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Bank blitzes backyards to help older people

Published 14/07/2017

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Age Action and Bank of Ireland today took part in the Great Bank of Ireland Backyard Blitz, which will see hundreds of bank volunteers swapping their calculators for watering cans and their spreadsheets for spades to give their older neighbours a ‘dig out’ in the garden.

Bank of Ireland volunteers ready for the Backyard Blitz
Bank of Ireland volunteers ready for the Backyard Blitz

The gardening bonanza matches up bank employees with local older people who need a bit of help keeping their gardens maintained.

During the two-day initiative, hedge-trimming, hoe-wielding, flower-planting teams of volunteers will swarm over a staggering 125 gardens in Dublin, Cork and Galway. No job is too big or too small for the 300 plus volunteers who will be taking part in the gardening blitz.

Every weed pulled, flower planted and gate painted means a lot to older people who are very proud of their gardens, but often struggle to keep them maintained.

Bank of Ireland is delighted that Age Action is one of their three flagship charity partners and the Backyard Blitz is one of a programme of initiatives on which the bank will support Age Action.

The wider programme combines volunteering, fundraising and financial support, as well as providing teaching on the basics of the internet and digital world through Tea & Teach sessions.

Blitz by the numbers

Speaking on the initiative, Backyard Blitz Ambassador Alan Brogan said, “I am delighted to be the Ambassador for the Great Bank of Ireland Backyard Blitz initiative.

Over the two days, there will be some great work done to help older people in the community who may not be able to manage the upkeep of their gardens themselves.

It’s great to see employees come together to make a difference and I’ve no doubt it will be a very successful two days.”

Commenting on Backyard Blitz, Justin Moran, Age Action said; “We are delighted to be teaming up with Bank of Ireland.  The demand from our members and clients has been unbelievable.

There’s already huge excitement about teams of volunteers coming to help out and I can guarantee they’re going to get a really warm welcome.”

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Did Budget 2020 Take Steps Towards a Fairer Society for an Ageing Population?

 

The Government's Budget 2020 choices did not include measures to address the inequalities faced by older people living in Ireland who are family members and contributors to our communities. Budget 2020 did not offer the majority of older people the support they need to meet the rising cost of living that is anticipated by the impacts of Brexit and it did not offer a concrete plan to support us to age in place.

 

Equality for older people requires the re-distribution of resources; power and influence; status and standing; and respect.  While the Government has increased some secondary benefits with the view to targeting people in the most vulnerable situations, which is a sensible approach, it has to be acknowledged that if people had adequate income to meet the true cost of ageing, they would be able to have choice over how to spend their money to best meet their specific needs.

The net affect of Budget 2020 on the income of older person headed households is;

  • Those under 80 and living with another person are €1.08 better off per week following Budget 2020 and have seen a weekly increase of €11.68 since 2009

 

  • For those under 80 and living alone, they are €6.08 better off per week following Budget 2020, and have seen a weekly increase of €20.48 on 2009 income

 

  • For those over 80 and living with another person, their weekly income has risen by €1.08 in Budget 2020, and €11.68 since 2009

 

  • For those over 80 and living alone, they are better off by €6.08 per week following Budget 2020, and €20.48 since 2009.

 

Some people who are over 80 are people in the most vulnerable situations in our society with no capacity to increase their income while dealing with the increasing cost of ageing. A person over 80, not living alone, received €1.08 per week to cope with Brexit, the carbon tax increase and the rising cost of living in 2020. It is on the backs of these people that our economy has been built: these are the same women and men who lived through the Marriage Bar, shouldered several recessions and are now dealing with the accumulated disadvantages. In working for equality, it is critical that we focus on equality of outcomes not just equality of opportunity.