Baroness Ritchie Supports Hourglass In Safer Ageing Week

The lone voice of older abuse victims highlighted in Safer Ageing Week 2023

The lone voice of older abuse victims highlighted in Safer Ageing Week 2023

Hourglass (Safer Ageing) has announced the fourth Safer Ageing Week – starting on 01/12/23 – highlighting the lone voices of older victim survivors and how Hourglass is helping to challenge this.

Safer Ageing Week, first launched by Hourglass in 2020, is an opportunity to raise awareness of the abuse of older people and shine a light on older victim-survivors and the relative taboo nature of this unspoken issue.

The theme this year is ALONE VOICE – focusing on the unique lone voice of Hourglass in dealing with the abuse of older people and the often-forgotten voice of an older victim survivor.

Currently not all abuse types, victims or perpetrators are treated equitably in the UK.

The Government’s Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) strategy has been a one useful development.

Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick, an Hourglass patron.

But Hourglass is partly using this Safer Ageing Week to call for a unique strategy and specialist support for older people and therefore removing the additional barriers this group face.

Baroness Margaret Ritchie, Hourglass Patron, said: “Safer Ageing Week plays a vital role in amplifying the voices of older victim-survivors of abuse and neglect.

“Let’s build communities where every older person feels cherished, valued, and secure… where age is celebrated, and safety is assured.

“And most of all, where the voices of older victim survivors are heard and believed”.

Older people, as Hourglass says, should not be the last in line for support.

During this week the charity will also launch the Safer Ageing Index for Wales and, later in the week, the Safer Ageing Index for London, in partnership with the Hallmark Foundation.

These studies assess and compare how well local areas perform in helping people grow old safely.

In 2022 the charity launched the first-ever Safer Ageing Index for Northern Ireland and by early 2024 the organisation plans to unveil a Safer Ageing Index for every part of the UK.

2023 also marks the 30th anniversary of Hourglass and during this week the charity will be looking at the advances made over the last three decades and what progression is needed in coming years.

The week of events, supported by a range of like-minded charities and organisations, will also see the launch of Hourglass’s Economic Abuse Hub in Wales.

This unique provision will deliver vital specialist support to older people – as Financial or Economic abuse numbers and instances have steadily grown to be the majority of Hourglass casework.

Throughout the week we will be releasing messages from policy makers and thought leaders on how we can add our voices in support of older victim-survivors who too often are ALONE VOICE.

Richard Robinson, CEO of Hourglass, said: “This will be the fourth Safer Ageing Week. This year we will focus on the lone voices in our community who speak out against abuse and neglect of older victim-survivors.

“It’s our collective duty to create environments where older people can thrive free from abuse, fear, and neglect.

“For Safer Ageing Week 2023, we hope more people will add their voices to our calls for a strategy to tackle abuse and neglect of older people.”


Timetable for Safer Ageing Week 2023

Friday 1 December: Safer Ageing Week 2023, Evening Launch.

Weekend 2&3 December: Release of videos from policy makers and thought leaders
promoting safer ageing.

Monday 4 December: Release of the 30 years of Hourglass Adult Safeguarding Briefing. Hourglass will use this day to specifically focus on Northern Ireland and highlight how the lack of government in Stormont is undermining efforts to tackle abuse and neglect of older people. Also reflecting what has happened one year on from the NI Safer Ageing Index release.

Tuesday 5 December: Launch of the Wales Safer Ageing Index and the Wales Economic Hub.

Wednesday 6 December: Why advocacy matters: highlighting the work in Sussex where specialist IDVAs/ISVAs have made a tangible impact to the lives of older people in that community. Hourglass will also be issuing a briefing paper on Scotland, highlighting areas where that nation does well supporting older victim survivors and where it needs to do much better.

Thursday 7 December Hourglass will be using this day to promote safer ageing policies. Specifically, why we need a strategy to support older victimsurvivors and some of the strategies this should contain. We will also be highlighting our important ‘partnerships which protect’. Hourglass will promote existing partnerships and launch
new ones.

Friday 8 December Launch of the London Safer Ageing Index. Saturday 9 December We will have a particular focus on our fundraising drive to support our specialist services supporting older people throughout the UK.

Sunday 10 December International Human Rights Day. Hourglass believe adults do not lose their human rights after a certain number of birthdays. Yet, throughout the pandemic and after the rights of older people have not been upheld.