Recorder celebrates Older People’s Day
PUBLISHED: 12:00 04 October 2015
To celebrate Older People’s Day, reporters Hayley Anderson and Ellena Cruse discovered spoke to inspirational older people from around the borough.
When people approach their 80th birthday, they may be tempted to put their feet up but this certainly wasn’t the case for one swimming enthusiast.
Jean Rayner, of Heaton Avenue, Harold Hill, decided to swim 64 lengths of the pool at Central Park Leisure Centre earlier this year in aid of the Recorder’s Fundraise on the First Campaign.
She said: “I feel very fit so I thought as I was going to be turning 80-years-old, I should do something to celebrate that.”
Jean managed to raise more than £1,600.
The desire to support her community has spurred on a former Mayor of Havering to continue working into her 70s.
Pam Light, 77, has spent a lot of her life helping and starting up groups including the Havering Over 50s Forum, Friends of Harold Wood Park and the Harold Wood safer neighbourhood team.
She was the Mayor of Havering in 2010 and acted as champion for the elderly.
She said: “Setting up the Havering Over 50s Forum is definitely what I am most proud of as it gives the older generation somewhere to go to speak about issues in the community and get their voices heard.”
A 90-year-old who was presented with an MBE two-years-ago has 40 marathons and 172 half marathons under his belt.
Paul Freedman, of Stanley Close, Hornchurch, took up jogging at the age of 61 and has never looked back since.
He said: “I asked my nephew how to go about it and started by jogging between lamp posts.
“I got better and started running in competitions – I am determined to keep fit.”
When he’s not at the gym or watching West Ham football matches, he tells jokes as a member of the Romford based concert party, The Entertainers.
A grandmother-of-three is “excited” to receive her British Empire Medal for organising trips for 32 years to raise money for schools. Shirley Ward, 67, of Cranham, was happy to see that her efforts of arranging outings to zoos, West End shows and trips abroad did not go unrecognised as she made it on to the Queen’s Birthday Honours list earlier this year.
She said: “I try to come up with different ideas so they appeal to a lot of people rather than just a specific age range.
“I enjoy what I do because I get to meet lots of interesting people.”
Shirley will be receiving her British Empire Medal on November 27.
Retirement is not an option for a 72-year-old who enjoys having a “good reason to get up in the morning.”
Janet Keith, 72, has been a smiling face at Tesco Gallows Corner, Bryant Avenue, Romford, for more than 20 years and has shown no sign of slowing down any time soon despite suffering from arthritis.
She said: “I like coming to work because I get on really well with the staff it’s very sociable and we have all worked here for a while.”
When Janet is not working on the checkout counter, she dotes on her children and grandchildren.
Keeping fit and healthy as he gets older couldn’t be more important for an 80-year-old who runs an exercise class for the elderly.
Geoff Fuller, of Heaton Close, Harold HIll, started up the class based at The Salvation Army in High Street, Romford, giving people over the age of 60 the chance to do exercise suited to their needs.
He said: “I have always enjoyed activities like cycling and martial arts so I think that’s stayed with me throughout my life.
“Exercising makes me feel good.”