Firefighters Charity Appeal

Healthy ageing programmes for retired beneficiaries in the South West

The Fire Fighters Charity is piloting a community –based, healthy ageing programme for retired beneficiaries in the South West and is looking for participants who are interested in learning how small changes to lifestyle can have a positive effect on their physical and emotional well –being. The aim of the programme is to give support and information that will help to maintain or improve lifestyle during the ageing process and to connect with the Fire and Rescue Service community and the Fire Fighters Charity.

Why is the Charity offering community- based programmes?

Like the general population, the retired Fire and Rescue Service community are living longer and we want you to be able to enjoy your retirement. By coming into the community the FFC can reach people who might benefit from this type of preventative programme.

What will the programme cover?

The programme is based around healthy ageing and will cover topics such as physical activity, healthy eating and recognising and coping with stress. It will be presented in an informal lecture style with the opportunity for lots of interaction and questions.

Guest speakers will be invited to share their experiences in the Fire and Rescue Service and there will be information available from local organisations to support the topics that have been discussed. All the information will be made available on-line after the sessions and there will be the opportunity to comment, ask questions and share ideas through this forum. There will, of course, be refreshments.

Who is eligible to attend?

The programme is open to retired beneficiaries of the Fire Fighters Charity (this means anyone employed by the Fire Authority for five years or longer and their partners). The content of the programme will be targeted at the 60+ age group however; younger, retired members are also welcome. Partners can attend by themselves.

Where will the programmes be held?

Two pilot schemes are being held in Bristol and in Cornwall.

Cornwall’s pilot programme will run on Tuesdays at Tolvaddon Community Fire Station (TR14 0EQ)

Bristol’s pilot programme will run on Thursdays at Temple Fire Station (BS1 6EU)

When will the programmes start and how long do they run for?

The programmes will run from September (start date to be confirmed) and will run for seven sessions approximately every other week- finishing in December.

How long are the sessions?

Each session will last approximately 1.5 – 2 hours depending on whether there are guest speakers or lots of questions about the lecture. There will be a break for tea and coffee during each session. The sessions are scheduled mainly between 11.00 and 13.00.

How many spaces are there on the programme?

We can take between 12 and 20 people for each programme

What is expected from participants?

If you are interested in participating, you would need to commit to attending all the sessions if possible. We would also like to collect some data from you. This would include:

  • Basic details- name and age
  • Outcome measure data- these would come in a questionnaire format that you would fill in- and once collated the data would be anonymised. Data would be collected at the start of the programme and at the end and eight weeks after completing the programme.
  • All data collected would be stored in accordance with the Data Protection Act

What happens at the end of the programme?

We will ask you for feedback on the programme and its content. We may want to interview some participants to see what went well and where we might improve things if we were to run it again.

Is there a cost for attending?

No- the programme is free for you to attend.

If you are interested and would like to sign up to one of the programmes or if you would like more information, please contact:

Clare Hannaford. Email:

Telephone: 01626 853639


The support of retired associations in promoting the importance of continued regular giving amongst the retired community is absolutely vital. As our CEO Dr Jill Tolfrey says in the story that you’ll find on the link, the Charity is seeing an increase in demand for its services from the retired community as a direct result of our aging population. It is also needs to address a decline in its fundraising income, so your help in encouraging our beneficiaries to continue in their support of the Charity following retirement is hugely appreciated.

Web site:


The support of retired associations in promoting the importance of continued regular giving amongst the retired community is absolutely vital. As our CEO Dr Jill Tolfrey says in the story that you’ll find on the link, the Charity is seeing an increase in demand for its services from the retired community as a direct result of our aging population. It is also needs to address a decline in its fundraising income, so your help in encouraging our beneficiaries to continue in their support of the Charity following retirement is hugely appreciated.

Web site:!blank-1/pnt3e


Home visitor vacancies.



Fire Fighters Charity Clothing Collections

We have been alerted to a potential problem by one of our members, Sid Hogg from Cleveland. He recently got a charity bag for clothing from the Firefighters Charity asking for donations of old clothes and the bag would be collected a few days later. He filled the bag and put it out for collection, but when the van arrived, he noticed it was a bit tatty and when he challenged the person collecting the bag, he found him to be of Eastern European origin and they couldn’t understand each other. This aroused Sid’s suspicions making him think the collectors were bogus and profiting from the FFC. He contacted me for advice and I’ve made some enquiries of the FFC via Graham Bow and this is the Charities response.

Collection of clothing bags is done by a Sub Contractor and they do employ Eastern Europeans to work for them, but they should be wearing an identity badge or at least be able to produce one for inspection. The vans used for collecting should also have a magnetic Fire fighters Charity crest on the side so they can be identified as a Bona Fide vehicle.

NARF will be working closely with the FFC and they have told us if you wish to find dates and locations for collections in certain areas, you can do this by either contacting Kevin Biles from the charity on 01256 366566 or go to the FFC website on

This will give you up to date information as to where they are currently collecting. Thanks to Sid for his intervention.


2 Bedroom Properties to let.




I was retired on medical grounds from an "In Service" injury several years ago.

Then came the inevitable operation and rehabilitation. I know that many of you have suffered a similar situation, or even worse in terms of severity or incapacity, or perhaps it was a relative or dependent.

Well there is the "Fire Fighters Charity" (previously FSNBF) and they are there to help. Believe me when I say, "HELP", they are an incredible organisation and just like the Fire Service they are effective and efficient in times of your need.

The therapy and rehabilitation at Jubilee House and Harcombe House is a premier service to all of you in the land of retirement. Sometimes we are not aware of what is available to us but the information is there, easy to access by writing, phoning or e-mailing.

Free Phone 0800 389 8820 (call charges may be applicable from mobile and other networks).
The Fire Fighters Charity

I have had two fortnightly sessions of therapy, which have benefited me in a very positive way. I have also been able to have a period of relaxation also beneficial to my wife and me.

If you take a moment to look at the information on the Website you will be amazed at what is on offer. If you do not have Internet at home there is a free service at your local Library or you can phone free on the number above.

R. Whyte


Why not book a holiday at one of our 3 centres.



Spirit of Fire Awards 2012

The Awards were held in London on 19th October at the Park Plaza Hotel.

I was invited as President of NARF by the Fire Fighters Charity to present the prestigious Award for Lifetime Achievement.

The day of the Awards was not the sort of day one wishes to have in London. It rained all day with an accompanying cold wind, not for the sightseer. The evening made up for it with a wonderful attendance of firefighters and friends and family to cheer on the nominees and eventual Award winners.

I took the stage with John Parry, Chief Executive of the Charity and Nick Owen who was doing a grand job as MC. I had rehearsed my “lines” but had the assistance of a teleprompt in case I needed it!

The Award was won by Keith Rozsell MBE, a Company Member from Cornwall. A well-deserved winner who has given many years of time and effort fundraising.

I wish to thank the Fire Fighters Charity, on behalf of NARF for the invitation to present this Award. We have worked together for many years and will continue to do so in the future.

Fred Kinghorn. President. National Association of Retired Firefighters.


Remember, celebrate and share your memories of a loved one by placing a dedication at


Changes in Procedure

  1. The Fire Fighters Charity has advised that it will be changing the process for accessing their Recuperation and Therapy Centres.

  2. From Monday 5th April 2004 all applications forms for Recuperation and Therapy currently held by Brigade Secretaries and Occupation Health and Welfare Departments will be withdrawn.

  3. Individual's who wish to apply to attend for either recuperation or therapy will have to contact the Fire Fighters Charity on the number detailed below in order to request an application pack to be sent to their home address:
    Tel:-0845 240 6543

  4. There will be three categories of application pack:

    • Recuperation pack (for either Harcombe House or Littlehampton)
    • Therapy pack (for Jubilee House Therapy centre in Penrith)
    • Children’s therapy pack.

    Each pack contains the following:

    • Confidential Questionnaire including Data Protection Form
    • Medical Declaration Form and SAE for General Practitioner
    • Service Information
    • Brigade Secretary Name and Contact Details.
  5. Once the individual has returned his/her completed application pack back to the appropriate centre it will be checked for eligibility.

  6. The admissions team meet once per week and assess applications on NEED from the attendance criteria.

  7. The individual will then receive a telephone call or documentation from the relevant centre confirming:

    • Allocation of dates
    • Identification of needs
    • Clinical treatments, interventions.

    The following information will be sent to FFC Brigade Secretaries from centres to enable them to track occupancy and use of services from their areas:

    • Number of people from their Brigade who have attended Therapy or Recuperation
    • Names of people who are happy to allow Brigade Fund Secretaries to see that they may require recuperation, therapy or further assistance and
    • Contact details only of serving applicants.

Note: As a matter of process the Fire Fighters Charity will automatically send the individual's details to the Brigade Secretary unless the individual ticks the box on the form to indicate they do not want this to happen.


National VJ Day : London Saturday 15 August 2015.

The Firefighters Memorial Trust has been invited by the Royal British Legion (RBL) to identify and nominate members who may be interested in the National VJ Anniversary Commemorations being held in London on Saturday 15 August 2015.

The events are a Drumhead Service and Flypast on Horse Guards Parade (at 1400 hrs) a Veterans Parade down Whitehall ( at 1500 hrs) and an Afternoon Reception for Veterans and VIP guests at College Gardens, Westminster Abbey ( at 1530 til 1800 hrs).

Veterans will be able to bring along a direct family member or carer as appropriate.

