History of SPC
The London Borough of Southwark has a long history of campaigning for pensioner’s rights since the national campaign to establish a state pension was started in Camberwell by Harold Moody in the late nineteenth century, which resulted in the State Pension being introduced by David Lloyd George in 1908.
However, the events that led to the establishment of the Southwark Pensioners Centre started in 1973, when Southwark Council funded an Over Sixties Employment Bureau to support retired people to find employment. It was set up following research by Southwark Council that established that the loss of employment was one of the most serious concerns for older people in the borough.
In 1981, the Walworth Pensioners Project was established as a community development project for older people. Its focus was to address need by helping people to form independent, self-run groups to meet that need—be it social opportunities, to press for local improvements (in say transport, keeping the baths open, etc) or wider campaigning. In the last connection the Southwark Pensioners Action Group was launched in 1980 to campaign for the rights of pensioners in the borough, and employed its own worker from 1983-1988.
These three organisations merged premises to form the Southwark Pensioners Centre in 1987, which converted 305-307 Camberwell Road into a Pensioners Centre that opened to the public in September 1991.
In the late 1990’s the Southwark Pensioners Forum was established with funding from Southwark Council, as an independent voice for older people in Southwark. In 2011 the Southwark Pensioners Forum became a sub-committee of the Southwark Pensioners Centre.
From 2001 to 2013, SPC worked on the Aylesbury estate supporting people aged 50 and over in partnership with the Creation Trust (and previously the New Deal for Communities programme).
To find out more about the history of the Southwark Pensioners Centre, visit the following project site: http://www.southwarkpensionersstory.co.uk