Age Concern Central Lancashire calls on community heroes to kick start 40th birthday fundraising drive

Age Concern Central Lancashire is calling on ambassadors to pledge their support as it kicks off its 40th anniversary celebrations with an ambitious fundraising campaign.

 The award-winning charity, which officially marks its milestone birthday next year, is looking to recruit a group of ‘Age Is Just A Number’ Ambassadors, to help raise £40,000 over the next 12 months.

 From those who are young at heart and staying active, to those looking to support their local community, it is hoped the new ambassadors will help to spread the charity’s message and help to cement its future.

 Set up in 1981, Age Concern Central Lancashire is dedicated to supporting vulnerable people across the county, specialising in dementia care and offering access to essential help at home and community activities.

 And, to celebrate its 40th birthday, the charity is planning a packed schedule of events, set to be revealed later in the year.

 Suzanne Carr, CEO at Age Concern Central Lancashire, said: “We’re incredibly excited about our upcoming 40th celebrations and, as we approach this huge milestone, we want to hear from local people who have a real passion for living life to the fullest and not letting age get in their way.

 “We take a positive view on ageing and, in our eyes, age really is just a number and is not something that should stop you from fulfilling your goals or ambitions. We want our new ambassadors to embody positive ageing and be role models for us all as we get older. 

 “The ambassadors will play a big part in our celebrations, epitomise our values and be proud to fly our flag across their community – whether that’s organising charity fun runs, arranging coffee mornings or volunteering in one of our stores, they’ll be playing a key role in helping us to continue our work and to change the script about ageing in Lancashire.

 “We’re working hard to ensure our 40th year goes off with a bang and we hope our local support network will expand even further as we roll out our various activities and celebrations.”

 Among those proving their age is no hindrance, is 83-year-old Pat Ascroft, from Garstang, who counts climbing the Himalayas, walking the Great Wall of China and cycling around Cuba, among her recent achievements.

 Grandmother-of-nine Pat said: “A while back, I briefly met a lady at a local event who completely changed my outlook on life. We spoke for less than 15 minutes but she inspired me to get up and go and do all those things I’d been thinking about doing for so long.

 “I made it my focus to take on challenges like hiking across the Himalayas and arctic dog sledding, not only to raise money for charities that were close to my heart, but to also give me a sense of fulfilment.

 “I’m a firm believer that, within reason of course, age should certainly not hold you back from going after what you want. Everyone’s challenge is different though and walking the Great Wall of China is not for everyone; for some people, taking a solo trip after perhaps losing their partner is the biggest challenge they face and that is their ‘Great Wall of China’ to tackle.

 “I would absolutely love to see more older people believing that age really is just a number and it is never, ever too late to achieve what you want to achieve.”

 As part of its landmark anniversary, Age Concern is inviting those who are also celebrating a special 40th to get involved.

 The charity is offering a special ‘40th’ plaque to anyone planning a 40th birthday or wedding anniversary over the next 12 months in return for a £40 donation.

 Suzanne added: “Whether you’re hitting the big 4-0 with us or marking 40 years of marriage, we want to hear from you and to be a part of your celebrations. We want to know about, and celebrate, your story.”

 “We know we have an amazing amount of support right across the county and we’re confident that, with the help of local people and members of the business community, we can reach – and hopefully exceed – our £40,000 target.”

 To nominate yourself, a member of your family or a friend, as an Age Is Just A Number Ambassador, tell us why you/they are passionate about positive and healthy ageing and how or why age has not stopped you achieving your goals.

 Entries should be in no more than 250 words and either emailed to hello@ageconcerncl.org.uk; posted to: Age Concern Central Lancashire, 2-4 Towngate, Leyland, Preston, PR25 2FN; or dropped into one of our Age Concern Central Lancashire stores. Please include a contact name, telephone number and email address with your entry. A full list of Age Concern Lancashire stores can be found here: https://www.ageisjustanumber.org.uk/services/retail-services/

 As an ambassador, you’ll receive a free pack of fundraising essentials, including ideas on getting started and a limited edition 40th year celebration badge.

 For further information about how to donate and have a ‘40’ sign delivered to your 40th celebrations, email: hello@ageconcerncl.org.uk

 For more information about Age Concern Central Lancashire’s 40th birthday, visit: https://www.ageisjustanumber.org.uk/40years