The RBL are mindful that some veterans are sadly no longer with us or are unable to make the journey to London. On their behalf, there is an opportunity for one direct descendant to attend the Drumhead Service on Horse Guards Parade.

In terms of eligibility to attend the commemorations the requirement is that all veterans are BURMA STAR or PACIFIC STAR holders.

The Trust Cenotaph Director, Peter Cowland, has a supply of application forms so should you wish to attend, be qualified to attend or know of a suitable VJ Veteran please contact him urgently on 01727 865106 / 07775 673491 or send an email to The DEADLINE for applications is Friday 17 July, so please contact him as soon as possible please.


Firefighters Memorial Trust. Service of Thanksgiving. Wreath Laying. City of London. Sunday September 4th 2022.

For details see.




Many of you will know that I am the general secretary of The Firefighters Memorial Trust

I am also currently responsible for putting together the ANNUALFIREFIGHTERS INTERNATIONAL SERVICE OF REMEMBRANCE and Wreath Laying Ceremony in September of each year (pictures at ) Each year I rely on the assistance of others to ‘lead’ in organising certain parts of the day. I am so grateful each year for all the assistance that is given. As ever, the availability of people is constantly changing. Thus I am looking for some ‘new blood’ to assist this year. If you feel you could help in the following areas, I would like to hear from you

You must commit to availability in the City of London from about 09:00 on the appointed Sunday and, where necessary, attend a site recce prior to the event.

  1. A person to plan/control that part of the event in the Church. You may organise additional personal assistance if you wish. This will include producing a seating plan, guest welcoming, organising the offertory, staff briefing etc. in conjunction with myself, the trust Chaplain and the stewards.

  2. A person to plan/control that part of the event that prepares the catering for the bands and ceremonial personnel who attend. This generally works out at preparing tea/coffee/biscuits for personnel arriving between about 09:00 and 10:30. Preparing sandwiches etc. for consumption after the parade from about 13:30 to 15:00. This is undertaken at the City of London Boys School canteen and requires the assistance of 4 or 5 persons. Additional information will be made available to you as necessary.

  3. Persons to assist with item 2 above

  4. Persons to generally assist as Stewards, in addition to our ceremonial squad personnel, some at the Church, some at the Memorial.

I do hope that some willing volunteers are out there and I look forward to hearing from you.

Paul Settle MBE – General Secretary –The Firefighters Memorial Trust

Mobile: 07711766261

General Secretary.
Firefighters Memorial Trust.
4 Dukes meadow.
TN26 2HD.


Asparagus -- Who knew?,

From the Editor. I received this article from my mother, who is keen on homeopathy and natural remedies and thought it might be of interest to the readers. Read the article first, then read what I have written at the end of it, you might find it interesting.

Please read this document.


Mesothelioma and Exposure to Asbestos

My name is Jasmine McCarthy and I am a member of the Public Outreach Department for the Mesothelioma Prognosis Network ( As you may be aware, mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer caused from asbestos exposure.

We are teaming up with fire departments to help educate about the dangers of asbestos and how to avoid it. This can include how to spot asbestos (pictures), common locations, how to test the air, and even asbestos information specific to your community.

We have created the most extensive prognosis support and information source online.

For details go to the link

Public Outreach
Mesothelioma Prognosis Network


N.H.S. Direct is a confidential telephone service, staffed by nurses, who, for the price of a local call, will give advice on health problems or queries, or general information, on, for example, late night pharmacists or dentists. Call 24 hrs on 0845 4647. Visit website at:


Fragile bones, loss of height and fractures were accepted as part of growing old, but this can be protected against, and sufferers need to be informed about treatment. Visit the National Osteoporosis website at:


Influenza is a highly infectious viral illness. The best time for a jab is between late September and early November. If you are over 65, if you have a chest complaint, kidney disease, diabetes, lowered immunity or any other serious medical condition ask your doctor. For more information visit,


The onset of diabetes may produce obvious symptoms eg: tiredness, thirst, frequent trips to the toilet. Equally, diabetes can be insidious, causing damage to the body but showing no symptoms for a long time. The 'complications' can be serious, leading to, among other things, blindness, nerve damage, circulatory and heart problems. Early treatment can reduce the effect of complications. Be aware. Visit Diabetes UK at for information.


Travel health

The following information provides useful hints & tips to help you remain fit & healthy before during and after your break!


Each year about 40 million journeys are made from the UK to other countries and increasingly people are travelling to more exotic destinations including South America and Asia. What people often do not consider is that they are going from a safe familiar environment to a more hazardous and certainly an unfamiliar situation.
A bit of forward planning before a holiday can go a long way towards preventing health problems and preparing for any that do occur, so that the time abroad can be enjoyed without being interrupted or ruined by ill health.
The following is a guide not only to minimising the damage when illness hits, but also to maximising the fun when it doesn't.

Before travel

Forward planning: As soon as the destination and route are known, make sure that your know the health requirements for your journey. This means knowing the immunisations required for the destination and any countries visited en route, and any special health hazards that might be present. You can start collecting this information through your travel agent or from a specialist travel clinic. Useful information can also be obtained from those organisations listed at the end of this fact sheet.
Medical Advice: Immunisation can protect the body against many of the more serious illnesses that can be contracted abroad but they can take several weeks to take effect and provide the boy with maximum immunity. It is advisable to contact your surgery at least two months before departure for immunisation advice. Some countries require yellow fever vaccination in order to cross their border, the practice nurse or travel clinic professional will inform you if this is the case (sometimes you will be asked to go to a special centre to obtain the yellow fever vaccine as not all centres are approved to give this). There may be a charge for some immunisations.
If you have children, don't forget to check their immunisations too.

Malaria prevention

Over 2000 UK people contracted malaria abroad in 1997 of whom 12 died, and with ever increasing travel this is likely to increase in the future. Most cases of malaria occur in people who do not take adequate preventative measures. It is therefore important to do as much as possible to avoid contracting the disease.
The chief means of preventing malaria is to avoid being bitten by a mosquito in he first place because anti-malarial tablets do not provide 100% protection against the illness. Measures such a insect repellant, clothes which cover most of the body and mosquito nets at night are very important in areas prone to malaria.
You will need advice (eg through a travel clinic or GP) about what kind of malaria tablets are required for the part of the world being visited since in some countries the malaria parasite is resistant to the usual malaria prevention medication. Many kinds of malaria prevention medication can be bought over the counter at the pharmacy, but it is important to know which ones to obtain. Follow the instructions given to you about the medication because malaria prophylaxis (prevention) needs to be started before travel and continued for several weeks after returning home.
If someone develops an illness with a fever after travelling to a country where malaria exists medical advice should be sought, even if malaria prophylaxis tablets have been taken. It is still possible that malaria has developed,whichif diagnosed and treated early enoughis almost always treatable.
Current medical conditions and treatment: It is a good idea to discuss any significant health problems with the doctor or nurse giving the travel vaccines in case you need particular advice regarding your condition. It is also sensible to take an adequate supply of essential medication with you, although for travellers going abroad for a long time it is wise to check how much you are able to take. NHS doctors are restricted in the amount of medication they are allowed to prescribe for people going abroad for many months.
A clear record of any current medical condition, drug treatment and allergies is useful to take with you and it is best to record the generic or actual drug name, not just the brand name. Keep prescribed medication in its original labelled container at all times. If necessary, take a printout or surgery-stamped record of the prescription medication and keep it with the drugs. This will present no problems at the customs gate.
Dental check up: Dental work can be expensive and difficult to obtain abroad, so make sure your teeth are healthy with a dental check up at least a month before departure.

Travel kits

Two sorts of kits should be carried, a first aid and an emergency kit.
First Aid Kit: This needs to be small and portable and should contain the following.

  • If you have any medical conditions requiring urgent self-administered treatment (such as inhalers for asthma, or serious allergy needing adrenaline injections or spray), then a supply of your emergency medication should be in this kit.
  • A packet of adhesive dressings for minor cuts.
  • Insect repellant. This is absolutely essential in hot countries not only to lessen the misery of insect bites but also to reduce the risk of malaria, yellow fever and dengue haemorrhagic fever , all carried by infected mosquitos, and tick-borne encephalitis. The best types contain a chemical called DEET (diethyloluamide). This comes in various strengths. Higher strength is for adults, applied on clothing and exposed skin, the lower strength for children, to be applied mainly to clothing.

Emergency kit: This is a more comprehensive and larger kit to cover the most frequent health problems. A survey of travellers over a 12 year period has highlighted that 63% come home with no medical problems The other 37% could have minimised their problems with a good emergency kit. This kit should be tailored to your own personal medical needs, for example, if you suffer from severe reactions to insect bites, pack hydrocortisone cream; if you suffer from motion sickness, pack travel sickness medication etc.
So as not to be caught if your luggage ends up on the other side of the world, split the contents between two bags. It is easy to end up packing a huge amount of stuff, most of which will not be needed. It is sensible to pack items aimed at the health problems you are most likely to encounter.

