“I’d go and stand on Speakers’ Corner and shout it to the rooftops if I thought it would make a difference!”
64 year old Jennie Woodall, who lives at Churchill Retirement Living’s Maxwell Lodge development in Market Harborough
“I’m not sure who I’m going to vote for in this year’s General Election – if I’m going to vote at all,” says 64 year old Jennie Woodall. “It’s so difficult when there simply isn’t one clear strong party, or one strong leader. If I don’t vote this time round, it’ll be the first time I haven’t. I feel quite angry about this.”
Jennie, who lives in a onebedroom apartment at Maxwell Lodge, a Churchill Retirement Living development in Market Harborough, is now retired. Having worked hard her whole life, at times juggling three jobs while raising a son on her own, she finds herself in retirement feeling somewhat disillusioned.
“It’s hard as you get older, you become more invisible. You begin to feel that your views go unheard, or that they no longer matter. To politicians, the older generation is unimportant. They pretend our views count but frankly, they’re just paying us lip service. Time and time again, they make promises they inevitably go on to break.
“People of pension age have worked hard. As a generation, we have a strong work ethic. We’ve paid into the system, juggled careers, raised families, maybe even cared for elderly relatives too. So as you get older, there ought to be some recognition of this – don’t just throw us onto the scrap heap!
“Could David Cameron manage on a state pension? I’d certainly challenge him to give it a go for a month, without any outside help or money in his pocket, other than the basic pension.
“What’s needed in my opinion, are better pensions, more affordable care, and help for those most at risk of loneliness and isolation – to my mind, these are the issues that should be top of politicians’ agendas, and would certainly help secure my vote. But will anyone listen? I’d go and stand on Speakers’ Corner and shout it to the rooftops if I thought it would make any difference!”
Despite the challenges Jennie had raising a child as a single parent, she is very proud of how her son has turned out. He now has a child of his own. “For my grandson’s sake, I worry how decisions made in the future are going to affect him,” explains Jennie. “The NHS is massively underfunded and under resourced and schools oversubscribed. Reduced university funding has made it nigh impossible financially for an ordinary person to send his/her child to further their education and leaves the student with crippling debt for years to come.
“Indeed, the world my grandson’s generation is growing up in is, at times, a frightening place. The headlines are rife with stories about child abuse going unnoticed, families living on the street. Food banks have been introduced for the first time in my lifetime. There’s such poverty in our country and that’s simply not right. While I accept we need to do our bit to help abroad, first and foremost, we need to help people at home, whatever their age.”