Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 24 September 2014

List of powerful OAPs released

Sir Mick Jagger is amongst the names on a list featuring the most influential pensioners in the UK

A "gold age power list" of the country's most influential pensioners has been published.

The list - which includes The Queen, 85, Sir Alex Ferguson, 70, and Sir Mick Jagger, 67 - aims to challenge stereotypes and misconceptions about older people.

It was compiled by charity WRVS, who said the UK's ageing population is too often seen as a "looming disaster" which is a "drain on society".

Other names which feature on the list of 66 men and women aged over 66 include writer Doris Lessing, 92, Glastonbury festival founder Michael Eavis, 75, and scientist Richard Dawkins, 70.

The 66-year threshold was chosen because it is the year at which people can claim their state pension and also because the baby boomers, born in 1945, turn 66 this year.

Lynne Berry, chief executive of WRVS, said: "A measure of society is how it sees old people, and in the UK there are too many negative assumptions about being old - that older people are a drain on society or a burden for the next generation. But this is simply not true.

"Our list demonstrates the extraordinary social and cultural contribution older people make and it was incredibly difficult to agree a final list of 66 people, as there is such a wealth of talent, contribution and impact older people are making in the UK.

"We want help make Britain a great place to grow old, with a society that has a positive view of older people and recognises values and capitalises on the contribution they can make - and we hope this list plays an important role in changing outdated attitudes towards older people and encouraging even more people to volunteer for organisations like ours."

The judging panel included comedian Jenny Eclair, writer Katharine Whitehorn, Good Housekeeping editorial director Lindsay Nicholson and writer and editor of Gransnet Geraldine Bedell.

Eclair said: "All of us are getting older and some of us will fall to pieces quicker than others, the WRVS provide some of the kindest and most efficient helping hands to those who need it most."

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