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Planning Retirement Online

More Past Winners of
The LaterLife Challenge

6 Remarkable Winners of
The LaterLife Challenge
Making the most of retirement

Triumph International - Hot Air BalloonThe Laterlife Challenge is an annual competition to recognise those who are making the most of today’s retirement opportunities. Their enthusiasm and example helps to encourage us all to also make the most of our years in retirement.

The six category winners below were involved in an astonishingly wide range of activities: helping in schools, starting an inventors club in East London, tobogganing in Italy, teaching Chi Kung, riding a motorbike to Kiev to raise money for charity, obtaining Degrees in subjects like Politics, Psychology and Criminology, Canoeing 110 miles of river in Minnesota and through 12 sets of rapids, becoming a volunteer ranger, modernising the local community centre and much more…….As the daughter of one winner says my mother is 70 going on 21!

The Laterlife Challenge made awards under six fun and altruistic categories of activity and was open to those who are retired or semi-retired. Categories included ‘new experiences’, doing something for others’, ‘active in later life’, ‘discovery and ideas’, ‘raising money for charity’ and a ‘spirit of the 60s’ challenge.

There were also two overall awards of Laterlife Challenge Cups.

Judging was very hard and we would like to thank everyone who took the time to enter

Our congratulations to the 6 winners who are:

James Newton, age 57, a retired nurse from Bradford,
Terry Jennings a retired electrical engineer age 69 and Brenda Reay from Ilford in Essex
Alan Hogarth, age 69, a retired manager of a disabled bureau from Sunbury on Thames
Isabella Martin a retired secretary, age 70 from Broughty Ferry in Dundee
Terry Hartery, age 61 a retired university lecturer from Edinburgh
Conrad Drogie, age 74, a retired baker from Stockport


Laterlife Challenge Citations and Winner Profiles

The Judging was led by Dave Sinclair who runs Laterlife’s Planning Retirement Workshops and has helped many people make the transition to a fulfilling retirement. Dave comments: “It was an extremely difficult task to select the winners because of the wide variety of things that people are doing. As well as the eventual winners there are some tremendous examples of how people are making the most of today’s retirement opportunities and far from running down are looking for new challenges and giving their time to help others”.

The profiles of each of the winners are below together with Dave's citations:

James Newton
Age 57
Retired Nurse

I've been a primary school governor for 2 years. Now with more time, I go in half a day a week to assist with IT lessons. Because I want to travel now I have the time, I decided not to have a new dog when my old friend died 2 years ago, so instead I walk stray dogs at a re-homing centre once a week. Since retiring, I've become a volunteer ranger in the South Pennines, monitoring the impact of the new access legislation on wildlife and the environment. And, having been a 'born again' motorcyclist for some years, this year I'm taking part in a ride to Kiev to raise money for a centre there for children with disabilities and their families. It's great to now have the time to do all these things!

(James had recently completed the ride to Kiev - 4000 miles in 2 weeks!). The picture below shows him in Wencelas Square, Prague during the trip.


James’ achievements in retirement are so impressive because of the variety of activities he is undertaking. He has reached a good balance between doing things for others whilst, at the same time, thoroughly enjoying himself. His activities impact on young people, through his association with the school, and people of all ages, through his work as a ranger. Let’s not forget, too, that man’s best friends also benefit from his wish to walk. Finally, he has managed to combine his love of motorcycling with raising money for disadvantaged children. The combination of thoroughly enjoying himself, whilst at the same time doing things for others in a wide variety of activities, makes him a worthy winner.

James (right) receiving his award from Director Tony Clack

Terry Jennings (Age 69) and Brenda Reay
Electrical Engineer
Ilford, Essex

Terry (centre) and Brenda receiving their award from Director Tony Clack, at The East London Inventor's Club meeting on 27th July, attended by around 30 inventors. The prizes includes a trip in the Triumph International hot air balloon.

