Thomas Hogg from Rise's Celebrating People Book.
1st October is International Day of Older Persons. It's an opportunity to highlight the important contributions that older people make to our community and to challenge stereotypes that can undermines people’s inclusion and participation as they age.
We're shining a spotlight on some of the amazing older people in our community. Here’s part of Thomas Hogg’s story from our Celebrating People book.
Tom began building his community garden when he was sixty-one. That was twenty years ago, after retiring from a successful career owning six newsagents.
Prostate cancer and leg issues haven’t stopped Tom from pushing a wheelbarrow full of sand up the hill most days. He’s only just finished an enchanted castle and has already started building a Lord of the Rings set.
Tom has won many gardening awards and has been featured on numerous TV shows. However, he isn’t interested in accolades. He’s focused on helping people and has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars through his garden open days and artwork, to support various charities including the Amanda Young Foundation, which provides education and support in relation to meningococcal disease.
"My vision for the garden has always been to give as much joy and fulfilment to as many people as possible while I am alive, and for this legacy to continue long after my time on earth has finished."
Tom is supported by Rise through the Commonwealth Home Support Program at his property in Maida Vale. “I was going through radiotherapy treatment for prostate cancer and my daughter got on to Rise. She said ‘you need help dad.’” Trudy from Rise now visits Tom every two weeks. “Trudy is great. It’s lovely to think that someone comes in and tidies up generally and I don’t have to worry.”
Learn more about International Day of Older Persons here.