For the press

If you need an older woman for a case study or interview, please contact one of the women below. If you want some general information about growing old disgracefully or older women, or you want a different case study, please email [email protected].

Shirley MeredeenShirley Meredeen-Press

Occupation: Student counsellor (retired)

Location: London

Family: Divorced, now widowed, 2 sons, 4 grandchildren

About Shirley: Shirley is very active in the University of Third Age. She also enjoys writing, reading groups, choir and walking. Shirley is a founder member of the Older Women’s Co-Housing Project in London, which offers alternatives to sheltered housing.

Why did Shirley join growing old disgracefully? “I was facing a lonely old age on retirement, and wanted to make the best use of my still-active brain. I was aware of the need to dispel stereotypical attitudes to old age, especially those directed at women. I co-wrote the two growing old disgracefully books [see the history page for more info on these] and then co-founded the network.”

Contact Shirley: 0207 359 9859

Mary Cooper


Occupation: Durham University Lecturer: Adult and Continuing Education Dept

Location: Stockton-on-Tees

About Mary: Mary started her degree course at York University at the age of 38 (when her oldest daughter was 13 and the youngest 4). It was a struggle but she got a 2:1 and says it was the best thing she ever did (apart from having 4 daughters)!

Why did Mary join growing old disgracefully“Being one of the original founding members of the g.o.d. network was a great experience. It was just what older women needed at the time and it still is. Also getting the books written and published was a wonderful achievement. The whole experience of g.o.d. has transformed my life and the way l think about and live my old age.”

Contact Mary: 01642 554508

Dee Johnson


Occupation: Primary school teacher (retired)

Location: Oldham

About Dee: All the women in Dee’s family worked in the cotton mills and were a very feisty lot! She was the first generation of her family to go to Grammar School.

Why did Dee join growing old disgracefully“When I retired I was looking for like-minded women with whom I could continue to explore new horizons, share experiences and generally have fun.

I certainly found that when I joined the Manchester growing old disgracefully group. Whether you are in a group or not the Annual Gatherings and residential weeks are a great chance to leave all responsibilities behind and connect with our wonderful members from all over the U.K. and beyond. I am loving my retirement and being in g.o.d. has played a huge part in that.”

Contact Dee: 0161 652 8104

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