There is a tribe abroad, wonderfully composed of greying hair and aching limbs, and completely invisible.
They are Debden’s OAPs, living on the basic state pension – 37 per cent of the minimum wage.
The Restore community centre in Debden Broadway runs a highly successful food bank, but people cannot just walk in off the street and ask for food. They need a letter of recommendation.
I sit in Restore most days drinking their excellent tea and I see people walking out loaded down with free food, but I have yet to see a pensioner walk out with anything.
In England, pensioners, especially the over-70s, are regarded as useless mouths and England is the only country in Europe which ‘winter culls’ its elderly people.
An extra 30,000 die of malnutrition and the cold each year.
It would be nice if Restore could arrange some letters of recommendation for Debden’s elderly citizens.
Pensioners have modest needs – just some tea, a packet of butter, a piece of cheese and a can of corned beef. They would appreciate that gesture. I am a pensioner in my 70s, but I am not asking for anything for myself.
William Long, Lushes Road, Loughton.