Common problems and essential items
First aid: Take a pack of assorted plasters; a crepe bandage for supporting minor sprains; a small pack for padding bleeding wounds; a roll of surgical tape for fixing the bandage and gauze; a dry antiseptic spray for sealing wounds (which is very important in the tropics where wounds fester easily); sharp scissors and tweezers (useful for removing splinters, sea urchin spines and other foreign objects); a few safety pins and some painkillers.
Diarrhoea: Travellers tummy is very common. Take something to calm the bowel down. Loperamide is a good example, and though it doesn't treat the cause, it reduces the inconvenience and misery of diarrhoea, making travel possible. The main risk of diarrhoea is dehydration, especially so in hot countries. The simplest and easiest way to replace the lost salt and water is to use rehydrating solutions. These are widely available as sachets of powder or effervescent tablets. Alternatively prepare your own solution, by mixing one litre of boiled, filtered water, with eight teaspoons of sugar and one further teaspoon of salt.
Insect itch: Hydrocortisone 1% cream and antihistamine tablets are available over the counter in pharmacies, and provide effective relief for insect bites and stings. Seriously consider a mosquito net and mosquito killer to prevent contact. Mosquito repellant (containing DEET) is essential. Anti-malarial medication as advised.
Sun safety: Take a sunscreen cream or lotion to prevent sunburn and reduce the risk of skin cancers in later life. Pack an anti UVA and UVB (referring to the two types of ultraviolet ray) sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. The most effective ones contain the highly reflective substance Titanium Dioxide. Sunscreens are the second line of defence; the first is to cover up well with clothing, and wear a hat of closely-woven material (ie not straw).
Fungal infections: Athletes foot, Dhobi itch, and related fungal skin complaints are very common in humid climates. Take an effective antifungal cream (eg clotrimazole) and a zinc oxide talc for dusting on the skin and in shoes.
Tooth trouble: Unless you have special expertise, avoid dental DIY repair kits. A simple measure is to fill any cavity with sugar-free chewing gum until you return home.
HIV and Hepatitis: The virus causing these diseases are transmitted in body fluids through immediate contact in unsafe sex or medical procedures, such as unclean instruments in surgery. Take a supply of condoms if casual sex is likely. If traveling to areas with poor healthcare facilities you may wish to take a prepacked sterile kit of needles, syringes and sutures, which can be used by medical personnel on you. These are available at your local pharmacy.

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
There has been a lot of publicity about the risks of blood clots in the legs as a result of long-haul flights, so-called 'economy class syndrome. A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a clot which forms in the veins of the legs which run deep inside the leg ie not superficial veins which are visible under the skin. The danger of a DVT is that part of the clot can occasionally break off and become lodged in the lung (something called a pulmonary embolus or PE). This can be dangerous depending on how large the clot is and where it lodges itself.
There are several things that can make a DVT more likely to happen, one of which is reduced blood flow such as occurs in the legs when someone sits in one position for any length of time. As a result, some people have developed DVTs after long air flights. However, thromboses can occur after any long journey in a car, coach or train and so far there is no evidence to suggest that flying is in itself a specific risk factor.
Studies have shown that most DVTs occur in people who have at least one other risk factor for thrombosis. These include:

  • Previous personal or close family history of thrombosis.
  • An abnormality of the blood clotting factors.
  • Certain forms of heart disease such as abnormalities of the heart rhythm or the valves of the heart.
  • Current malignant disease.
  • Hormone treatment including the oral contraceptive pill or oestrogen-containing hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
  • Pregnancy.
  • Recent major surgery.
  • Recent immobility in the previous day(s).
  • Dehydration, smoking or obesity may also play a part in increasing the risks.

The symptoms and signs of a DVT are pain and swelling in one (or rarely both) calves. The leg may also have a different colour to usual due to the congestion of the veins as a result of the back pressure produced by the blockage. If in doubt, seek urgent medical advice.

There are some measures that can reduce the chance of developing a thrombosis including:

  • Performing regular leg exercises such a moving the feet and stretching the arms and legs or occasionally walking up and down the aisle (but not so often as to annoy the other passengers or cabin staff!).
  • Trying to avoid crossing your legs since this exacerbates the 'pooling' of blood in the legs.
  • Maintaining a good fluid intake (preferably not alcoholic since this can actually lead to a degree of dehydration).
  • Avoiding smoking .

In otherwise healthy people there is a degree of controversy as to whether or not taking aspirin before the flight is truly preventative and it does carry a small risk of bleeding from the stomach. However, those people with particular risks of developing thrombosis should discuss with their doctor whether or not they should take aspirin or use other preventative measures such as wearing special socks or taking additional anti-clotting medication.

Am I fit to fly?
As air travel is so commonplace, most people do not even consider whether or not they are fit to fly. Generally, flying is safe for most people but all aeroplanes suffer some loss of cabin pressure at cruising height, which in turn can reduce the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere of the cabin. For the majority of traveller s this is of no concern and will not affect their health, but airlines may refuse to allow passengers to fly with the following conditions:

  • Significant lung conditions causing breathlessness at rest.
  • Significant heart failure.
  • Recent major surgery such as abdominal, chest or head operations.
  • Newborn babies only a few days old.
  • Pregnant women from 36 weeks of pregnancy onwards.
  • Uncontrolled epilepsy.
  • Severe sinus or ear infections.
  • Recent pneumothorax (collapsed lung).
  • Recent heart attack.
  • The possibility of a transmissible disease.
  • Significant uncontrolled psychiatric disease.

If you are in doubt about your fitness to fly, consult the airline or your GP.
Return from holiday If you were treated abroad, declare your medication in customs on return to the UK; it may not be legal to bring it in to the country.
Remember to continue and finish your course of anti-malarials on return.
If you have diarrhoea on return and your job involves food handling, tell your employer as soon as possible.
If you were ill abroad, submit a note of the illness, with as much medical information as possible to your GP on your return.
If you fall ill after returning, remember to tell your doctor where you have travelled.


  • Passport.
  • Form/card E111, where appropriate (for EEC countries). Available on application through a post office.
  • Proof of UK residence such as a drivers licence or NHS card.
  • Vaccination certificates.
  • Travel insurance documents. It is very important to obtain suitable travel insurance before you travel, since in many countries of the world, medical treatment has to be paid for and can add up to thousands of pounds depending on the treatment required.
  • Record of the serial number of travel tickets.
  • Record of passport number and date issued.
  • Record of credit card numbers.
  • Record of driving licence number.
  • Serial number of travel insurance policy and a note of the emergency contact number.

Cost of treatment abroad
Check eligibility for free treatment or costs of treatment (travel agent.).

Travel kits
Assemble and pack within a month of departure.

Things to remember abroad
Take a list of medical problems, allergies and treatments (generic drug names). Make a list of any treatments received abroad.

Keep all receipts for treatments or drugs if you wish to make a claim on your travel insurance.

British Consulate

  • Keep names and addresses of friends and relatives with your passport so that the British Consulate can contact them if necessary. They may be able to help you return to the UK quickly but remember you will have to bear the costs.
  • Remember that the British Consulate is not able to pay any bills, including hotel or hospital bills, act as a travel agent, pay for travel, or give any legal advice or interfere with the legal proceedings of the country concerned. It is your own responsibility to organise these things for yourself.

Where can I get further information?

Foreign and Commonwealth Office:
King Charles Street London SW1A 2AH Travel Advice: 020 7008 0232/0233 Main switchboard / General enquiries: 020 7270 1500 Consular Enquiries: 020 7008 0218 Visa enquiries: 020 7238 3838

Hospital for Tropical Diseases:
Mortimer Market Capper Street London WC1E 6AU Travel Clinic Healthline: 0839 337733
Malaria Healthline: 0891 600350

MASTA (Medical Advisory Service for Travellers Abroad):
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine London WC1E 7H 24 hour Travellers Healthline: 0891 224100 Administration: 020 7837 5540

Vaccination Information (Health Action Network):
Patrick Holdsworth PO Box 43 Hull HU1 1AA Telephone: 01482 562079 Email: Website:


You will have read in Narf News the article regarding Disability Allowance. There are many benefits to which you may be entitled. Do not miss out. Many millions of pounds go unclaimed each year. Make sure that you contribute to this. Claim everything to which you are entitled. You have worked for it. Booklets GL23 SD1 and RM1 are available from your local Post Office and explain many benefits. If you need further advice or assistance contact webmaster with your name, address and a contact no, or any branch, district or national office.


The NPC has published a number of booklets which will be of interest to members. ""Backing the Basics - What MPs think about pensions policy ""and"" Long Term Care and the National Health Service"" are available at £1 each from the:

Walkden House
10.Melton Street
Tel: 020 73830388


The Second World War Experience Centre at Leeds has been created to save a crucial part of our heritage. Countless letters, diaries etc are lost each year, despite the efforts of national war collections, regimental museums and local history bodies. Many documents are discarded, under the impression they are of no interest. How often have we wished that we had spoken to a relative about their life experiences, before it was too late? The centre would like to hear from anyone who lived through the 2nd World War and who has any documents they would be willing to donate, or would have their personal experiences tape-recorded, by a volunteer, in their own home. The Centre is interested in all walks of life - Fire Service, military, civilian, childhood memories, it matters not. Do not allow this material to be lost.

The Second World War Experience Centre
5 Feastfield
LS18 4TJ
Tel/Fax: 0113 2584993
Or contact the Webmaster

The Human Rights Act (HRA) which came into force October 2000, gives United Kingdom citizens the right to bring cases for breaches of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in United Kingdom (UK) Courts, rather than having to take such cases to the European Courts in Strasbourg, a much longer process. The UK Courts will now have to interpret legislation in a way which gives effect to the Convention.
The ECHR is an international treaty to which the UK is a signatory. It guarantees the civil and political rights of citizens. Some additions (Protocols) have been added since the treaty came into force in 1950.

