14th September 2017

At the moment, I’m a mature student doing a Degree at college. Although I’m enjoying the course immensely, I do wonder who will employ me afterwards. Looking for a job is difficult enough when you’re young but who on earth will employ someone several decades nearer to retirement age?

It’s not like I have nothing to contribute. There’s all the years employment experience I already have for a start. Whilst the young ones were getting their nappies changed, I was there at the ‘coal face’ getting stuck in. Who better to rely on when things are going pear-shaped than someone who’s been there, done it, and got the t-shirt?

It’s not for nothing that B&Q have become known for employing older people. People want to be advised by someone who actually knows what they’re talking about. Also, far fewer of us are out pubbing and clubbing until the early hours and we know our limits too. So it’s easy to see why older people might be viewed as being more reliable than younger people.

Older people don’t tend to be needing to attend to their kids either. So we don’t have the distractions of school, or the school holidays, or needing to take our kids to A&E or the dentist.

Nor have we yet turned into dinosaurs! As I say, I’ve started a Degree and have 30 years or more experience of using a computer to draw on. I also know how to tweet, blog, create a website, and use Facebook. My parents, a couple of decades older than me, are both keen walkers and regularly go scuba diving. As an avid artist, I also know that the winner of last year’s John Moores’ Painting Prize, at The Walker Gallery, is 77!

That’s not to say there aren’t downsides to ageing.

For women, a biggy is the menopause. WHISC, though, have that covered with their Menopause Support group on Mondays. They also have plenty of activity classes, like Yoga and Tai Chi, to help keep our limbs limber. As older people, we’re also more likely to be experiencing things like grief and depression… and, there again, WHISC have plenty of help on hand with their Mental Health Drop-In, and Strength and Support group on Wednesdays.

That’s not to say WHISC couldn’t be even better. That’s why they’re asking for our suggestions of what else they could be providing for older women like us. So, if you have any ideas, do email: carolinewillcocks@whisc.org.uk. She’s keen to hear from you.