How pensioner Tom from Bury St Edmunds is helping improve lives of Nation’s OAPs

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A pensioner from Bury St Edmunds is helping shape how Big Lottery Funding will benefit the elderly in the future.

Former Beatles photographer Tom Murray was just one of 15 people from across the UK who met with lottery chiefs last week to discuss ideas.

Mr Murray, who is 68 and who lives on the Howard Estate said: “The Big Lottery Fund has got a lot of money – more than £110 million to give out. It is enough to make a huge difference to people’s lives.”

He said many elderly people are living in isolation which has been made worse by the loss of rural shops and pubs.

And many OAPs are also under increasing pressure to down size their homes, which they have lived in for many years, to help local authorities meet housing need, he said.

Mr Murray said there are more than a million elderly people living in isolation who see a week go by without talking to another person.

One of the ideas that Mr Murray is helping develop to overcome these problems is a time bank or silver line where older people would pass on some of their skills to young people as well as helping each other out.

The scheme would also see younger people volunteer some of their time to help with some of the tasks that elderly people struggle with.

“Young people and older generations need to combine, ideas and ideals.

“The young blood need to get into the habit of volunteering and the elder generations amongst us should give our life experiences and help the young people,” Mr Murray said.

“I think a nation is judged by how it treats its elderly and it is great that the BLF is listening to see how we should take things forward.”

Mr Murray was selected for the meeting after filling out an on-line form and is due to take part in another meeting with the BLF next week.