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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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The design of the new Automatic Enrolment Retirement Savings Scheme is inadequate and fails to address existing inequalities in the State pension system

 

 

Equality for older people requires the re-distribution of resources; power and influence; status and standing; and respect.  Many older people live in the most vulnerable situations in our society with no capacity to increase their income while dealing with the increasing cost of ageing. A new autoenrolment scheme that further drives existing inequalities is simply unacceptable

A Strawman proposal for the new autoenrolment scheme was published in August 2018. A number of substantial concerns were raised at this time regarding the lack of information and clarity around the new scheme. Publication of the revised scheme – with little change from the initial 2018 proposal – in October 2019 saw little additional information made available on a range of crucial areas.

Paddy Connolly, Age Action CEO notes: “Efforts to increase pension coverage, while ensuring greater numbers of people are kept above the poverty line and in income adequacy in retirement are welcome. However, details of the new auto-enrolment scheme offer little information on how the new scheme will be implemented across relevant sectors and outside of paid work, and how it will help prevent further inequalities between those in higher and lower earning jobs, according to gender, and for those who are long-term unemployed.”