WOMEN pension protestors from Ceredigion and across the country descended on Poppit Sands to highlight their on-going campaign.

Working with local sand artist Marc Treanor, the women created a stunning 40-metre symbol of the Women Against State Pension Injustice (WASPI) campaign on the beach.

Among those taking part was Anne Keen, who initiated the WASPI Campaign seven years ago with an on-line petition when she found out that she wouldn’t get her State Pension when she turned 60.

That campaign has grown into one of the most successful grass roots movements in the UK and now has 77 local groups and Anne remains as passionate about the cause as the day when she first started out.

Women born in the 1950s had little or no notice of the loss of up to six years state pension due to the Pension Acts of 1995 and 2011. All are struggling on much less money than they had planned for in retirement and many face severe hardship.

“The way so many women have been treated is totally wrong and as a gobby Scouser, there was no way I could sit back and do nothing,” said Anne.

“I think that the Department of Work and Pensions saw us as a soft target and that women of a certain age would not protest and just accept the decision. We are out to prove that wrong.

“We believe there is strength in numbers and that is what led the Back to 60 campaign to seek a judicial review on the Government’s actions.

“This ruling affected 3.8 million women and what is so concerning is that women are dying without getting the benefits they are entitled to. We have heard of cases where women have taken their own lives because of this.

“It is a national scandal and this and previous governments have kept very quiet about it. They thought we would simply go away and knit scarves.

“This current government has the power to right those wrongs but has failed to acknowledge this injustice.

“We are not asking for a hand-out or charity – give us what we are entitled to. We were told to plan for the future, we did so but then that was taken away and now many are seeing their savings disappear.

“Women are having to suffer the indignity of signing on for the first time in their lives at the age of 60 or having to go top food banks. Women throughout the country are up in arms about this and while we are running a dignified campaign, it does not mean to say we are not going to get more active.”

“It was a fantastic day,” said Pamela Judge, who organised the event through the local Ceredigion branch of WASPI and was joined by long-time supporter and local MP Ben Lake. “As well as highlighting our campaign, it was a great social occasion.

“The sand circle we created was an incredibly powerful message, visible from miles away. Unexpectedly it wasn’t washed away by the tide. The WASPI campaign is certainly not going away.”