There are 16 basic rights and some of these are:-

  A.2. The right to life.
  A.3. Prohibition of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
  A.4. Prohibition of slavery and forced labour.
  A.5. The right to liberty and security.
  A.6. The right to a fair and public hearing in the determination of civil rights and obligations.
  A.7. No punishment without law.
  A.8. The right to respect for private and family life, home and correspondence.
  A.9. Freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
  A.10. Freedom of expression.
  A.11. Freedom of assembly and association.
  A.12. The right to marry and found a family.
  A.14. The prohibition of discrimination in securing convention rights on any grounds such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status.

The First Protocol

  A.1. The right to peaceful enjoyment of possessions.
  A.2. The right to education.

The Sixth Protocol

  A.1. The abolition of the death penalty.

The HRAct applies to 'Public Authorities' which must act in a way which does not conflict with the Convention. These authorities must take into account your rights under the Convention when making decisions which effect you. For example, Article 2 would be important if a Health Authority denied someone life saving medical treatment and Article 8, where decisions affect someones right to remain at home, such as when a local authority will only provide services in a residential home or when closing such a home.

One of the first practical applications of the Act is that of a widow who had her firefighter's widows pension stopped on remarriage and is now bringing a case against the pension authority to get her pension restored. I am sure that all NARF members join with me in wishing her every success. I will be keeping you informed of the progress of the case.
The Govt. has published a free booklet about the Human Rights Act which can be obtained by phoning 0845 600 1151. There is also a website where you can obtain more information:
My grateful thanks to Age Concern England, from whose leaflet came much of this information.
Bill Meaden.


For information & advice

For information and advice regarding government services, including state pensions, taxes and benefits, go to DirectGov Uk


National Council Meeting and Annual General Meeting.
April 14th and 15th. 2018.
OL9 8DE.


Members of the National Council will meet on Saturday 14th April 2018.


ALL MEMBERS of National Association of Retired Firefighters are invited to attend
the Annual general Meeting which will take place at 1100 hrs on Sunday 15th April 2018.


National Council Meeting.

Cairn Queensferry Hotel,
St. Margarets Head,
North Queensferry,
KY11 1HP

Saturday April 16th 2016


Annual General Meeting.

Cairn Queensferry Hotel,
St. Margarets Head,
North Queensferry,
KY11 1HP

11.00am Sunday 17th April 2016

All Members are invited to attend.


Pension Scheme: Commutation Factors. Document.



NARPO are pleased to note that we have now received a response from the Treasury in which they confirm that the Government accept the determination in full - not only in relation to Mr Milne but also in relation to the other individuals potentially affected by the determination. 

They also confirm that Police and Firefighter Pension Scheme Administrators are now working to identify affected individuals and will ensure that payments are made as soon as possible.

We would encourage Members to be patient in this matter and not overburden Administrators with queries at this stage allowing them to get on with the task in hand as quickly as possible without distraction.

See more at:


National VJ Day : London Saturday 15 August 2015.

The Firefighters Memorial Trust has been invited by the Royal British Legion (RBL) to identify and nominate members who may be interested in the National VJ Anniversary Commemorations being held in London on Saturday 15 August 2015.

The events are a Drumhead Service and Flypast on Horse Guards Parade (at 1400 hrs) a Veterans Parade down Whitehall ( at 1500 hrs) and an Afternoon Reception for Veterans and VIP guests at College Gardens, Westminster Abbey ( at 1530 til 1800 hrs).

Veterans will be able to bring along a direct family member or carer as appropriate.

The RBL are mindful that some veterans are sadly no longer with us or are unable to make the journey to London. On their behalf, there is an opportunity for one direct descendant to attend the Drumhead Service on Horse Guards Parade.

In terms of eligibility to attend the commemorations the requirement is that all veterans are BURMA STAR or PACIFIC STAR holders.

The Trust Cenotaph Director, Peter Cowland, has a supply of application forms so should you wish to attend, be qualified to attend or know of a suitable VJ Veteran please contact him urgently on 01727 865106 / 07775 673491 or send an email to The DEADLINE for applications is Friday 17 July, so please contact him as soon as possible please.


Narf public surveillance leaflet.


Mesothelioma and Exposure to Asbestos

My name is Jasmine McCarthy and I am a member of the Public Outreach Department for the Mesothelioma Prognosis Network ( As you may be aware, mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer caused from asbestos exposure.

We are teaming up with fire departments to help educate about the dangers of asbestos and how to avoid it. This can include how to spot asbestos (pictures), common locations, how to test the air, and even asbestos information specific to your community.

We have created the most extensive prognosis support and information source online.

For details go to the link:

Public Outreach
Mesothelioma Prognosis Network


For information

Early day motion 768 - FIREFIGHTER AND POLICE PENSIONS - UK Parliament


SFRS Court Case

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has admitted health and safety breaches in connection with the death of an Edinburgh firefighter.

Ewan Williamson died in July 2009 after becoming trapped when tackling a blaze at the Balmoral Bar on Dalry Road.

The Fire Service had faced three charges under the Health and Safety at Work Act, including a failure to prioritise the 35-year-old's rescue.

The charges also covered failures of the Fire Service communications system.

Firefighter Williamson was the only firefighter in the history of the Lothian and Borders Fire Service to die tackling a blaze.

Scottish Fire and Rescue took over from the eight regional Fire Services in 2013.

Firefighter Williamson became trapped in conditions of zero visibility and extreme heat as he was deployed at the incident on 12 July 2009.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service pleaded guilty to a single charge arising from the incident.

It admitted failing to provide firefighters, including Firefighter Williamson, with a system of work that was, so far as reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health.

It failed to have in place effective systems of radio communication and implementation of procedures for firefighters using breathing apparatus on the date of the incident.

It also admitted failing to adequately monitor and ensure attendance by firefighters at training courses and adequately training them to ensure that close personal contact was maintained during firefighting and search and rescue operations in the year leading up to Firefighter Williamson's death.

As reported by BBC Scotland.


Tyne and Wear Fire & Rescue; an illustrated history.

Available at

A Donation to The FIREFIGHTERS CHARITY with every Book Purchased.


My name is Andrew Whiley, I am the chairman of the Brighton and Worthing branch of the MS Society. We are a small team that help peaple affected by MS. We undertake many things from providing support, fundraising and organising events
We operate a large mini bus mainly providing transport to events or days out. However, we currently only have two driver providing services in their spare time. This restricts what we can do and we are desperate to get more drivers..
The bus is kept in Worthing and if you would like to get involved in a very rewarding role,please contact me on 0776 554 2551..
Many thanks.


40th Anniversary of Fire Serve college
For details go to the link:


Older workers to learn how much 'flat-rate' state pension they'll get.

The statements will give an important indication as to whether workers need to act to top up their contributions.

Read the full story:



Retired firefighter Mick Mottram receives the MBE for services to local government. The 69 year old retired from South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service in June after 50 years, including 32 as a front line firefighter. He was its longest serving employee ever.

The father of two and grandfather of five from Dronfield worked at Division Street, Mansfield Road, Wellington Street and Lowedges Stations, ending up as head equipment officer, overseeing introduction of gas tight chemical protection suits and mask radio communications. His son Jonathan has followed in his footsteps and works at Mansfield Road, Intake. Chief Fire Officer Jamie Courtney said: ""Everyone is delighted for Mick. This is a fitting end to his retirement year.

Letter of congratulation.


It has been reported to NARF that there is being circulated an email purporting to be from Fedex the delivery company. It states that the accompanying receipt should be printed off and taken to the Post Office. Do not under any circumstances attempt to print this as your computer’s security system could be breached.
The Fedex websites carries a warning about this hoax.


Please be advised that the 70th Anniversary Badge is being dispatched from the Firefighters Charity to all of the Charity’s area and local representatives and should be available for purchase within the next week beginning 8th April 2013.

If Branches wish to order directly from the Charity rather than obtaining them locally then they should contact : with the following information :-

Number of badges required.
Numbers with backing cards/without backing cards.
Named person and contact number to receive parcel.
Email address of contact to confirm dispatch.
Fire & Rescue Service/NARF Branch.
Delivery address, parcels will require signature.

£1.00 minimum donation - to be worn on St Florian's day, 4th May.


NHS programme for men over 65 years. There is no upper age limit. For background info please go to


The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service are to be prosecuted by the Crown Office under Health and Safety Legislation regarding the death of Firefighter Ewan Williamson in Edinburgh in 2009.

Ewan lost his life attending an incident at the Balmoral Bar, Dalry road, Edinburgh.


The unveiling and dedication of the new memorial to commemorate four Manchester firefighters who are buried in Philips Park Cemetery will take place at 1200hrs on Sunday 10th November 2013. This is, of course, also Remembrance Sunday and the short service and ceremony, led by Father Leonard Young, will also include a remembrance event at the Cemetery's war memorial alongside the new one.

The event is jointly organised by GMFRS, Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum and the Friends of Philips Park Cemetery. A short procession, led by a vintage fire appliance, will arrive frrom Philips Park Fire Station at 1200hrs when the service begins. In attendance will be ACFO Peter O'Reilly, Brigade Chaplain Major Nigel Tansley, personnel from Philips Park Fire Station, members of the Museum, local politicians and colleagues from Greater Manchester Police Museum.

