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Our Voices is based on people’s stories – everyone has a story to tell. The story of AWOC is that it was founded when 2 things collided; the first was my own realisation that I definitely would not be able to have children and the second come out of having coffee with a friend who had been having a very stressful time with her mother. It was the familiar story of care that was fragmented, provided without a great deal of thought, didn’t meet her mothers needs and has resulted in her being re admitted to hospital. As we talked she said what many people do in these circumstances “at least she’s got me, I don’t know what people with no one do, it must be awful”.

It was the lightbulb moment! Yes what would my friends mother have done? And what do people without anyone to advocate them do? and being honest, what will I do when I get to the stage of needing help?

There were many more stories we could have included in “Our Voices”

  • The woman who was called a “selfish cow” by the cashier at her Building Society when she said she didn’t have children.

  • The man whose wife had had multiple miscarriages and was told they should probably just stop having sex

  • The woman whose children lived in Australia and was terrified of dying alone and not being found

  • The man who had cared for his own parents and never worried about getting old without children – until his own memory started to fail.

All of these stories and more need to be heard and we are asking for everyone’s help to tell them. AWOC is very tiny (really it’s me and a laptop in my spare room!) there’s no research team, there’s no policy department, there’s no communications and media department able to get stories in the press and on TV. We can’t tell the story of people ageing without children on our own; we need your help.

We are asking that individuals and organisations share “Our Voices” within their own organisations and networks, and think about what they could do to reach out to people ageing without children and ensure they are included in their thinking and planning. We always happy to come and give talks about the work of AWOC and we have developed a workshop to help organisation’s think about the issue;

We all have a story to tell and we all need to be listened to; people ageing without children’s biggest fear is that they are invisible in the world of ageing, that their stories do not matter and that they wont be heard

We would would really like to prove them wrong!

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