Hi everyone

This week I’m hoping to pick your brains! The Grey Pride team are eager to ensure this community site is somewhere people choose to come and share their views and life experiences, we want to celebrate the positive aspects of getting older as well as discuss ways to tackle the difficulties and problems some people face as they age.

We want the site to be as user-friendly and interactive as possible, and so I’m hoping you will share your ideas on how we could improve www.greypride.org.uk.


The community site has been up and running since the launch of the campaign for a Minister for Older People, but over the course of the last 20 months we have discussed a range of issues far broader than simply politics. Many members have really interesting skills, hobbies and careers, and so one of the ideas suggested has been to look at ways to allow people to find others that want to discuss these topics with them, perhaps by introducing “groups” for certain themes such as Art, Photography, Music and Dance, Gardening…how would people feel about this?


Which features of this site do you most enjoy and are there any you don’t really use? For example, do you prefer the discussion forum or to share your photos? I’ve noticed very few people list events in the shared calendar – would you like to know more about what is going on near you?


We’d love to hear about what other social websites you use and why you enjoy visiting those websites, many people use Facebook because it connects them with their close family and friends – what could we do here to encourage your friends and family to join up…or are you pleased they aren’t members?


Please share your thoughts, all views are welcome!

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Tags: community, grey, improving, pride, site, suggestions

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Comment by Barry Wiggins on November 29, 2012 at 18:43

something IN the news is a good focal point...at the moment Im supporting a friend at work to deal with ATOS the firm who have been brought in by the DWP the dept of works and pensions to clear out the false claimants...I have some stats that will astound some.....

According to the BBC, by October 30 this year, the total number of British soldiers who had died in Afghanistan since military operations began there in 2002 was 437.

That’s equivalent to the number of sick or disabled people who die - while going through the Atos/DWP work capability assessment system (or as a result of going through it) - every six weeks.

food for thought eh...?

Comment by Kathryn on November 29, 2012 at 9:58

Hi guys

Many thanks for your replies, really value your comments and suggestions.

Barry - I'm really glad this site is somewhere you feel you can connect with other people given your anti-social working hours. The internet is a great thing and really does open up the world to all of us!

Jacqueline - I totally agree with you about what we can learnt from each others life experiences, I like to think people have offered both opinions and advice to each other here on Grey Pride.

Some other ideas people have suggested directly to me have included a regular email "digrest" of latest activity rather than people having to come and check for topics of interest regularly. That way you would all know the months top debates and topics and know if there was something you'd like to take time to reply to. How would you guys feel about that?

Comment by Michael Thompson on November 27, 2012 at 10:55

 Barry Wiggins, I joined the Labour party as an activist in 1987 because I wanted to play my part in getting rid of Thatcher.  But when Tony Blair got in in 1997 and not only ditched Labour's  core values and beliefs, but embraced Thatcherism on behalf of the middle classes in this country who had ditched traditional Labour through the 80's and voted Tory, I then withdrew my membership of the party, as did other members of my local Labour party branch.

Comment by Michael Thompson on November 27, 2012 at 10:46

 Jacqueline Kathleen Holding, It was in 1980, over 30 years ago, that Margaret Thatcher's then right wing Tory Government broke the link that kept State pensions increasing as British prosperity increased, and means testing was brought in on a wide scale, which resulted in mass poverty among the majority of our nations elderly people, because the State pension has declined in value to date.

I obviously dont know your sons age, but you can tell him from me, that means testing pensioners is costing tax payers more than paying the State pension

Ask him does he believe that older people who came through the war years, should have to live on such a meagre State pensioner after paying into the system all their working lives. ?

Comment by Barry Wiggins on November 27, 2012 at 9:25

OH and reading it Im NOT gonna stand up and bash politics on here...Im for helping out and being part of the 'grey watch ', although tecnically I have few grey bits due to being'  folically ' challenged...

Comment by Barry Wiggins on November 27, 2012 at 9:22

Michael,  I think when I typed, I was tired...meds kicked in and it was not all sense.  Im doncaster local and my EC seat is with my constituancy seat in Don Valley, its not national.  Im on it due to my trades union activities really but get there as the local branch chair of the village labour party.  I have since my first vote been labour apart from one missed daft vote since 1978, but only really got politically active in labour since 2009 I think, mostly because of help and support by my MP Caroline Flint to have a changing places toilet built in the new doncaster cultural quarter, and now we have another in the Frechgate centre via Rosie Winterton...whick when you look on the mencap site, there are less than 40 in the WHOLE uk and yes thats wales, scotland and N. Ireland.  Caroline asked me to join up as I was interested enough and it sort of proved to me, that as people have come to me for years in the union for help, that it was possible to do a bit more....

Comment by Jacqueline Kathleen Holding on November 27, 2012 at 8:54

I love this site. I joined initially because it worries me that people over a certain age seem to have been forgotten in the great scheme of things. It is our group, more than any of the others, who clearly remember having to struggle to make ends meet - no store or visa cards for us to fall back on in our early days!

But I quickly found that the website is not just about politics, or how we can improve things, but also about people's lives and how they coped. It has some brilliant information as well and I suspect will grow from strength to strength. Like all websites, it's often easy to attract people, but difficult to keep them coming back for more. We might also find new members by making ourselves more 'public' - perhaps a magazine, such as the Yours magazine, might be happy to run a feature on just why the website was formed in the first place?

I have to admit that, although I use Facebook to keep in touch with family, on this website I can, to a certain extent, be anonymous. I mean, as an out and out Labour supporter, I would hate for my son to read some of my views (although he pretty much knows what I think) as he was brought up in the 'Thatcher era' and still feels that the Tories are the right way to go. An unspoken rule whenever we meet up is that we don't discuss either religion or politics!

Comment by Michael Thompson on November 26, 2012 at 21:07

Hi Barry, what year did you become a Labour party member ?

Comment by Barry Wiggins on November 26, 2012 at 20:46
Im a bit of an oddity...I work constant nights in retail and have done so for 16 years now. Its NOT a great shift TBH but almost loosing my home via redundancy and dept forced me to it. Im a very active trade union rep and health and safety rep, Im also branch secretary for over 3,500 people and also a parish councillor and a labour party branch chair and on the local Constituancy Labour Party executive committee...hobbies well I have dozens when I fit em in....Facebook has been a great asset but also its drying up now for me on my shift, I feel alienated by my shiftwork AND I have no social life as only have sunday and monday nights off...so weekends and friday nights etc Im working whilst your sleeping. I think ' talking ' via a forum page is great for those who have little time voice to voice like me, so politics, or philosophy or stuff is great or a themed photo event each month as I love doing that too. I have also a thing about writing poetry and Im learning to do some sign language where I can. Im opening up a little here so if anyones got thoughts or ideas add onto this...its YOUR site...use IT eh...?

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