The memorial was provided by the FoPPC, with support from Manchester City Council, and records the deaths and burials of four local firefighters : John Curley (1881), RIchard Sykes (1894), Charles Pimblett (1940) and Samuel Astle (1943) who all lost their lives serving with either Manchester Fire Brigade or the National Fire Service.

This is a unique event, initiated by friends outside of the fire service, and which deserves full support. Retired and serving members - especially those with MFB connections, are very welcome to join us on this occasion. There is ample free car parking at Philips Park Fire Station, and tea and coffee will be served immediately after the event which should take no longer than half an hour.

Further information can be obtained from either Philips Park Fire Station or from the GMFS Museum (Bob Bonner 07879 667489)


Tackling loneliness a 24 hour helpline for older people

Tel: 0800 4708090





Are you a recently retired or about to retire qualified EFAD trainer?

You may not realise that your valuable experience and expertise is still sought after when you have returned from the long awaited ‘holiday of a lifetime’.

The demands on the Service to maintain training against a limited budget whilst complying with imminent legislation change is putting considerable pressure on the Service to deliver EFAD and HSDT review training. Initial appliance and response car training continues to be a constant requirement and there are occasions when peaks of demand exceed the ability of an individual Service to deliver training on schedule.

You may well be able to support that programme as a trainer without having the pressure and stress that normally goes with the post – it is the turn of someone else to handle that pressure.

If you are looking for an opportunity to remain in touch with the Service and utilise your skills then becoming an EMSTAR trainer could be worthwhile. We have a background in clinical care and the provision of driver training to the blue light services, all our instructors are from the blue light backgrounds. I joined EMSTAR three years ago on leaving the Police Service.

You may not want to work full time but may want to supplement your financial plans by doing a task that you have already been trained for. We are seeking to increase our EFAD trainer register not only for the immediate future but into 2013 and beyond.

If you have a relevant EFAD training background then we could use your skills and provide a reward package that recognises those skills . Our website has further details: I would be happy to discuss EMSTAR on a personal basis if you wanted to know more. Give me a call with absolutely no obligation if you are interested.

Thank you,

Stuart Bruce
07894 909608 Blackberry
0120 535 0875 office


“Under Fire” Britain’s Fire Service at War, a book by John Leete.

Book Cover

'My interest in wartime Britain probably started when I visited grandparents in East London and spent much of the time with local children scavenging on bombsites'. John says his first aquisition was a tin helmet which he still has to this day. 'That helmet meant a lot to me, more so when my granddad starting telling me what life was like on the Home Front'.

It was during one of these visits that John witnessed the local fire brigade turning out to deal with an incident in a block of flats. 'The site and sound of this completely fascinated me and for while I collected fire service memorabilia. Many years later when I began researching the wartime fire service specifically and the post war service in general, it was pointed out to me that Leslie Leete, one of my (albeit) distant relations had been a Fire Officer in London between 1962 and 1970'.

In 2006, John Leete negotiated a new book deal and in 2008, the third book in his 'At War' Series was published. Under Fire, Britain's Fire Service at War hit the book shops to wide acclaim, not least for the fact that it deals with not just the core service, but also with the Colour Scheme, the Overseas Contingents, the Fire Boats and the Corps of Canadian Firefighters. A number of superb original images add depth to the content of the book that has a Foreword written by the former Chief Inspector of Fire Services, Sir Graham Meldrum.

Best bargain new prices of around £10 for this hardback publication can be had at (Certain of the reviews on this site are inaccurate and misleading and awaiting removal; please ignore).


RPI/CPI legal challenge see CSPA web site.


Annual Service of Remembrance

Is held at the Firefighters Memorial on the second Sunday each September.
For details of this service go to the link


Warm Home Discount Scheme: help for poorer, older pensioners

Warm Home Discount Scheme: help for poorer, older pensioners If you are aged 70 or over you may be due a one off rebate on your electricity bill. If you are eligible you will probably get this automatically on your electricity bill. Find out now if this help applies to you. Go to, or the helpline 0845 6000033


'Did you serve on fireboats, on the River Thames?

'Did you serve on fireboats, on the River Thames? If so Sarah Payne of Hermitage River Projects would like to hear from you. For moire information, please contact:
Dr Sarah Byrne
Project Leader
'A Sense of Place'- Heritage at Hermitage

Heritage Lottery Funded Project
Hermitage River Projects
16 Wapping High Street
London E1W 1NG

(020) 72651209 Email:


Here's the Budget Briefing October 2018.



March 2019 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin 141.


October 2018 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin 136.


August 2018 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin 134.


June 2018 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin 132.


April 2018 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin 130.


Here's the latest news from Britain's biggest, campaigning pensioners' organisation, the National Pensioners Convention (NPC)

Ten Minute Briefing.


January 2018 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin 127.


Here's the latest news from Britain's biggest, campaigning pensioners' organisation, the National Pensioners Convention (NPC)

Ten Minute Briefing.


Budget Briefing November 2017. Document.


Here's the latest news from Britain's biggest, campaigning pensioners' organisation, the National Pensioners Convention (NPC)

 Ten Minute Briefing.


October 2017 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin 124.


The NPC has called its annual Lobby of Parliament for Wednesday 18 October 2017. Please find details on this Here.


Here's the latest news from Britain's biggest, campaigning pensioners' organisation, the National Pensioners Convention (NPC)

Ten Minute Briefing.


August 2017 issue 123 of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin 123.


July 2017 issue 122 of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin 122.


June 2017 issue 121 of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin 121.


April 2017 issue 120 of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin 120.


March 2017 issue 119 of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin 119.


March 2017 issue 118 of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin 118.


Here's the latest news from Britain's biggest, campaigning pensioners' organisation, the National Pensioners Convention (NPC)

Ten Minute Briefing.


December 2016 issue 115 of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin 116.


December 2016 issue 115 of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin 115.


November 2016 issue 112 of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin 114.


September 2016 issue 112 of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


August 2016 issue 111 of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


March 2016 NPC Budget Briefing 


The National Pensioners Convention is bringing a class action legal claim against pride Mobility Products Limited. The claim is about Pride's breaches of competition law that the Office of Fair Trading found in its decision dated 27th March 2014. Document.



 June 2016 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


March 2016 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


February 2016 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


NPC Autumn Statement Briefing Document.


January 2016 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


 A report from the NPC Transport Working Party November 2015


December 2015 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


November 2015 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


October 2015 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


September 2015 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


NPC Pensioners' Parliament Document.


NPC Lobby 4 November 2015. Flyer.


August 2015 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


July 2015 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


June 2015 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


May 2015 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


April 2015 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


March 2015 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


February 2015 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


January 2015 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


Patient Health Records Briefing February 2014. Document.


Campaign Report

Executive Committee Meeting 18 March 2014

  1. Dignity Action Day

    • On 1 February 2014, NPC regions and local affiliates staged around 40 separate and different activities to mark Dignity Action Day and promote the NPC Dignity Code. Activities ranged from concerts and leafleting hospitals to public signings by local dignitaries and public meetings. We should record our thanks to all those who helped organise these events and took part.
    • Many of the activities secured publicity and coverage in the local media and helped to raise the profile of both the Dignity Code and the NPC more widely. All those involved have expressed how worthwhile they felt it was, and hopefully this has laid the foundations for even more activity in the future. It will also assist in developing a programme around the Code, which we now hope to raise with even more local authorities and hospital trusts over the next year.
  2. UN International Day of Older Persons, 1 October 2014

    • Using the Dignity Action Day model, the NPC intends to ask regions and local affiliates to mark the UN Older People’s Day with some form of activity. In many areas, local authorities already organise a number of activities, and it may simply be the case of going along to those and giving out leaflets. In other areas, NPC regions and groups may wish to run their own event.
    • To support this activity, the NPC will produce a national leaflet that groups will be able to order free of charge. The topic will be around the value of older people and the importance of maintaining universal pensioner benefits that enable them to continue to give back to society. Affiliates are therefore asked to start discussing what they might be able to do on the day.
  3. Towards a Pensioners’ Manifesto 2015

    • In line with previous general elections, the NPC intends to produce a Pensioners’ Manifesto that can be put before all candidates. A three month public consultation on the issue has now begun, finishing on 6 June. Copies of the consultation document, as amended by the National Council, are now available online and are being sent out to affiliates – along with the latest edition of The Message.
    • All NPC affiliates, individual supporters/members and even members of the general public will be able to fill in copies of the consultation form and return them to the NPC – indicating their top 5 issues for consideration. The NPC will not be bound by the results (as that is not how our policy is made), but will try and reflect the outcome in the final manifesto document. Providing there is sufficient time, we will try and make an announcement as to the results at the Pensioners’ Parliament.
  4. Pensioners’ Parliament 2014

    • The programme for this year’s event is still being finalised, but the opening rally now has an agreed line-up of speakers: Neel Radia NACC, Robin Priestley 38 Degrees, Caroline Abrahams Age UK, Claire Keatinge Older People’s Commissioner for N Ireland, Owen Jones and Dot Gibson. The second day will have sessions on: pensions, the NHS, dignity in care, transport, combatting loneliness and influencing Parliament. The final day will have a special panel discussion on the topic of “Can we afford an ageing population”. So far, Stephen Burke, United For All Ages and David McCullough RVS have agreed to speak. The event will close with a keynote speaker and Prof Alan Walker has been invited.
    • Booking forms are now available and are being circulated firstly, to last year’s attendees and then affiliates, but copies can be collected at the meeting.
    • Tickets have been kept at last year’s price of £6 and delegates are encouraged to book their accommodation through Visit Blackpool as it helps support the grant the NPC receives from the City Council.
  5. Budget Statement