After retiring, together with my partner Brenda Reay, we set up an inventors club to help lone inventors get their inventions to market. Now many of us, and the majority are all retired, are inventing and helping others to achieve their aims and dreams. Being old does not mean we are useless and ready for the scrap heap it means we have a wealth of experience ready and willing to pass on to the younger generations. We set up our inventors club at the University of East London and since we started we have been able to help others overcome their problems. We were also enlisted by the DTI for international Technology meetings to exchange knowledge to other countries. Our first exchange was with a delegation from Poland and we assisted with help and advice. Our second exchange was with Russia and after meeting we were invited to the Russian Embassy for a party in the evening. For our work with the DTI we were invited to Buckingham Palace! for the Queens Garden Party. So it only goes to prove us older ones have a lot to give after retiring. (How did we ever find time to go to work?)


Terry and Brenda have become immersed in their inventors’ club in a way that helps other people and has wider implications in terms of liaising with inventors from other countries through the DTI. They are using the expertise they have gained over a lifetime to assist others and to further the cause of inventors in general. They have gained recognition of their efforts and are therefore (whether they like it or not!) ambassadors for all retired people. They are very fine ambassadors, too, making them splendid winners of the Laterlife Challenge.

Terry (left) and Brenda after the award ceremony.

To find out more about the East London Inventor's Club you can visit their web site which also has useful web links to other Clubs around the UK.

Alan Hogarth
Sunbury on Thames
Retired manager of Ipswich Disabled Bureau

Alan with his award onboard the Polly Grey - he has navigated 850 miles of Canals and Rivers so far!

Since age 60 I have gained an Open University Honours Degree in Psychology and Criminology.

2003 Walked the Camino Frances from Roncesvalles in the Pyrenees to Sangiago de Compostela, 500 miles in 6 weeks.

Went back the next year 2003 and walked the last 100km again.

Canoed 110 miles of the Namekagon, St Croix Rivers in Minnesota, Wisconsin through 12 sets of rapids.

2005 Moved onboard a narrowboat and navigated 850 miles of Rivers and Canals to get to know my own country. I am ex Royal Navy and know the edges quite well!

I am currently learning conversational Spanish and will be using that when I walk the pilgrimage from Seville to Santiago de Compostela, 1000km in 2007


Just reading Alan’s achievements since he retired makes one feel tired! He has refused to go quietly into retirement but, on the contrary, is determined to use the extra time he now has to keep fit, see parts of the world he has not seen before, and challenge himself. It’s not only physically that he is testing himself; his degree and his imminent learning of Spanish testify to the fact that he also wants to keep his brain active. So, overall, Alan is relishing the opportunities and the challenges of retirement in many of its aspects and is, therefore, a worthy winner.


Isabella Martin
Retired secretary
Broughty Ferry, Dundee

Hi my name is Issy, just back from a New York visit celebrating my "70th" birthday. Life is for living and always looked on every day as a bonus and savoured every moment, never looking back since my retiral 8 years ago. My life is full of holidays; cruises; art classes, lawn bowling; joined the local branch of JJB sports (aqua aerobics, swimming, and use the gym equipment);a member of Weight Watchers as a helper on sales (also helps to keep the figure trim); member of local outdoor bowling club (past President and Secretary); Tobogganing in Italy; Hot Air Ballooning in Teneriffe; but I have always wanted to scuba dive!! One of the birthday cards I received, was from my daughter, which read "70" going on 21, and this is true. Just bought my first Lap top and downloaded onto my MP3!!

Love Issy

Issy (centre) with friends Elizabeth (left) and May (right) receiving her award before going on to their Aqua aerobics club.
There's obviously something in the Dundee air because believe it or not Issy is 70, May is 73 and Elizabeth is 75!


