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BME Voice - Minority Ethnic Elders and BME age organisations

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As Jon Snow says in PRIAE's film, Policy with Passion, PRIAE is more than a think tank: it makes things happen. PRIAE's mission to do more than just describe issues that BME elders and age organisations who provide critical support to them face has been central in how it conducts its policy, information, research, promotion, service innovation work. Starting with no office, resources and certainly no lists of BME organisations, PRIAE in its life generated an active engagement of BME elders and age organisations in its projects as well as its consultation and dissemination activities. PRIAE not only passionately believes but works with passion that not only does old age matter but that elders from minority ethnic backgrounds are part of all elders. They are entitled to a decent and respectful old age, ageing with dignity and fulfilment. And to achieve this requires intelligent, insightful, research, information and communication, opportunities to engage, service innovations, tools and determination to engender hope, aspirations and change practice.

In all of PRIAE's we have endeavoured to provide a forum (through events, projects, consultations, meetings) within which minority ethnic elders, carers, co-ordinators and professionals can contribute to the design and delivery of effective policies and practices. They have brought their own perspectives, stories and aspirations which is reflected in our research. Here are a collection of quotes from BME elders, and supporters of PRIAE who have participated in our work and remain our inspiration to make progress in the realms of ageing and ethnicity:

"PRIAE takes all sorts of integration problems on board whether it be cultural, linguistic or religious. It is a pioneering organisation that is spear-heading understanding between communities and there is a great deal of integrity and hard work in what they are doing." Mr Lodhi, Elder champion

"Age is not a number but an experience which is largely determined by economic and political policy decisions, social constructions and cultural tradition" so said Liam Hughes PRIAE trustee.

"It is not how old you are, but how you are old" BME Elder in AIM project

"I am free to be free" BME Elder, 79

"I wanted to be treated an a person, and not as an inconvenience" BME Elder, 75

"Some areas of care have greatly improved, whilst others have deteriorated. It's three steps forward and two steps backwards" Clinical manager MEC project

"Im not ready to retire, I want to work. I want to learn, I just need the opportunity" BME Elder, 64

"I wanted to apply for the job of CEO and the senior people said, "You'll never get it. We will never have senior managers work for a little Indian woman." Participant at Minority Leadership European Network

"Thank you for giving me a voice and power to input into decisions that will affect me" BME elder involved with the Minority Ethnic Policy Network

"I want to feel valued and for me PRIAE listens, and understands what I am going through without judging my age and illness" BME elder PALCOPE project

"Paying Taxes I'm treated as an English person, getting services I'm treated as an Asian" Female pensioner

"I don't want words, I want action" BME elders

"PRIAE moves beyond categorizations as like Black, Asian and White, and recognized the diversity within and between ethnic communities." Lord Ouseley Chair of PRIAE

"There is no other organisation like PRIAE which specialises in old age and ethnicity and brings together ethnic elders, policymakers, researchers and service providers, it is the only one of its kind, playing an important role in the UK and across Europe" Claude Moraes MEP

'"Let racism be someone else's problem. Don't let others determine your success", Participant at Minority Leadership European Network

"The training I received with PRIAE, was not only useful and practical but gave me a new outlook on how to deliver services to my elderly patients without forgetting that they are people with history, culture and tradition." (Mental Health practioner at the Managing Mental Health training)

"We have had too much discussion, action is overdue", (PRIAE Seminar Royal Commission 1998)