    • The chancellor will deliver his Budget statement on 19 March and is expected to mention three issues of concern to older people:
      1. Plans to raise the personal tax allowance for under 65s to £10,500 by April 2015. This would see the effective ending of the freeze on personal tax allowances for the 65 to 75 year olds providing the allowance was then to increase in 2016.
      2. Details of how pensioners can top-up their National Insurance payments between October 2015 and April 2016 ahead of the new single-tier state pension may be released; in particular how much the buy-back scheme will cost the individual.
      3. The government has indicated that it intends to find a further £25bn worth of cuts in welfare spending. This may well have an impact on older people, particularly if certain benefits are highlighted.
  6. Cheque Imaging

    • The government is proposing legislating for “cheque imaging” which will speed up cheque clearing times and give customers greater convenience and choice in how they deposit cheques. The reforms will enable banks to clear a certified, digital image of a cheque instead of a traditional paper cheque. This will secure the future of the cheque as a reliable method of payment in the UK, using proven technology which has been in operation in the United States for 10 years. For many smaller organisations, like the NPC, at least 75% of all income is received by cheque.
    • A consultation on the issues is currently underway and the NPC intends to submit its views to HM Treasury.
  7. End Fuel Poverty Coalition

    • The NPC has been a longstanding member of this coalition, and has taken an active role in its work and development over the years. Up till now, Consumer Futures has funded the Coalition’s work, but now that it has merged with Citizens Advice, that funding has stopped. The group is therefore asking its supporters for donations towards its work and I think it would be in order, funds permitting, for the NPC to donate £100.
  8. Useful dates

    • NPC Pensioners’ Parliament 17-19 June 2014, Blackpool
    • UN International Day of Older Persons 1 October 2014
    • Britain Needs a Pay Rise, TUC march and rally, central London, 18 October 2014

Welfare caps, pensioner bonds and changes to pensions prove government is leaving retirement to chance.

Dot Gibson, NPC general secretary said: “Pensioners will be concerned that benefits such as the winter fuel allowance, cold weather payments and the Christmas Bonus have all been placed into the welfare cap, which could lead to cuts in the future, at a time when fuel bills in particular are continuing to rise. The announcements regarding a new Pensioner Bond and changes to ISAs were also rather rose tinted. 55 per cent of all pensioners receive less than £10 from their savings and 29 per cent of older couples have less than £1500 put aside. The idea that older people therefore have huge amounts of money to invest is rather optimistic, but the most serious change was related to defined contribution pensions. These reveal that more has to be done to improve the prospects for future pensioners. The state pension is one of the worst in Europe and the high water mark of decent company pensions has long gone. Allowing people to take all their pension pots however doesn’t make the pot any bigger and belies the fact that the average worker will have a pension pot of little more than £30,000 to cover all of their retirement. Enabling people to take their pensions from aged 55 also shows the chancellor has realised there is a huge problem coming down the line which has to be funded. His plans to raise the state pension age to 68 will create an army of older workers, who if lose their jobs in their late fifties will be unable to find work. The only way they will have to fund this period of limbo until they reach retirement age will be to use their pensions – which might solve the problem in the short term but will store up bigger problems later on when their money starts to run out. Once again it’s a pensions fiddle and those left to carry the burden will be some of the lowest paid workers. The reality is money purchase defined contribution pension schemes are simply not the answer to funding a decent income in retirement. The private pensions industry might make a killing from the schemes but most workers end up with much less than they thought.”

For more information contact Neil Duncan-Jordan on 07432-575251.


NPC Budget Briefing March 2014. Document.


Caring For Our Future. Document.


Lobby of Parliament Wednesday 5 November 2014. Flyer.


December 2014 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


November 2014 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


October 2014 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


July 2014 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


June 2014 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


May 2014 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


April 2014 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


January 2014 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


Campaign Report

EC Meeting 15 January 2013

  1. Autumn Statement

    • The Chancellor made his Autumn Statement on 5 December 2012. Some of the announcements had already been made previously, but many issues of concern to pensioners were not covered at all. Nevertheless, Mr Osborne did announce that in April the Basic State Pension would rise by 2.5% (because both the September 2012 CPI and earnings figures are lower) which would give a £2.70 a week increase for a single pensioner and £4.30 for couples. Had this rise been linked to the Retail Price Index it would have been 10p more a week. However, for millions of women who do not qualify for a full state pension, their increase next April is likely to be just £1.60 a week – giving a weekly pension of around £66.
    • From April 2013, the state second pension and millions of public sector pensions will rise by the CPI figure of 2.2% and the means-tested Pension Credit Guarantee will rise by the same actual cash increase as the basic state pension, rather than the same percentage increase.
    • However, there was no mention of reversing the freeze on age related personal tax allowances, reinstating the cut to the winter fuel allowance or any decision on the future funding of social care.
  2. Coalition Mid-Term Review

    • On 7 January 2013, the Coalition government published its Mid-Term Review of its achievements in office. Six key areas for future development of policy were trailed in the media beforehand – two of which were under the heading of “Dignity in Old Age” namely the funding of social care and a single-tier state pension. However, nowhere in the document are there any specific mentions of these issues or the government’s suggested policy on them.
    • What does appear in the section on pensions are three specific things:
      1. Maintenance of the ‘triple lock’ uprating for the lifetime of the Parliament
      2. Proposed legislation to link the state pension age with life expectancy
    • Likewise in the section on care, the programme lists the following:
      1. Giving individuals an entitlement to a personal budget
      2. Introducing a universal deferred payment scheme for paying for long-term care
      3. Introducing minimum eligibility criteria for access to services (set at the ‘substantial’ level)
      4. Building a culture of compassionate care
    • Over the next few months we will therefore be looking to see if anything more substantial emerges on the two key issues of care funding and state pensions.
  3. Pension White Paper

    • At the time of writing the Government has just published its Pension White Paper, which outlines proposed changes to the state pension system from 2017 as follows:
      1. The basic and second state pension will be combined to offer a single-tier state pension of around £144 a week at today’s prices
      2. Future generations will need to pay National Insurance for 35 years, rather than the current 30 years and will have to work longer before they can draw their pension under plans that will be announced shortly to automatically link the state pension retirement age to life expectancy
      3. There will be no new money put into the state scheme
      4. Workers currently getting a rebate on their National Insurance because they are contracted out into an occupational pension will lose that rebate and effectively have to pay more NI in return for a higher state pension when they retire
      5. Anyone who has drawn their state pension before 2017 will not be included in the plans. This would be a disadvantage to millions of older women who get currently get considerably less than £144 a week
      6. vi) The government are suggesting this is a simplification of the system, but the first person to retire solely under the new rules won’t do so until around 2080. In the meantime, there will be a hybrid of various systems in place – all with different rules and all paying different amounts
    • The NPC has been widely quoted in the media on this story, including in Daily Express, Guardian, Independent, Daily Telegraph, Channel 5 News, Channel 4 News, ITV News, Radio 4 World at One, Radio 4 Today programme and numerous local radio stations
  4. Universal Pensioner Benefits

    • Over the Christmas period two separate statements appeared relating to universal pensioner benefits. The first was from government minister, Nick Hurd who suggested that better off pensioner should donate their winter fuel allowance to charity and the second came from former care minister, Paul Burstow who said that all benefits should be means-tested at the Pension Credit level in order to pay for social care reforms.
    • Last week, Radio 4 ran a programme on the subject and BBC 2’s Newsnight held a roundtable discussion (involving Dot Gibson). Much of the debate is not aimed at the actual cost of universal benefits (which are relatively small compared to the overall welfare budget), but on the welfare state idea of universality. What is not in doubt is that this issue will be a large feature between now and the general election.
    • Prof John Ashton, incoming president of the Faculty of Public Health, has said a 'debt of honour' is due to elderly people who, despite being bankrupt after World War II, set up the welfare state. Instead they are being betrayed by a system that cannot afford to look after them. He said: “The elderly are frightened of what is going to happen to them. There is a debt of honour we owe the elderly. They fought in World War II or contributed to the war effort and wanted to create a secure environment that came to be known as the welfare state which is now being portrayed as dependants and layabouts. It is an abominable betrayal.”
    • It is important that affiliates therefore contact their MPs and ask them to sign David Crausby’s Early Day Motion 373 in support of maintaining the universal benefits. In addition, we will also be shortly updating as a pamphlet the basic case for universal benefits as outlined in our report “Sir Alan Sugar and the Missing Bus Pass”.
  5. PRI Announcement

    • On 10 January 2013 the Office for National Statistics made a surprise announcement regarding the future calculation of the Retail Price Index, and has recommended no change. This supports the view submitted by the NPC and is significant to those whose occupational pensions are still linked to RPI – and all those who are campaigning to see the RPI reinstated for public sector and state pensions as well.
  6. Senior Railcard Trial

    • The NPC has held a second meeting with the RMT union to discuss this trial in the West Country. The NPC has again written to the transport minister, Norman Baker to seek clarification as to how the trial will be monitored and assessed and the RMT are intending to raise a number of written questions in Parliament.
    • It is now vital that – whatever the weakness of the trial and its limitations – that we organise an urgent “take-up campaign” to maximise awareness amongst pensioners in the main areas affected by the trial.
  7. Joint NPC Regional Meetings

