Take a look at some of our independent press coverage

Reaching a wider audience is crucial to the future success of AFTAID and its work. No charity, however worthy, can solely rely on past supporters alone. It would not be fair to supporters nor those we support to do so. To that end we are as active as possible in our PR.

We are always grateful to those in the media who have found our work compelling and of interest to their readers. Publishing news items and articles about our work.

The latest is the north London Newspaper called WESTENDER. A transcript of the article, published in February this year, is below. You can also download it in original pdf form as it appears in the newspaper by clicking here.

Any editors interested in publishing an article about AFTAID should email us - click here now.


We would like to thank some of the publications who have carried our PR and news releases over the past months, including:

The Birmingham Telelgraph
RAISE Magazine
CARE Magazine

We are also included in the following directories:

Charity Choice
Will to Charity
The Solicitors Journal


AFTAID welcome all contributions to The Bright Side and this website.
So if you can send a story that our supporters will like to read (that's just about any story relating to help for older citizens) please send it to us.

Just email your story by clicking here.

Also, if you can organise a fundraising event, no matter the size, we will be happy to offer support where we can.

Just email your plans for the event by clicking here.



The Lady and the Tram

Miss Mary Partridge and
how the tram would probably
have looked like in its heyday.


As anyone who has ever nodded off on the top deck of a Routemaster will tell you, sleeping on public transport is not to be recommended. But for 82 year old MARY PARTRIDGE, it's a way of life.
She lives in a tram, facing the beach at West Wittering, in Sussex. "It has been my home for 25 years" she says. "When I was a child, I used to come here for my holidays. They were such happy times. I bought the tram in 1982 so I could live out my retirement in a place I love".

The double decker once plied the streets of London. At the end of its working life, for some unknown reason, it was dumped on a beach in Selsey. In 1921, the vehicle was hauled to West Wittering by horse, to serve as a hut in a boatyard on its present site. Over the years it has lost and gained a few features but still remains, recognisably, a tram.
Nevertheless, it has not aged as gracefully as Miss Partridge. Father Time and the great storms of the 80s, 90s and noughties have done their work.

Last year, AFTAID was approached by a charitable social worker who was concerned about Miss Partridge's welfare. She is diabetic and partially sighted. Her home was at risk of being condemned and she could not afford the most essential repairs, which ran to two or three thousand pounds. She faced being rehoused in an old people's home run by her local authority.
In collaboration with other charities, AFTAID raised enough money to repair the roof, walls and joists of the tram. "The joists were so rotten, you could put your hands through them" says Miss Partridge. "The west wall was even worse. There were holes in it big enough for visitors to reach in and turn off the television set.
"I don't want to leave here. First thing in the morning, the racehorses come down, to exercise on the beach. I hear their hooves as they gallop along the sand. From my window I have an unbroken view of the ocean, from Portsmouth in the west to Selsey Bill in the east. Directly opposite is the Isle of Wight.
"I take photographs of the sea and of the clouds. They are amazing. You never get the same formation two days running. They change their mood all the time. I went to Art School after I retired. I enjoy being creative. I had a little pottery outside once, but then I found heaving about clay a bit too much. I make my own candles.

"The rest of my time is taken up with looking after the tram and keeping everything going. I can't walk far anymore, but the local shops are very kind. They deliver everything to me, even if it's just a jar of coffee. So you can understand why I don't want to move. The pain of leaving my home would be greater than carrying on, with all its discomforts. It's part of me".
The tram is now habitable once more. "Miss Partridge sent us a thankyou letter the other day" says LEWIS GREEN of AFTAID. "With a photo she has taken, of a sunset, across the sea outside her window. She has written on the back "This is why I wanted to stay in my house".
"Almost every penny we receive is translated directly into helping people like Miss Partridge. We don't pay ourselves a wage. So letters like hers mean a lot to us. They reassure us we are doing something worthwhile".

Copyright WESTENDER 2010

Shivering in the sunset

Forty years ago, when many of today's pensioners believed old age was too distant to worry about, an advertisement for the Sun Life Assurance Company appeared in the hallowed pages of the Reader's Digest.
It was headlined '£3,000 for YOU at age 65'. Beneath this tantalising promise was displayed a scene of breathtaking contentment. A healthy, bronzed, retired couple, with white teeth and expensive watches, sailing their gleaming yacht towards a sun-kissed beach in the Caribbean.

Inflation killed the dreams of millions of working people who prudently saved for their old age. It also devalued the resources of the State, which might otherwise have been able to sustain them in their dotage. The process continues. The national rate of inflation for pensioner households has averaged 9% a year for the last four years. Charities like AFTAID, which have helped elderly people in distress for generations, have never been busier.

"It's not just that we are receiving more appeals for help" says LEWIS GREEN, AFTAID's managing trustee.
"We are encountering more people trapped in truly harrowing situations. Where most of the necessities of life are unattainable luxuries. Where you can't imagine how they managed to survive.
"A few weeks ago, we were contacted by a social worker, from a local charity for older people in Leeds. She had come across a 72 year old lady, who had been sleeping in an old bed, designed for an infant.
"It was far too small for her and decidedly uncomfortable. She had fallen out of the thing on numerous occasions. She couldn't afford a proper bed. Not even second hand. She lives alone, in sheltered accommodation, on the basic state pension.

"She has cancer of the mouth, throat and breast, COPD, bronchitis, asthma, diabetes, enlarged liver and arthritis of the spine, shoulders and neck. We immediately invited her to choose a proper bed from the Argos catalogue. Within a couple of days, it was delivered and assembled. For the first time in years, she tells us, night time is now a blessed relief.
"We paid 160 pounds for the bed she chose. Not a great deal of money, but a fortune for her. Most requests for assistance, that we receive, are relatively modest".
AFTAID was founded in 1982, as Aid for the Aged. Later, it merged with Aged in Distress, a charity with similar aims, to become Aid for the Aged in Distress. Requests for help to AFTAID are generally submitted by social workers, or by field staff at other charities which do not themselves make welfare grants.
The charity is run entirely by unpaid volunteers. Donations and legacies are not diluted by staffing costs.

Over the years, AFTAID has built a commendably efficient, yet almost zero cost, welfare distribution network, embracing the good offices of retailers, like Argos and Curry's, which are able to deliver to every household in the land.
Recently, with their assistance, AFTAID was able to provide a washing machine for a destitute couple ravaged by incontinence. It was able to send a cooker, to an elderly woman without the means to prepare hot meals. In collaboration with other charities, AFTAID made a grant for an all-terrain mobility scooter, releasing from 'house arrest' a crippled pensioner, whose home is not served by public roads.
The charity's work is limited only by its income. Until recently, thanks to an unusually loyal body of donors, it could comfortably respond to all bona fide requests for help. This may not prove possible in the years ahead. The Sun Life generation is plunging into an economic maelstrom.
Consumer data from British Gas and Tesco suggest that since September 2007, when the recession began, pensioners overall have cut back their consumption, in real terms, by 8% in fuel and 6% in food. It would be a delusion to assume this is because old people are passionate about climate change and obesity.

Copyright WESTENDER 2010


Privacy Policy - Green Policy

© 2016. This website and all content is the copyright of AFTAID - Aid for the Aged in Distress. Registered charity number 299276.