Tributes to 'great campaigner' Audrey Raistrick who fought for pensioners' rights in Bradford

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Campaigner Audrey Raistrick Campaigner Audrey Raistrick

Pensioners' rights campaigner Audrey Raistrick has died, aged 87, at a Bradford hospice.

Mrs Raistrick, who had worked for decades to better the lives of the elderly, had been suffering from dementia and kidney failure for the last couple of the years. But the dementia had led to her refusing dialysis treatment, and she was subsequently admitted to the Marie Curie hospice a fortnight ago.

She passed away at the hospice on Tuesday evening with her husband Peter, 89, at her side.

Mr Raistrick told the Telegraph & Argus that the dementia had been the catalyst for her health going downhill.

"She was a great campaigner for pensioners and known by everybody in Bradford, being involved in lots of things, as she was," he added.

"She had a long, varied and full life - so we have no regrets. We had a wonderful life together."

The couple, of Eccleshill, were well known for their work with Neighbourly Care Bradford, a charitable trust based in Thornbury, which Audrey set up in 2005. The aim was to provide a connection between elderly people and local services. NCB worked with health services, Bradford Council, the police and other agencies to help elderly people, providing services such as pension and debt advice and information schemes for the elderly.

She even helped to set up a Bollywood dance class for the over 50s and arranged Question Time-style panels with local MPs.

A retired college lecturer, Mrs Raistrick was nominated as an unsung hero at the Council-run Community Harmony awards in 2007. Prior to setting up NCB, she was involved in the Forum Focused on Pensioner Power for Bradford.

Over the years, she has campaigned and commented through the T&A on issues such as Government plans in 2010 to scrap the free swimming programme for under 16s and over 60s, and Council proposals in 2008 to replace hot meals provided by Bradford's meals on wheels service with frozen food.

She also spoke out frequently on the impact of rising fuel prices on the district's elderly population.

Mr Raistrick, a retired foreign commodities broker, described how the pair first met in a pub in 1946 with Audrey mistaking him for another man who could help her with petrol coupons for the car. They married the following year.

The couple had three children - Kate, Lisa and Jonathan, and four grandchildren - Billy, Laura, Jake and Ben.

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