St David’s Day: Celebrating the broad diversity of older people in Wales
Age Cymru calls on journalists, marketing professionals, and recruiters to use its new image library of real older people
This St David’s Day Age Cymru is launching its very own image library of older people living in Wales so that journalists and marketing professionals can access images that are a genuine reflection of this older generation.
For a number of years, the charity has been dismayed at the common portrayal of older people as vulnerable individuals incapable of contributing to society or enjoying community-based activities. In many cases the portrayal is often reduced to a pair of wrinkled hands while the individual sits passively in a chair.
However, everyday Age Cymru interacts with older people who continue to contribute to their workplace, undertake millions of pounds worth of caring for loved ones, and form the cornerstone of much of the volunteering undertaken in Wales.
The collection contains more than 50 images of older people from a scooter riding skinhead to a mountain-sheep-farmer and from wild swimmers to allotment keepers with much in between.
The images in this library are free to use in a wide range of ways such as in newspapers, magazines, community newsletters, websites, recruitment adverts, and social media or anywhere that older people are being portrayed to help provide a more compelling story about older lives in Wales.
Age Cymru’s Kelly Barr who co-ordinated the project says, “This is very much a thought-provoking collection of photographs that breaks down some of the negative stereotypes of older people and better reflects the breadth of experiences and interests of older people in Wales.”
Notes on the three photographs left to right:
Chrissy is a survivor of cancer, two abusive relationships and the loss of a partner in 2019. Chrissy also suffers from fibromyalgia and polymyalgia, but says, ‘My daily sea swimming helps me feel alive and invigorated, it gets me out of my home every day. I often welcome new members to the Colwyn Bay Bluetits which is my local swimming group, I even call myself the mermaid! I have always said I’m growing old disgracefully.”
Roddy from Grangetown in Cardiff is a skinhead and an anti-fascist. Age hasn’t dimmed Roddy’s love of music and he’s still touring the world with the Oi! band The Oppressed. Roddy says, “It’s like they say, age is just a number, and it is. Do you want to still enjoy life? Or do you want to just settle into misery? I feel sorry for those who settle for the misery”.
Linette and Sheila are both active members of STARGarlott Community Allotment in Splott, Cardiff. They credit an active life with keeping them on their toes and dislike it when older people are portrayed as passive and deserving of pity. Linette says, “We don’t fit into that mould and a lot of people don’t fit into that mould. The image one had, say 30 years ago, of an older person – that’s totally changed”.
To access the library, visit: agecymru.org.uk/thisisolder