Derbyshire woman receives royal approval with Platinum Champion status for work in WASPI pensions campaign

The Derbyshire chair and finance director of the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign says it is a ‘real honour’ to have been recognised for her work as part of the Queen's Jubilee celebrations.

Wednesday, 8th June 2022, 2:18 pm
Updated Monday, 13th June 2022, 12:06 pm

Angela Madden, from Wadshelf, was given a Platinum Champion award by the Royal Voluntary Service in honour of Her Majesty's 70-year reign.

She was one of only 70 invited to Buckingham Palace last weekend as part of Jubilee celebrations after being named among the ‘most outstanding volunteers’ of the 490 winners who received Platinum Champion status.

Mrs Madden has been instrumental in the seven-year Waspi campaign, alongside a management team of six fellow volunteers and a network of WASPI groups, fighting for justice for women born in the 1950s who had their State Pension Age increased without adequate notice.

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Angela Madden, chair and finance director of the WASPI campaign, has been named a Platinum Champion by the Royal Voluntary Service

As a result of WASPI’s work, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) has found the Department for Work and Pensions guilty of maladministration.

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Changes to the State Pension Age – legislated for in 1995 – were not communicated to the affected women, leading the PHSO to find that “The opportunity additional notice would have given them to adjust their retirement plans was lost.”

Commenting on the award, Mrs Madden said: “It is a real honour to be recognised in this way, but I’m accepting the award on behalf of the whole WASPI team who have done so much in the past seven years to win justice for women born in the 1950s.

Pictured centre is Angela Madden alongside some fellow Derbyshire WASPI campaigners Lesley Hardy, Moira Holland, Janet Atkinson and Denise Baker

“This weekend was a great celebration both of Her Majesty’s long reign and of the inroads we have made with our campaign. But the real celebration for WASPI women can only come when the government finally recognises the injustice meted out to us.

“Fair, fast compensation for DWP’s maladministration is the only way to resolve this issue. We see the award as a big boost to our campaign, and we intend to carry on

fighting until ministers hear us.”

She added: “Working together on the campaign has improved our members' lives. They feel they have taken back some control by standing up for themselves, and challenging the Department of Work and Pensions on their poor communication of such a big change in our financial circumstances.

"Taking back that control has given us more confidence, and improved our mental health.

"We have been campaigning for seve years, and over those years we have grown and changed a lot. We are ordinary women achieving extraordinary things.”

The Platinum Champions Award recognised volunteers from all corners of Britain and from a range of causes.

Winners were all given the Royal seal of approval by the Royal Voluntary Service President, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, and some had their stories showcased on BBC’s The One Show and Morning Live throughout the Jubilee week.

Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on State Pension Inequality for Women, Andrew Gwynne MP said: "The WASPI campaign is already a major success story and Angela couldn’t deserve this award more.

"I am proud to support the group in their quest for justice, which is very much overdue.”

North East Derbyshire MP Lee Rowley said: “Angela has worked extremely hard for many in the community over many years and it is brilliant that all of her work and efforts have been recognised.

"It is hugely prestigious to have someone in North East Derbyshire be commended as a Platinum Champion for their outstanding contribution as a volunteer in the year of Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

"I know her work for the WASPI campaign, the Chesterfield Care Group and all of the other voluntary endeavours, including most recently hosting a Ukrainian family with her husband Joe, which Angela has undertaken over so many years, will be rightly recognised by this award – huge congratulations to Angela!”

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