By Daniel Hunter

The contribution of older Londoners to their city is the theme being debated at London’s Older People's Assembly on Thursday 21 November.

Around 250 older Londoners are expected to attend the event at City Hall, which is supported by the Mayor of London, as well as representatives from Age UK, Carers UK, Gransnet, and a range of other organisations. The Deputy Mayor of London Victoria Borwick will be speaking, along with the Chair of London Older People’s Strategies Group (LOPSG) Ellen Lebethe.

The theme of the event follows a recent report by the Mayor which uncovered the extent to which older Londoners contribute to society. It equates to £53 billion to the city’s economy through volunteering, caring and paid work; entirely dispelling myths about older people being a burden on society.

Deputy Mayor Victoria Borwick said: “It is right to recognise the contribution of older Londoners to the capital. It’s equally important we recognise that those of retirement age and older have already put a huge amount into society throughout their working life and have the right to choose the level of activity they want to undertake in their retirement. It is vital that opportunities are open to older people and that age is not a barrier to achievement.

“I encourage all older Londoners to come along to our Assembly and have their say about the contribution of older people to our city.”

Ellen Lebethe, 76, Chairing of LOPSG and Lambeth Pensioners Action Group (LAMPAG) said: “I get a tremendous sense of satisfaction out of being the voice of the elderly and being able to use my skills and experience to make a difference. I am pleased when I have made it possible for older people to become empowered to challenge negative attitudes and stereotypes and for them to experience personal and social growth.”

The Mayor is set to announce details of the next Know Your Rights campaign in early 2014. This annual campaign aims to ensure that all older Londoners are aware of the help and support that is available to them.

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