"by being consulted on things, I feel, even though I’m not working anymore I’m not useless"

Elizabeth-Ann

Elizabeth Ann became a photojournalist at aged 14 when her mother, who worked on Fleet Street, sent her out with the photographers. Since then she has been a photographer, journalist, and public relations professional.

“In the holidays, she would send me out with the photographers just to get rid of me, you know. And the photographers didn’t like it, because they had this little girl with them. So they bullied me, hoping I would go home.

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But, they were bullying in a very helpful way. And they would say, “Can’t you see that if we’re using this kind of a lens that that piece of paper would be in focus”, “Can’t you see that there’s a shadow there?” “Do something about it!” And the more they did it, the more I was being trained, the more I liked it!”

“My parents were divorced before I was born, but stayed very friendly, so my time was split between the two and it was always in a different country when I went to my father.

Therefore, I travelled on trips which took about 6 weeks to get to South Africa or New Zealand or all the different places. And I had two suitcases always, one had on it a snow scene, and one had on it a tropical scene, so I knew where my winter clothes were and where my summer clothes were.

So I’ve always been very independent. But now, in the last few years as I get older and get arthritis, and I’ve got dementia, I’m not so independent. But Age UK Camden is sort of my… guide. It’s something that takes the worry off and I can rely on it.

And also, the other thing that I like very much about it is that by being consulted on things, like Ageing Better, I feel, even though I’m not working anymore I’m not useless.

The thing I enjoy most are the people that come… we have had things from dentists to transport. Those are very useful and I hate missing those meetings!