THE Halesowen branch of the West Midlands Pensioners Convention is hoping to increase its membership.

New secretary Richard Turner is hoping to increase membership, improve the group's profile and organise more social events.

The group, which campaigns on a variety of issues concerning pensioners, meets every month at Shenstone Theatre, Halesowen Library.

Mr Turner said: "We currently have around 30 members and would like to get more people involved as our meetings are really interesting."

"We highlight the difficulties that a large number of pensioners face in their day to day living."

He added: "Any new visitors are made welcome, refreshments are available at no charge and we run a weekly raffle where prizes are donated by the members."

The Pensioners Convention was originally set up in the 1980s to fight for pensioners' rights and now has thousands of members in branches across the country.

The WMPC recently lobbied Centro not to cut vital services which older people relied on.

Mr Turner added: "We were delighted Centro agreed to maintain the current bus pass and the ring and ride system until the next election and and hope continued pressure from pensioners will encourage Centro to continue operating them."

As well discussing the important issues of the day the convention also has social events.

He said: "Our next social event is on Friday, June 6 and is a trip on the No 8 inner circle bus route in Birmingham with various stopping off points for refreshments and and points of interest."

The next meeting of the Halesowen branch is on Thursday, May 15, at 10.15am at the Shenstone Theatre, Halesowen Library.