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'We will not be silenced' - Norfolk women 'cheated' out of state pensions set to stage Norwich protest

PUBLISHED: 12:59 15 August 2019 | UPDATED: 14:22 15 August 2019

Norfolk Broads-PAIN led protests in London on June 6 against pension age changes. Picture: Norfolk Broads-PAIN.

Norfolk Broads-PAIN led protests in London on June 6 against pension age changes. Picture: Norfolk Broads-PAIN.

Archant

Campaigners fighting changes to the women's state pension age are set to stage a protest in the centre of Norwich next month.

Norfolk Broads PAIN group leaders, pictured from left, Lynn Nicholls, Annette James, and Lorraine White. Photo: ArchantNorfolk Broads PAIN group leaders, pictured from left, Lynn Nicholls, Annette James, and Lorraine White. Photo: Archant

Women from the Norfolk Broads - PAIN (Pension Action in Norfolk) group will show their support for a rally held in Manchester with a gathering in Norwich city centre.

Changes to the state pension age saw women born in the 1950s left with an additional six year wait before receiving their state pensions - leaving many faced with dire financial straits or forced to continue working.

Pain co-founder Lorraine White said: "There is huge support for the MediaCity rally, women are preparing to travel from all over the country to stand together united in their fight.

"We will not be silenced, we will be heard."

Joy Scott, 60, from Great Yarmouth, in London on June 6 at a protest against pension age changes. Picture: Norfolk Broads-PAIN.Joy Scott, 60, from Great Yarmouth, in London on June 6 at a protest against pension age changes. Picture: Norfolk Broads-PAIN.

And co-founder Lynn Nicholls added: "We feel we are the invisible generation who have had our pensions stolen from us with little or no notice.

"We will be seen this time with our high-vis vests, banners, placards and sashes."

The protest will take place on Saturday, September 7, coinciding with the Great Pension Robbery Rally, in MediaCity, Salford Quays, in Manchester, on the same date, which will see 1950s-born women delivering letters to the BBC and ITV television studios.

Organisers from the PAIN group, which offers support, advice and information to the 45,000 women across Norfolk affected by the changes to the womens' state pension age, decided to arrange the protest as the Manchester demonstration was too far for many of their members to attend.

Norfolk Broads PAIN group leaders, pictured from left, Lynn Nicholls, Annette James, and Lorraine White. Photo: ArchantNorfolk Broads PAIN group leaders, pictured from left, Lynn Nicholls, Annette James, and Lorraine White. Photo: Archant

The Norfolk PAIN group will gather from 10.30am to 1.30pm, outside City Hall in Norwich, with a local Zumba group performing a flashmob dance to draw attention to the group of protestors.

Organiser of the Manchester demonstration, Linda Wyatt said: "The changes are discrimination against women born in the 1950s.

"This is a travesty and it breaks my heart that with every passing day women are suffering."

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The 60-year-old added: "I feel we have gone back 100 years. Women are losing independence and have to rely on food banks to survive.

"We have been cheated, robbed and sold down the river. We have worked all our lives and paid our dues - we refuse to be silenced."

- For more information, search norfolkbroadsPAIN on Facebook or email norfolkbroadspensions@gmail.com

'I was in agony' - Wells harbour chief executive given no notice of pension change

One of the 45,000 Norfolk women affected by the changes to the state pension age, was the former chief executive of Wells Harbour Authority.

Lorraine White, 63, said: "I am a woman born in 1955 and have to wait an additional six years for my pension."

Mrs White, from Wells, who is now semi-retired, said she received a government letter when she was 58 to give her two years notice she would have to wait until age 66.

"I agree with equalisation but I am angry at the way in which the increase has been implemented," the former chief executive added.

"It becomes increasingly difficult to find employment when you reach 60 years of age. There are so many younger people ahead of you.

"Despite what the government say it also becomes more difficult to do physical work at this age.

"I have had to give up physical work as I was in agony with my back when I returned home after a days work.

"Age does take its toll."

READ MORE: 'We've paid our contributions' - Great Yarmouth woman led chants at pension protest

Have you been affected by the changes to the women's state pension age? Email jessica.frank-keyes@archant.co.uk

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