An innovative workshop at Hanley Community Fire Station aimed at supporting the transition from working life into retirement following record attendance and some very tangible outputs from its delegates.
With an ageing population, increasing financial and health pressures as life expectancy increases and a whole raft of ‘silver surfers’ entering what has been widely known as ‘The Third Age’ there is increasing awareness of the need for people to be prepared for their older age. With this in mind, southern based charity The Shaftesbury Partnership developed what they call The Retirement Transition Initiative with the support of funders such as The Big Lottery, The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and Jaguar Land Rover. Keen to deliver the programme to a wider audience, they selected Stoke on Trent based charity Saltbox to be their delivery partner in the Midlands area.
Saltbox Operations Director Laurie Scott said: “Leaving aside all the increasing demographic pressures around ageing, it’s a bizarre fact that many people spend a lot of their working lives looking forward to retiring – yet simply aren’t prepared for it when it comes and actually find it quite daunting – the whole purpose of the workshop is to demystify retirement but also to get people thinking about what they need to be doing to get the most from later life.”
The workshop was delivered by Saltbox staff Cliff hatchway and Chris Allibone. Cliff picks up the story: “Having originally retired myself a few years back I feel well qualified to be delivering the workshop and only wish something like it had been available then so that I could have had information on all the things very few of us give any thought to – not least what we’re going to do with our time when we retire.”
Cliff and Chris were on hand to talk through volunteering options, housing, the impact of change and a whole host of other subjects. In addition, experts from DWP, Public Health and the legal profession were on hand to give advice on maximising benefits and pensions, living healthily in older age and even making wills and arranging for Power of Attorney.
Chris told us: “The feedback was very positive and everyone who attended seemed to get a lot from the day. What was really encouraging was that we held a post event session just one week after the workshop and the progress people had made surprised even us: one third of those attending had made arrangements to make a will; one person had been incentivised to search for old pensions – and discovered a pot of thousands of pounds that he’d forgotten about and another was inspired to take up a new hobby – Nordic Walking!”
Cliff concludes: “Without trying too hard we had over twenty folk attend the workshop which just goes to show the demand for something like this in the city and we look forward to hosting other events over the coming months.”
If you’re interested in attending a future event or you’d like to arrange one for your company call Laurie, Cliff or Chris on 01782 207200 or keep checking our website for further news.