    • At the last meeting, the EC agreed the holding of a number of joint regional business meetings to look at issues of membership, finance and organisation across the country. So far the following arrangements have been put in place:
      London + South East + Thames Valley + Wessex (THIS IS BEING ARRANGED)
      Anglia + Eastern + Home Counties (THIS IS BEING ARRANGED)
      West Midlands + Western (THIS HAS BEEN ARRANGED)
      Yorkshire + East Midlands + North West
      Northern + Scotland
      Devon + Cornwall (THIS IS BEING ARRANGED)
    • A short survey has been sent to all regions and this will form the basis of discussion at the events. A full report will be issued after the meetings have taken place.
  8. BDC Arrangements

    • The first lot of BDC paperwork has now been issued to all registered delegates, including details of nominations and motions. The deadline for amendments is 11 February 2013.
    • Final papers will be issued week commencing 25 February 2013.
    • Invoices have already been issued for delegates’ accommodation costs. These must be paid by the end of January 2013 to secure a booking.
  9. NPC Pensioners' Parliament 2003

    • The event will start with the traditional march from behind the Blackpool Tower, followed by a rally in the Opera House involving Frances O’Grady (TUC), John McDonnell MP, Owen Jones (author), Tony Bockman (frozen pensions) and others to be arranged.
    • The second day will include sessions on pensions and benefits, the NHS, dignity in care, fuel poverty, devolved administrations and transport.
    • The Merseybeats have provisionally been booked to provide the entertainment for the social evening.
    • Details of the final morning are still be discussed, but could include a longer question and answer session with delegates. It is also suggested that the last morning’s session takes place in the Pavilion Theatre.
    • Booking forms should be available by the end of January 2013.
  10. Submissions to Government Consultations

    • The NPC has recently submitted written evidence to the Transport Select Committee on the effectiveness of legislation relating to disabled travellers and the Department of Health on the draft Care and Support Bill. Copies of the submissions are available on request.
    • The NPC will also be submitting evidence to the latest inquiry into fuel poverty in February.
  11. Important Dates

    • A one-day conference on the Campaign for Better Public Transport, 28 February 2013, 11am-3pm, St Pancras Church Hall, Euston. Speakers include Campaign for Better Transport and Centro. Booking essential as space is limited to 80 people.
    • NHS for Beginners Training Session aimed at those involved in their local NHS structures, 4 March 2013, 11am-2pm, NPC office. Booking essential as space is limited to 20 people.
    • Chancellor gives details of his Budget – 20 March 2013.

National Pensioners Convention Briefing January 2013 State Pension White Paper Briefing.


December 2013 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


February 2013 issue of NPC Fuel Poverty Campaign Update.


WWP Newsletter No 27 Febuary 2013. Newsletter.


Notes of meeting with Gregg McClymont, Shadow Pensions Minister
13 February 2013
Present: Frank Cooper, Dot Gibson and Neil Duncan-Jordan

The NPC had requested the meeting to discuss the Labour party’s view of the recently announced White Paper on the Single-Tier state pension.

  • The shadow pensions’ minister said it was likely the government would begin the legislative process in April, but felt it was unlikely it would pass legislation in the current parliamentary cycle. There was also concern that the amount of time allocated to public consultation on the issue was unfairly limited.
  • There was recognition of a number of important aspects in the White Paper which caused concern. These included the following:
    1. Exclusion of existing pensioners from the proposals
    2. Specific impact on women born between April 1953 and 1954
    3. Abolition of contracting-out and the rebate in National Insurance
    4. Right of private sector employers to unilaterally raise employee contributions or reduce payments
    5. Impact on automatic entitlement to Housing and Council Tax benefit once the Pension Credit has largely disappeared
    6. The long-term reduction in the overall spend on state pensions
  • The shadow minister explained that the Opposition were still in the process of analysing the White Paper and all its implications. This would be finished in time for when the government put the Bill before parliament after Easter, but as yet he was unable to say what the Labour party’s view would be on these specific issues.
  • Essentially, Labour would either accept the proposals but ask for the state pension figure to be set at a higher level, accept the proposals without any amendments or oppose the plans outright.
  • It was agreed the NPC would send information to the shadow minister and discuss a series of amendments with the Opposition as the issue developed.

November 2013 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


October 2013 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


August 2013 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


July 2013 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


June 2013 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


May 2013 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


April 2013 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


March 2013 issue of. NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


February 2013 issue of NPC's Campaign Bulletin.




December 2012 issue of NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


November 2012 issue of NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


October 2012 issue of the NPC's Campaign Bulletin.


Campaign. August 2012. NPC's Monthly Bulletin. "Care White Paper Fudge Issue" Report.


Council Tax Benefit Briefing 2012.



This conference brought together around 100 representatives from FERPA and the ETUC’s Youth Committee in order to discuss a draft Action Plan. This was drawn up following responses to an ETUC questionnaire earlier in the year (including that from the NPC) covering subjects such as education, unemployment, pensions, retirement ages and social care.

Delegates were drawn from Denmark, Cyprus, Romania, Italy, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, France, Belgium, Portugal, Poland, Lithuania, Greece, UK, Turkey, Sweden, Latvia, Hungary, Slovenia, Ireland, Luxembourg, Croatia, Czech Republic, Malta, Norway and Estonia.

Much of the conference was dominated by keynote speakers from the ETUC and unions in Cyprus, alongside the presentation of three specific pieces of research. These were as follows:

    1. Prerequisites for active ageing by Eurofound (A tripartite EU agency based in Dublin made up of trade unions, employers and government representatives. The most striking information was that across Europe 2% of 65-69 continue to work because they either need to financially or feel that work provides a social network. New research is about to be published which will consider the critical issue of whether there is a link between raising the statutory retirement age and the inability of younger people to get into the workplace.

    2. The results of the ETUC questionnaire from those countries that responded. (Copies will hopefully be made available in the final report).

    3. Training across Europe presented by the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training. This EU sponsored research institute is producing a European Qualification Framework to enable easier movement of workers between countries and recognition of member state qualifications against a single European standard. In this way an employer in any EU country can assess how workers with qualifications from another country measure against their own standard. It is hoped this system will be in place by 2014.

During a roundtable discussion I reported on the NPC’s Generations United initiative, our concern at those who are trying to blame pensioners for escaping the austerity measures (a view shared by other speakers), the need to value the contribution older people make in the community, the need to not simply see someone’s worth in terms of whether they are at work or not and the need for a decent period of retirement, alongside better jobs and pensions. This was well received by the ETUC as one of the first practical initiatives aimed at putting intergenerational solidarity into practice.

However, over the course of the conference it became clear that the draft Action Plan needed amending and there was no mechanism in place to do so. Either more work should have been done prior to the conference to present a more coherent plan or the conference should have been organised in such as way so as to allow organisations to make amendments.

As a result of this situation, the Action Plan will now be redrafted and sent out for written comment with a December deadline. One of the key areas we will want to see included is the need for a Dignity Code to safeguard the treatment of pensioners in care, and we can therefore submit amendments in due course.

In discussions with delegates, it was also mentioned that the UK rarely sends representatives to the ETUC Youth Committee. There may be something that trade union representatives can do to improve this situation by taking it up with their own organisations and the TUC Youth Committee.

Throughout the event it was also useful to make contact with various key people in FERPA and the ETUC. It is clear that the NPC is now taking a much more serious role in FERPA, which in turn is having a positive, albeit slow, impact on its approach.

Towards the end of the conference, in recognition of the importance of the event and the issues raised, there was a proposal to set up a formal joint ETUC working group made up of FERPA and Youth Committee members, as a way of continuing the dialogue on shared issues of concern and to monitor the implementation and outcome of the final Action Plan. This would be a positive development, but we await further details.

Neil Duncan-Jordan
National Officer


NPC Briefing Paper "Social Care Reform". Paper.


Achieving dignity and security in retirement.

A report from the National Pensioners Convention Pensions & Income Working Party.

November 2012 Report.


Press Release: Lord Bichard: Voluntary Work for Retirees. 24 October 2012

Pensioner group slams Lord’s idea of “National Service for the over 60s”

Britain’s biggest pensioner organisation, the National Pensioners Convention (NPC) has criticised a suggestion from Lord Bichard that those who have just retired should be forced to undertake voluntary work or risk losing part of their pension.

Dot Gibson, NPC general secretary said: “This amounts to little more than National Service for the over 60s and is absolutely outrageous. Those who have paid their national insurance contributions for 30 or more years are entitled to receive their state pension and there should be no attempt to put further barriers in their way. We already have one of the lowest state pensions in Europe and one in five older people in Britain live below the poverty line. This suggestion from Lord Bichard would only make that situation worse. But the real scandal is that he hasn’t understood the value that pensioners already bring to our society – contributing £40bn extra every year in unpaid volunteering and caring. Without the army of older volunteers many parts of our society would begin to crumble. Lord Bichard’s comments are also extremely divisive – trying to pitch younger people against older people, when the truth is that the real division in our society is between rich and poor. Frankly, Lord Bichard needs to think twice before making such silly and ill-informed remarks”.


Report of the UK Advisory Forum on Ageing meeting held on 21 November 2012

Steve Webb MP, Minister of Pensions and Norman Lamb MP the new Minister of State for Care and Support addressed the meeting and answered questions.

Pensions: Steve Webb announced that there were two issues for the pensions White Paper – the state pension and the pension age; in brief: the introduction of a flat-rate single pension (£140 in today’s currency values) and the automatic mechanism for raising the state pension retirement age based on longevity. He could give no date when the White Paper would be issued and the public consultation would begin.

