At the time of writing this we are all experiencing the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the restrictions on our lives, and the sorrow at the loss of life.
Inevitably this review of the year is coloured by our experiences of the last few months and the impact on older people. As Older People’s Commissioner for Wales I have felt this acutely, and my heart goes out to all who have lost loved ones, and to those who are facing many everyday struggles and difficulties.
But this dreadful pandemic has also shown some of the best of who we are, and I am inspired and encouraged by the commitment, creativity and solidarity that so many have shown. We will need all of this, and more, as we navigate the coming months together.
In presenting this report I want to thank all the older people who have engaged with me and my team, for their ideas, wisdom, challenge and support. In particular I want to pay tribute to Phyllis Preece, who sadly died this year. Phyllis was Chair of the National Pensioners Convention and much more besides. She was a good friend to me and my predecessors and our teams, and she is much missed.
I would also like to thank all the individuals and organisations we are working with who demonstrate why Wales can be the best place in the world to grow older, despite the extreme challenges we currently face.
I have been well supported by my Audit and Risk Assurance Committee who provide objective and clear counsel, assessment and assurance on risk, something that is particularly important in this time of fast change and flux.
And, finally, a warm and heartfelt thank you to my team. The impact I make as Commissioner, which you will read about in this report, would not be possible without their hard work and invaluable support.
Heléna Herklots CBE
Older People’s Commissioner for Wales
Click here to download Impact and Reach 2019-20