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A new project aimed at people from their early 50s who are facing the prospect of early retirement due to a change in their circumstances has been formally launched.

'Not Ready Yet!' is run by MHA Ellesmere Port and Neston Live at Home scheme and has received funding from the Brightlife Bright Ideas fund to run a 12 to 18 month pilot scheme researching the subject of forced retirement.

It will also be developing support schemes with a view to providing sustainable long term services for the early retired, and promoting the benefits of a mature workplace to potential employers for those who wish to remain in employment. 

This project was the brainchild of scheme manager David Foulds who, based on the personal experience, saw a gap in support provision for people in their early 50s to 60s experiencing sudden and unexpected life changes.

The launch event was held at the Ellesmere Port National Waterways Museum and was well attended by local professionals and organisations. The Mayor of Ellesmere Port Karen Shore and the Deputy Mayor Paul Donovan were present, along with MHA’s Chief Executive Sam Monaghan.

Ellesmere Port LaH Not Ready Yet launch.JPG

Photographed: Paul Donovan (Deputy Mayor of Ellesmere Port), Karen Shore (Mayor of Ellesmere Port), Heather Collin (NRY! Project Co-ordinator), Sam Monaghan (MHA Chief Executive) and David Foulds (Ellesmere Port and Neston LAH Scheme Manager).

Speaking about Not Ready Yet!,  Ellesmere Port and Neston LAH Scheme Manager David Foulds said: "Services for the elderly currently tend to be focused on people who have reached the retirement age of 65. Forced retirement is a growing issue in the early 50s to early 60s age group as the economic security of our manufacturing and services industries change.

"There is yet to be official research into this problem and that is why the Ellesmere Port and Neston Live at Home scheme applied to and received funding from the Brightlife Bright Ideas fund to research this issue which exists in the Ellesmere Port area.

"Forced retirement is a growing issue"

"We believe that our project will provide an opportunity to effectively fill this gap, providing relevant and valuable services for this client group."

Alongside the research element, the Not Ready Yet! project will develop a programme of new activities that is focused on the early retired who are a more active group with higher expectations and will also offer practical advice to those who do not want to retire.

The project will also be developing services for people 50 to 65 offering impartial advice on retirement issues so that they can make an informed choice as to whether or not they take early retirement or seek to continue in employment.  

Services and activities to enhance personal wellbeing

In addition there will be services and activities that are wide ranging offering fitness, social and healthy living opportunities to enable people to enjoy their period of retirement, to adjust into it and also to counteract social isolation or mental illness issues.

The scheme will be working in partnership with a number of identified agencies and organisations such as the local college and universities, Job Centre Plus, healthcare centres, CVAs and wellbeing services to provide support and direction as well as offering services to employers who may be about to make redundancies and wish to support their more mature employees through the process.

Further details about the Not Ready Yet! project and the services the project is providing can be obtained by contacting the service directly on 0151 357 3873, by email heather.collin@mha.org.uk or by visiting the Not Ready Yet! Facebook page.

Call for volunteers

The project is also looking for volunteers to drive mini buses and to help run activities. Details of volunteering opportunities with Not Ready Yet! can be obtained by calling 0151 357 3873 or by emailing ellesmereport.liveathome@mha.org.uk

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