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Taking ‘frozen pensions’ to No10

01 March, 2019 — By Helen Chapman

At number 10 – Supa Kusumratana, 78 (IPF), holding the letter, with, from left: Tom Devine, 77 (ICBP); Ellen Lebethe, 83 (NPC); Myrna Talbot, 76 (IPF) and Margaret Harwood, 86 (IPF)


Campaigners from the Islington Pensioners Forum (IPF) have presented a letter to prime minister Theresa May calling for an end to the “frozen pensions” policy. This means British pensioners living abroad will not see their basic state pensions increase every year, as in the UK. Instead, they are permanently frozen at the date of retirement or when they move abroad.

The IPF joined forces with the International Consortium of British Pensioners (ICBP), a global coalition of campaign groups representing the 550,000 frozen British pensioners living overseas, and the National Pensioners Convention (NPC) to present the letter which was signed by 25 MPs. Dot Gibson, secretary of the IPF, says: “We have been working with ICBP for some time to raise this issue.”The policy applies in more than 100 countries including Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. “It means people can work their whole working lives paying for pensions, then move to one of these countries and find their pensions are frozen at that point,” says Dot. “There are situations where people in their 90s have gone abroad because they want to be with their grandchildren. It just isn’t fair.”

The letter was presented to number 10 Downing Street on Wednesday. For more information about IPF see

Boxing clever for the homeless

Charlotte Keith and Sam Hadfield


The gloves are on in a battle to improve homelessness and mental health problems. The Caris Boxing Club is now hosting free sessions in Finsbury Park on Sundays where all are welcome to attend.

Sam Hadfield set up Caris Boxing Club seven years ago. “We are now concentrating on lots of outreach,” he says. “We have been going to meet people

who can’t come to us and take them to the boxing club. On Sundays we train at Finsbury Park. We meet at 11am by the basket ball pitch in Finsbury Park. In the week I train people with mental health problems or people in recovery at islington Boxing Club (in Hazellville Road).”

Charlotte Keith and Peter Wilkinson are coaching the Finsbury Park sessions. They joined the clubs as members before completing a boxing coaching course. Caris Boxing Club supports the homeless and people of all ages suffering depression and addictions by providing boxing training. Caris also provide support with housing, education, employment and training and the development of life skills.

Fore more information see


Hegley steps up to help Whittington

John Hegley is running an event to raise funds for the centre


It’s all hands on deck at the Whittington Park Community Centre, which offers a wide range of services for local people, who are raising money to give their building a freshening-up.

Their 50:90 fundraising campaign, which is aiming to raise £50k in 90 days, is coming to an end and performance poet John Hegley is putting on a show to raise money in the final push. “I am coming back to my hometown in a way,” says John. “I was born in Islington. You forget how lovely it is.”

John has performed across the country in schools, bars and the Edinburgh Fringe. He is coming to the WPCC to perform Family Wordship, a show for primary pupils aged seven and above and their parents and carers.

John said: “It is an inter- active show with songs and poems and fig rolls. It is playful and wonderful and is fun for adults and children.”

Loan Tran, from the community centre, says: “He’s a brilliant performer and has a great community heart.

“We’re really close to the target and have raised £43K so far and had donations from all over the world – Hong Kong, Singa- pore, France, Wales – as well as the local community, from people who care about community spaces and bringing people together.”

The Family Wordship show is on Saturday March 23, 3-4.30pm, at the WPCC, Rupert Road, N19 4DQ. Tickets, £6-£9, from https://john-hegley-

For more on the 50:90 campaign see www.virginmoney and more about WPCC at


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