Following a 3-year gap for the pandemic, COPA held its Annual Conference and AGM at the Future Inn in Cardiff on 17 November. It was the first time we have held any event on a “hybrid basis. The Conference turned out to be a great success with 40 people in attendance from all over Wales and a further 12 people joining on line. We had information stands from Age Cymru, Commissioner for Older People, Care and Repair and Alzheimer’s Society Wales.
The Minister for Health and Social Care spoke at the Conference about the Welsh Government’s Strategy for an Ageing Society and related Delivery Plan published earlier this year. The Minister stressed the help and support available to older people to cope with the cost-of-living crisis. Vicky Lloyd, Chief Executive Age Cymru gave us an update on the work they are doing for older people including increasing numbers contacting information and advice, advocacy, and activity programmes. We had an Open Microphone Session where members were able to have their say on a wide range of issues impacting on older people. The Caerphilly Male Voice Choir gave us excellent entertainment.
In the afternoon we held our Annual General Meeting. We approved our Annual Report and Accounts and ratified the appointment of Chris Thomas and Bishop John Davies as Trustees of COPA. We agreed a change to our Constitution about the tenure of Trustees and debated motions on Age Friendly Communities, Campaigning Priorities and Rebranding of COPA
We do want to utilise the AGM and Conference as a springboard for the further development of COPA in the coming months and look at how we can reach out to Forums, particularly those not yet fully engaged with us. Ideas would be welcomed!