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Registration fee: £25 for members of VAHS and £30 for non-members

Points of interest:

A varied programme of talks, discussion and debate including lunch and concluding with conviviality. The keynote address will be given by Professor Pat Thane, research professor in contemporary British history, King's College, London. Speakers include academic and independent researchers, practitioners and older activists and witnesses.

What it is about:

Over time older people have been seen both as passive recipients of care and support designed and delivered by others and as active agents engaged in activities to suit their own self-defined needs and interests. Different strands of voluntary action have developed to reflect these views.

This study day will explore voluntary action by and for older people over time. That is, it will explore ways in which the identities of older people have been constructed and by whom, how services have been designed and delivered to older people, and in contrast how older people have designed and delivered activities and services to suit their self-defined interests and needs.


09.30                           Registration and refreshments

10.10                          Welcome

                                    Meta Zimmeck, study day convenor, VAHS

10.15                           Keynote address, Looking back: An overview of the history of

voluntary action for and by older people since the nineteenth century

Professor Pat Thane, King's College, London

10.45                           Kinship, Labour and life-style: Old age and voluntary action in the             1940s and 1950s

Mary Clare Martin, University of Greenwich

11.30                           Old age in the new world? Older people’s welfare and voluntary action during two transformational moments

Georgina Brewis, UCL Institute of Education, University College London; and Angela Ellis Paine, Third Sector Research Centre, University of Birmingham

12.15                           A final stronghold of liberal learning? The Development of the University of the Third Age Movement and its role and impact in the lives of older people

Grace M Rose, independent researcher

13.00                           Lunch

13.45                           ‘I’m tired of being grateful’: The distressing demise of


Denise Neilson, resident of an almshouse in London

14.05                           Older people setting the age-friendly agenda: community

seating in Kilburn

John Miles and Mel Wright, Kilburn Older Voices Exchange


14.40                           ‘Some people are quite alone, and this is the only platform they

                                    have to get their voice heard’: Older people speaking to power in

LB Camden

                                    Corinna Hyman, Ageing Better in Camden

15.15                           Football Friends: Empowering older volunteers to alleviate


Lois Walters, Friends of the Elderly, and Don Adams, Any Old Irons

15.50                           Some final thoughts and discussion

                                    Pat Thane and the speakers 

Followed by                 Conviviality

17.00                           Close