Letter: Positive but not politically correct images of age

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The Independent Online
Sir: I was interested to see Helen Chappell ('Making the grey more visible,' 25 October) giving such prominence to the European Year of Older People 1993. As the director of the organisation responsible for running the UK Secretariat for this year, I am always heartened to see coverage.

I was sorry, however, to see that several of Helen Chappell's interviewees seem to have missed the point of the Year, which is to promote positive images of older people and to raise awareness of the issues facing them.

To say that the Year is about 'political correctness' is a gross simplification; it is about celebrating the wealth and range of experience that older people have to offer us, and as such it continues to be a very positive initiative which is greatly appreciated by thousands of older people across the UK and by organisations, such as Age Concern, that are working in the field of ageing.

I, for one, am looking forward with enthusiasm to the UN Year of Ageing in 1999.

Yours faithfully,



Age Concern England

London, SW16

27 October

(Photograph omitted)