Maggie – Age 58

“Working with younger people keeps you young. I think younger people now are more tolerant of older people than when I was growing up. Perhaps older people seemed older than they do now. In Brighton anything goes and everyone is encouraged to take part in everything.”

It’s like a big family, everyone gets on really well, all different ages. You don’t feel that you’re older, it’s all one group really. It keeps you young working with lots of young people. Sometimes the younger people are quite surprised to hear the things you’ve done. Don’t judge a book by its cover and think, they’re old, they’re not very interesting. Everyone is valuable in their own right, younger or older.

I think younger people now are more tolerant of older people than when I was growing up. Perhaps older people seemed older than they do now. Especially in a city like Brighton, everything goes and everyone is encouraged to take part in everything. I don’t feel older, I still feel like I did when I was twenty, until I look in a mirror. I can’t imagine giving up work completely. I think if I wasn’t working I’d have to do some voluntary work.

Meeting Judi Dench was the most memorable thing while working here. She came in with a black coat and no makeup and no one recognised her. She was looking around and no one took any notice so I went up and said, ‘can I help you?’ And she said, ‘can you tell me where the toilets are?’. I think it’s really important for people not to pigeon hole older people.