It has been difficult year so far for all of us. A global pandemic, lockdown, COVID-19 related deaths, mental health issues, and economic uncertainty have all created a most unprecedented situation.
Then there's the plight of our older people; controversary surrounding care homes during lockdown, health issues, isolation, loneliness and separation from loved ones, and an increase in cases of abuse of older people. Never before have so many in this section of society been so vulnerable.
That is why, on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15th, Hourglass launched its Silver Superheroes campaign. We asked you to send us your video and photo tributes to the influential older people in your lives and tell us why they’re so special. We’ve had tributes to former teachers, parents and grandparents, photos of beaming babies and proud grannies, and tributes from well-known athletes and TV personalities sharing their memories and inspirational stories of their own Silver Superheroes.
If there's one thing this pandemic has brought to my own attention it is those inspirational older people who have achieved amazing things in isolation, bringing the nation together in a sense of shared admiration while raising millions of pounds for great causes.
Here are just five of the many older people who have become my lockdown Silver Superheroes.
My first needs no introduction: Captain Sir Tom Moore, a gentlemen 100 years old, raised 32million pounds by doing laps in his garden. An outstanding achievement, that also resulted in him being the oldest person to have UK number 1 (You’ll never walk alone) and a Knighthood.
Lily Barnett: The 97-year-old from Hampshire, who’s living with Parkinson’s disease, walked the corridors of her home six times a day, to raise money for Help For Heroes. Currently the total stands at £4150. Her inspiration comes from Captain Sir Tom Moore, whilst it’s a tribute to her late husband Joe, who died aged 47 and served in the Second World War.
Rajinder Singh: Before Boris Johnson made his announcement to fight obesity, the 73-year-old, self-named Skipping Sikh, Rajinder had been inspiring others to keep fit, posting daily workout videos on social media. Initially to combat isolation and keep the Sikh community connected, Rajinder’s videos have helped raised just shy of £14000 for NHS Charities Together.
Dabirul Choudhury: Dabirul, 100, from St Albans, has raised over £228,000 to help those affected from COVID-19 in the UK and Bangladesh. He pledged to walk 100 laps of his garden during the fasting month of Ramadan.
Joan Willet: Joan is the oldest of my lockdown heroes. At 104, Joan has walked in total over 17 miles to raise money for the British Heart Foundation. Her initial target was £500. The current amount raised is over £51,000!
These are only some of the many inspirational older people who have shown such resilience and innovation during. Not all heroes wear capes and not all heroes reach media attention. So don’t miss the opportunity Hourglass is giving you to shine a light on your very own Silver Superhero.
Together let's celebrate older people. Let’s tell the world how we truly value and respect our older loved ones. In a society obsessed with youth, we need to remember these inspirational older people, who continue to push the boundaries and expectations of what’s expected. At Hourglass, we would love to hear who’s your Silver Superhero & why they’re so special. You can upload your video here