31 Jul 2015
Residents from Anchor’s London care homes have this week staged a public performance of their song praising the Freedom Pass, which entitles older people to free travel.
Staff and residents from Anchor’s Rose Court care home in Rotherhithe, Norton House in Westminster and Greenhive in Peckham Rye, joined other older people from across the city for a concert outside the Royal Festival Hall.
The Freedom Pass was first introduced in 1973 when people over the age of 60 were entitled to free travel on London’s transport system and on buses across the country.
Resident Elsie Roots, 85, said: “It was great fun taking part in the rehearsals and then performing on the South Bank.
“We wanted to promote the Freedom Pass because it is so important to help older people maintain their independence – being able to get out and about can really change your quality of life.”
Eileen Cadman, 80, said: “The Freedom Pass stops older people feeling lonely or neglected, as we can easily visit children and grandchildren, friends old and new.
“Before I moved into Rose Court, I mostly used the pass for shopping trips; now it is great for group outings so that we can make the most of living in London.”
Event organiser Clair Chapwell, from Bolder Voices, said the group performs lots of songs about the politics of getting older.
She explained: “The Freedom Pass has helped thousands of older people across the capital maintain their independence since it was created, and is as important today as when the then Greater London Council introduced it.
“Transport costs are out of reach for many older people whose sole income is their pension. Without the Freedom Pass, many older people would experience even more social isolation.
“This is why we are singing Love That Freedom Pass - we are celebrating its value to seniors in London."