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[UNSUNG HEROES] Purple plaques counter ageism in London, UK

The UK's “unsung older heroes” recently appeared on plaques alongside some of the country's famous historical figures as part of a campaign tackling ageism. The new plaques, created by home care company Home Instead, appeared overnight in late July, hung next to existing plaques at locations in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast.

The initiative aimed to highlight the unique contribution made to society by older people who were put forward by friends and family after a nationwide callout.  A link to a video showing the plaques being secretly installed and the public's reaction is provided below.

Some of those honored include:

Rhona Dunn - a volunteer who taught literacy and numeracy in prisons. Her purple plaque was put up next to writer Charlotte Bronte's blue plaque in Manchester.

Peter Davies - a pilot who was shot down and escaped from behind enemy lines during the Second World War. His purple plaque has been put next to a blue plaque in Cardiff dedicated to the Antarctic explorer Captain F. Scott.

Edna Milton - hospital campaigner. Her purple plaque was put up next to a blue plaque in Manchester that celebrates the life of Emmeline Pankhurst, founder of the suffragette movement.

"With more people aged over 65 than ever before, we need to rethink how we value older people's experience and the contribution they make,” Lee Chapman, Home Instead's Director of Brand & Marketing said. “This campaign is all about highlighting the issues with ageism we have in this country. And it became very apparent, as we traveled around the UK installing our purple plaques, that many people in Britain think more needs to be done to counter age bias and recognize that older people bring so much to us as a society."

In the UK, ageism is the most prevalent form of discrimination among all age groups, with one in three people experiencing age-based prejudice or discrimination, according to the Centre for Ageing Better, a government-funded charitable foundation.

To learn more, and to see the plaques being secretly installed, click here,


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