He spent some time on the National Employee Savings Trust (NEST) which started on 1st September, saying that this gave every employee the chance to save for their future pension, but agreed that this was a problem for those on low wages, and short-term contracts.

He said that £12bn had been cut from the DWP’s budget but all of this had come from services for the working-age population and none from pensioners.

Asked for his view on the call for cuts and/or means-testing of pensioners’ universal benefits, he said that they were safe in this Parliament, and it was up to each party to make their position clear on this issue in the 2015 general election campaign.

Care and Support: Norman Lamb told us that he was personally totally committed to the Dilnot Commission recommendations, but he could not give any time when the government would pronounce on this or what its position would be; all three parties had signed up to improvement, but there is a debate about what the payment “cap” should be and about implementation.

He said that there was a need for actions to overcome loneliness, to pay more attention to those suffering dementia and to ensure that frail elderly people were treated with dignity and respect in the health and care system, and when questioned about how this could be achieved with the austerity measures, he said that there must be more reliance on charities and volunteers, e.g. the Dementia Friendly launch in Norfolk.

Norman Lamb did not say what would be in put place to ensure that care workers' training, working conditions and salary result in the delivery of quality care, dignity and respect. He did not talk about the failures of the CQC and what will be done about the appalling treatment of the frail elderly in some Care Homes.

Roger Wishaw of the Department of Communities and Local Government introduced Sue Adams, Care and Repair England and Domini Gunn-Peim, Chartered Institute of Housing who spoke on the integration of health, care and housing in action. They presented a Hospital2Home pack which can be viewed on the Care and Repair England website.

Tony Watts and Jackie Allen made a presentation on “engaging with older people in the South West”. Tony Watts said that funding was becoming a problem and because it was difficult to get core funding, it was necessary to apply for funding for particular projects and charging outside bodies for the expertise of SW pensioners. Jackie Allen presented a paper “The Dorset Experience”, saying that the statutory agencies in that county contact pensioners’ forums regarding any proposed changes of service or new projects and pensioners were given the majority vote in the Dorset Partnership for Older People Programme.

Evan Morris of the Chief Fire Officers’ Association spoke on improving outcomes for older people. He said that firefighters were already doing community work, especially around sheltered housing schemes and fitting smoke and fire alarms in pensioners’ homes and they were now extending this so that the Fire Brigade worked more closely with social service and health departments. Questioned about the fire stations closure programme, he said that it was possible to get better services with fewer staff and fewer stations if the finances were managed better, for instance in some regions the staff kitchens and recreation areas had been closed.

Helen Dimmock, of the Department of Work and Pensions (Redefining Retirement Division) presented a paper giving the background, purpose and approach of UKAFA with a series of recommendations which could not involve cost because there was no money in the department’s budget:

  • A trial period of a year allocating a set part of the agenda to regional forums and devolved nations;
  • UKAFA members to make presentations on particular subjects of their choice;
  • Develop a reporting back process for officials and organizations engaging with UKAFA;
  • Produce a guide for members advising on how to engage with UKAFA and how to report back to their organisations;
  • Secretariat to develop proposals for discussion on expanding the membership of UKAFA whilst staying within practical limits;
  • Secretariat to collect profiles of UKAFA members to share;
  • Develop a communications strategy for UKAFA: this arose from a request to raise the profile of UKAFA and to consider frequency of meetings;
  • Because of the lack of financial resources, members should feedback on the services they most value from the Secretariat so work can be prioritized;
  • Members who have not attended UKAFA for two consecutive meetings without apology should be asked whether they wish to remain a member and if there is no response they should be replaced.

A report from the National Pensioners Convention Transport Working Party March 2013. Report.


March 2013. Bedroon Tax document.


NPC Budget Briefing March 2013. Document.


NPC Policy Paper on Pensions: A Decent Pension for all Generations. Document.


NPC Seventh Biennial Conference 2013. Minutes.


The NPC has launched a new online petition – calling for the continuation of universal pensioner benefits such as concessionary bus travel, the winter fuel allowance and free prescriptions. The petition is being backed by the Daily Express (see today’s edition) – and articles will be appearing over the next few weeks aimed at putting forward our campaign. It is vital that we reach the 100,000 asap – and I would therefore be grateful if you could circulate this link below amongst your members and contacts.


Dear EC Member

There is currently a free trade agreement between the US and EU, which is being ratified by the European Union. This agreement would open all European markets to the US and vice versa. This includes all the public sector including health and education.

This means that the NHS would be statutorily opened up to not just British companies like Virgin Healthcare and Sainsbury, but if ratified without amendment, would mean that American companies would have a right to bid. They would be able to bring legal action against any CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) that prevented them bidding. The NHS would become a pay day for American Private health care companies and their lawyers paid for by British taxpayers.

Bear in mind these are the very companies that fought so strongly against Obama's socialised Healthcare bill as it would hurt their profits. Now these companies want to run our health service as well.

There is a way out. European members apart from Germany and Britain have exempted their healthcare services from the free trade agreement.

Please sign and pass on the petition below to prevent this happening.

Thank you

Neil Duncan-Jordan
National Officer


Britain’s biggest pensioners organisation, the National Pensioners Convention (NPC) has claimed the words in today’s Queen’s Speech don’t match what the government intends to do in the areas of pensions and care. The Queen announced that the the government would “reward people who work hard” and “support people who have saved for their retirement”, yet the plans on both pensions and care do neither. Existing pensioners will not gain any benefit from a new single-tier state pension despite having worked hard and those with savings will be faced with a care bill of over £70,000 before they get any financial help.

On the proposal for a single-tier state pension, Dot Gibson NPC general secretary said: “The government’s new single-tier state pension is actually going to cost less than the existing system and is really trying to con people into thinking they are going to get a better deal, when the reality is you will have to work longer, pay more and get less when you eventually retire. Millions of existing pensioners, particularly women will not see any improvement in their pensions and future generations of pensioners will find they actually get less than they would have done under the existing system. This plan will create a two-tier state pension, which rather than addressing the current unfairness in the system will simply prolong it and in some cases, make it worse. It’s the sort of proposal that is the equivalent to something that fell off the back of a lorry.”

On the proposal to reform the way in which long-term care is financed, Dot Gibson NPC general secretary said: “The government intends to ask anyone with assets or income above £118,000 to pay £72,000 in care costs before they receive any help from the state. This plan will help around one in 10 people – whilst the rest will never get any help at all. Despite what’s been claimed, these plans will still result in people having to sell their homes as the only way of funding their care, and nothing at all has been said about how we desperately need to improve the quality and standards of care that people receive in the community. The social care system is in crisis, with further cuts on the way and yet these plans could be described as little more than tinkering at the edges. It’s time we have a National Care Service, like the NHS that everyone pays into so that people can be properly cared for when they need it.”

For further information contact Neil Duncan-Jordan on 07432-575251


Better care for Britain's pensioners. NPC's Dignity Action Day.


The NPC has campaigned against the idea of a £72.000 cap on care costs.

Care Costs Cap Calculator.


NPC Womens Network Exchange. SPEAKING OUT.


The effect of fuel poverty amongst pensioners.

October Films, a leading television production company based in North London, is producing a documentary for a national broadcaster exploring energy price rises, the forces that drive rising energy prices, and how those price rises are affecting British consumers.

As part of the documentary, we’re looking for interviewees who can tell us how energy price rises have affected them; how they are coping, and whether they have experienced financial or other struggles in order to pay their bills.

We're looking to interview people over the next couple of weeks.(until 28.10.13) If you might be interested in taking part, or if you would like more information, please contact:
David Pegg on 0207 284 5631



Issue no 1. Newsletter.


Britain’s biggest pensioners’ organisation, the National Pensioners Convention (NPC) has today launched an online poster campaign urging its 1.5m members to email energy secretary Ed Davey over the number of older people that die every year of cold related illnesses. The campaign comes as the debate around fuel prices intensifies and follows an announcement by Public Health England that those in fuel poverty should heat fewer rooms and at different temperatures.

Dot Gibson, NPC general secretary said: “Every year over 25,000 older people die in this country from cold related illnesses and the best the government can do is to tell people to put a jumper on. Most of the big six energy companies have now announced eye watering increases in their charges and rather than tackle the scandal of fuel poverty, the government has instead redefined what it is, so as to cut down on the official number of those who cannot afford to keep warm. Ministers have got to get a grip on the problem and start addressing the need for higher winter fuel payments, widespread insulation programmes and the introduction of a block on the right of energy companies to simply put up bills without any regard to the economic climate in which they operate. It is a national scandal that ever year thousands of older people die from the cold. This has got to stop.”

No More Winter Deaths Campaign. Poster.


AGM and Campaigning Strategy for May 2014. Report.

PSPC General Election 2015 Manifesto.




Pensions White Paper + Governance arrangements for public sector schemes + Age-related personal allowance.
Single tier white paper. Report.
Single tier pension executive summary. Paper.




RPI Action Day: 8th April 2013. Letter.


Report of meeting with ONS 8th May 2013. Report.


PSPC Report of Meeting with HM Treasury Official Paul Kirk. Report.
Letter to Constituent Organisations. Letter.


PSPC response to the Green Paper - a state pension for the 21st Century - can be found at PSPC web site.



Age UK Enterprises – Serving older people’s needs. Document.