Trio of OAP guardian angels praised

AGE is no barrier for three elderly gents, who have notched up 54 years between them helping thousands of pensioners receive more than £5 million.The three Age Concern Suffolk volunteers - Norman Ruffles, Ron Cobb and the same-named Rob Cobb - were today honoured for their service.

AGE is no barrier for three elderly gents, who have notched up 54 years between them helping thousands of pensioners receive more than £5 million.

The three Age Concern Suffolk volunteers - Norman Ruffles, Ron Cobb and the same-named Rob Cobb - were today honoured for their service.

Despite being pensioners themselves - Mr Ruffles is 93 - the three advice workers help over 60s in and around Ipswich claim the benefits they should be receiving.

They have carried out more than 8,000 home visits and have helped people claim around £5.5million.

Mr Ruffles, of Rosebery Road, Ipswich, has given 25 years' service - having joined Age Concern in memory of his wife Gladys, who died in 1980 and liked helping older people.

He said: “The best part is the satisfaction of getting pensioners the benefits they didn't really think they'd get.”

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He is often helping pensioners younger than himself and was once advised by an arthritis sufferer not hit the age of 80. Mr Ruffles said: “I was 87, but I didn't tell him.”

Mr Cobb, 76, of Reade Road, Holbrook, known as Ron one, has given 17 years' service to Age Concern after working retiring from 34 years in the motor trade.

One funny moment was when a woman invited him into her bedroom to look at her teddy bears.

He said: “I am sure she had something else in mind! The next time I went, I took Norman with me.”

While Mr Cobb, 77, of Rushmere St Andrew, who is known as Ron two, has given 12 years' service after retiring from his job in planning at West Middlesex Hospital, Isleworth.

He said: “Age Concern is an excellent organisation. I always regard it as an old people's trade union.”

Daphne Savage, chief executive of Age Concern Suffolk, said: “These three fantastic volunteers all joined us when they retired themselves in order to do something practical to help other people.

“The work they do changes people's lives, giving them extra income either to alleviate poverty or to help with their disabilities or illnesses. Thank you seems inadequate in the face of such long-term commitment.”

Age Concern Suffolk is an independent charity that provides information, advice, care and support for the over 60s and is part of the federation of Age Concern charities in England.

Have these three stars helped you? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

To contact Age Concern Suffolk, phone 01473 257039 or visit www.ageconcernsuffolk.org.uk

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