South West Seniors' Network
South West  Seniors' Network

The State of Ageing 2022, a new comprehensive review of public data by the Centre for Ageing Better, shines a light on people’s worsening experiences of growing older in England and strengthens calls for an Older People’s Commissioner.

The State of Ageing 2022, a new review of national data on ageing by the Centre for Ageing Better, finds that the prospect of a healthy and financially secure later life is becoming increasingly unlikely for millions of people in the UK.

Data shows that women in the poorest areas of England can now expect to live 16 fewer years free of a disability or limiting illness than those in the richest areas, and the gap for men is even greater at 17 years. 20/04/2022

Conference on the Future of Ageing hailed as a great success

Please send us news of your group for this web site so that other groups in the arera can benifit from your experience to,, 31/03/2022


The Centre for Ageing Better and Get Yourself Active, at Disability Rights UK, have launched a new project today called 'Picture Yourself Active'.

The collaboration introduces 300+ photographs to the age-positive image library, with a focus on older and Disabled people being active. The photos can be downloaded and used for free across websites, presentations and social media.
The new collection of positive and realistic images are accompanied by a set of tips on capturing your own disability- and age-friendly photos. The images also reinforce that not all disabilities are visible, by including a range of experiences that are often not recognised within society.

We hope that you can use these photos to help us challenge conceptions and shift the narrative from pity to empowerment. 













SWSN Management Committee 2019-2020.

David Short,       NC 50+ Alliance

Diane Gooch,     Chairperson of WSUN,

Dilys Warren,     GOPA,

Janet Royston,   TUC Pensioners Committee.

Jim Kent,           West Somerset Senior Forum

Joe Hui,             CLP-BACWG

Ropshitz,           Devon Prison Cluster

Loretta Whetlor. West Somerset Senior Forum.

Louise Rendle    CEO of WSUN

Mark Poarch      CEO of Brace

Margaret Coles, Devon Comunities Group


Neal Davies,      Taunton U3A

Rosa Hui,           BACWG  


Lord Filkin, Chair of the Centre for Ageing Better, was warmly welcomed to conference on the Future of Ageing at the Clarke Willmott Conference Centre in Bristol on 28th January 2015. The Centre for Ageing Better aims to help many more people have a better later life by identifying evidence of what works and by encouraging change in line with this evidence. They are a charitable foundation, entirely independent from government and from business interests, with an anticipated lifespan of ten years. They are part of the network of What Works Centres. The Centre for Ageing Better has been endowed with £50 million by the Big Lottery Fund.



Tony Watts(Chair of SWFoA),Heledd Wyn( Clarke Willmott): Lord Filkin ( Chair of the Centre for Ageing Better) Brian Warwick (Chair of SWSN)

Personal Blog By Brian Warwick

News From Forums

How to improve Seniors' engagement across Government. A presentation by Brian Warwick and Tony Watts. March 2015
Engagement across Government. .pptx
Microsoft Power Point presentation [5.6 MB]

50,000 South West Seniors call for “Minister for the Ageing Society”


Article by Tony Watts


The body representing over 50,000 older people in the South West has called upon the main political parties to build into their election manifestos the creation of a new ministerial post to deal with the challenges and opportunities of our rapidly ageing society.


The South West Seniors Network SWSN has also prioritized new laws to provide greater safeguarding from abuse for frail, older people and changes to the tax system which currently penalize those with modest pensions.


“We will shortly be heading into the next election,” said Brian Warwick, Chair of the SWSN, “and at our AGM we asked our members for their priorities. Every political party is well aware of the power of the ‘grey vote’ – there are over 14.5 million people aged 60 and above in this country, most of whom vote, and we are looking to engage with the main parties on the policies that would win their support.


“What came over loud and clear is that older people are not looking for anything that treats them unfairly compared to the rest of society, or for anything that is unaffordable or unrealistic. We recognize that other parts of society are being ‘squeezed’ too.”


One of the main concerns of seniors in the West is the failure of this Government to appoint a Minister with an overarching responsibility for policies relating to older people. “The 2013 House of Lords report on our Ageing Society highlighted the fact that the Government was totally unprepared for a society where people are living much longer than any previous generation.


“This has massive implications for our health service, the way we provide and fund care, our housing needs in the years ahead, how we afford retirement, the need to invest in more public transport, extending working lives… a whole raft of issues,” says Mr Warwick. “You simply cannot deal with these issues in isolation on a departmental basis – which is what is happening at the moment.


“Every day we hear of cut backs in one department which lead to problems being created elsewhere. In particular, decisions taken by the NHS without adequate consultation frequently impact upon the quality of life of individuals and load significant costs onto Local Authorities - who are at the sharp end dealing with many of the care and support needs.


“Cut backs in public transport are leaving whole communities isolated – and social isolation and loneliness have been proven to have major negative health impacts. The list goes on.


“We know budgets have to be cut, but we have to stop this silo thinking which actually leads to money being wasted. Only a Minister for an Ageing Society, in close touch with older people themselves, would have that ability to look at the whole picture and make departments co-ordinate their efforts – and so saving public money as well as improving services.”


The seniors in the region have also called for changes which would provide greater safeguarding for vulnerable adults living in care. “At the moment we have the nonsensical situation where someone living in care provided by the local authority has a greater level of protection and more human rights than those paying for their own care. How can that possibly be right?” demands Mr Warwick.


“We also want all the parties to make clear what their policies will be on current benefits available to older people – especially bus passes and winter fuel allowance. The gap between seniors on low incomes and the rest of the community is also widening, especially those below the tax threshold who received very little help in the recent budget.


“Above all,” said Mr Warwick, “what we want to see put in place are policies and strategies that will help tomorrow’s older people too.”



View our  films on our videos page with views from local forums.

Contact us if you would like a copy of this film to show your forum.


South West Seniors' Network


Contact; Vacancy (chair person);


Vice Chairperson, 

Margaret Coles





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