‘Issy’ is doing so many things that it would take too long to repeat them here. Retirement is a time of opportunities and choices and Issy is grabbing hers at an almost alarming rate for we mere mortals. She is refusing to bow to age and, by doing so, is keeping age at bay. By helping at Weight Watchers and by being President and Secretary of the bowling club, she is also putting something back, too, which is an excellent complement to her own activities. Issy’s sheer energy makes her a deserved winner.

Issy by the harbour in Dundee.

Terry Hartery
Retired University Lecturer

Terry (left) receives his award
from Director Tony Clack

I have taught myself Chi Kung, which is a simpler form of Tai Chi, and now teach it to a group of over 50s on Monday evenings. Chi Kung, with it's gentle movements, is very good for relaxing, maintaining the condition of joints and improving health generally. In addition, because of my teaching, I was asked to become a member of the Committee of the Community Centre where I teach. As a result of serving on the committee, I have just been elected Chair.

After taking the Chair I embarked on a one year development plan to improve the facilities at the Community Centre and increase the number of activities available to the local community. This involves redecorating the centre, an activity which starts today (14/5/06). It's quite a big task but we were able to get a Neighbourhood Grant from B&Q for paint and 30 volunteers from the local Marriot Hotel, who will help with the painting. Once the building is redecorated my intention is to introduce additional new activities, such as monthly talks on subjects of interest to people in the community, race nights, beetle drives (for families) and a weekly book club.

Terry teaching Chi Kung in the refurbished community centre


From teaching himself Chi Kung Terry has moved seamlessly to completely overhauling the community centre where he now teaches it to others for the benefit of the entire local community. This is a very impressive achievement and proof that, with the will and the energy, we can really make a difference to other people in our own retirement. Terry is a shining example as to how we can do activities that we enjoy in retirement but, at the same time, help others, too. If we are willing to become involved we can make a difference. For becoming involved and making a difference, Terry is an excellent winner.

Conrad Drogie
Retired Baker

Conrad (left) receives his award from Director Tony Clack

After retirement decided to take a university degree. unfortunately just weeks after commencement was diagnosed with cancer of the lymph nodes. had to have radiotherapy then chemotherapy but still managed to keep up with my studies at Manchester Metropolitan University graduating with a 2:1 BA(Hons) degree in politics at age of 71. Am now 74, still fighting the cancer and yet am now in the middle of taking my Masters degree at Salford University. In between I took an ECDL computer course with learn direct. That's about it really.


‘Never give up’ is Conrad’s motto and I, for one, am inspired and humbled by his achievements in the face of adversity. Two degrees and the ECDL computer course, whilst fighting cancer, are testimony to Conrad’s refusal to lie down and give in. In this way he is a shining example to all of us in later life and fully deserves to be a winner of the Laterlife Challenge.

Conrad with award in front of his picturesque home

Challenge Categories

Since the nominees for the awards were doing such a variety of activities, many of them could easily have won in a number of categories!

But the final winners of each category were as follows:

Issy Martin - New experiences
Alan Hogarth - Active in later life
Terry Hartery - Doing something for others
Conrad Drogie - Discovery and Ideas
James Newton - Raising money for others
Terry and Brenda Reay - Spirit of the 60s

Each winner received a Balloon Flight for two courtesy of Triumph International. In addition there were other great prizes for some of the specific challenges such as a Reviver Break for two at Ragdale Hall health hydro, free membership of Dateline Plus, free Home Insurance from Insure4retirement and clothing accessories from Dents.

Tony Clack, Managing Director of  which runs the challenge, says “this is the first time that we have run the Laterlife Challenge and we have been delighted by the response. We hope that future Laterlife Challenges will see even more great examples. The Challenge is something you can consider at any time and so we have Laterlife Challenge information on the web site all the time to give people ideas about the possibilities.

With over 20 to 25 years of hopefully active retirement ahead, those just retiring and the baby boomers now coming up to retirement have the chance to change the whole nature of retirement and make a real difference”.




Visit our Pre-retirement Courses section here on laterlife or our dedicated Retirement Courses site

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