In that spirit, let’s make protecting and valuing elderly residents in Tameside a duty that we all share. Not just for World Elderly Abuse Awareness Day, but for all of the other 364 days of the year.

 

Posted by: Executive Leader


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