Celebrating 50 years of Yours!

yours 50th birthday cover

by Claire Tapley |
Published on

Birthdays are better when they’re shared and, as we reach the incredible milestone of 50 years of Yours magazine, we want to share ours with you – our loyal readers. Yours is much more than a magazine. First launched in 1974 with a mission to celebrate and champion the lives of older people, we have over the past five decades created a community of like-minded people with shared values and a shared history.

The charity Help the Aged (now Age UK) launched Yours with the aim of creating something targeted to an all-too-often forgotten section of society. The newspaper was distributed by willing volunteers via clubs, day centres and churches and instantly became a hit. These benevolent beginnings set the tone for what would become the UK’s kindest magazine.

In 1988 Yours was bought by publishing company Emap, which turned it into a monthly magazine and appointed dynamic Yorkshireman Neil Patrick as editor. From the beginning Neil wanted Yours to be a mixture of friendship, information, laughter and support that is still at the heart of what makes Yours unique.

Caring and campaigning

In 1996, Yours spearheaded Age in Action Week, to raise funds for various charities helping older people. Neil did a marathon cycle tour of Britain and raised an amazing £80,000. Following an appeal to help the people affected by the Chernobyl disaster Reader Care Editor Rosie Sandall found herself taking a truck filled with donations from generous readers to the Ukraine.

Inspired by readers’ attitudes to life, in 2015 we launched the Sowing the Seeds of Kindness campaign. The aim was to encourage everyone to join in performing small acts of kindness regularly, and on our Meeting Place pages we always had space for readers to acknowledge and say thank you for a kindness they’d received.

Celebrating you

A central part of Yours is celebrating your lives. Although society can make the over 50s feel invisible, we pride ourselves on highlighting the stories of ordinary women doing incredible things, from The Yorkshire
Rows, the oldest women to row across the Atlantic, to friends Joanne Vines and Sammy Barcroft who turned a double-decker bus into a shelter for the homeless. Or people like grieving mother Marie McCourt who campaigned to introduce Helen’s law, and cancer survivor Debbie Dowie who raised more than £1 million for life-saving NHS equipment.

We celebrated your important role in the family with our Grandparent of the Year Awards and encouraged a positive, healthy attitude to life with our 50 Over 50 campaign.

Handing over

After an amazing tenure in charge of Yours Neil stepped down in 2004, handing the reins over to Valery McConnell. It was the year of our 30th birthday and it was clear that, although our values stayed the same, our readership was changing. Valery, like many of our new readers, was one of the baby boomer generation and she set about updating the magazine. Cover stars such as Vera Lynn were replaced by the likes of Twiggy and Lulu, but campaigning, caring and kindness remained at the heart of the magazine.

In 2007 we switched from monthly to fortnightly, to better reflect the faster pace of modern life. With fingers crossed we hoped you would feel Yours was worth buying twice as often and thankfully you did.

Soon after, Lynda Bellingham joined us as our columnist, and you took her to your hearts. She was the guest editor for our 40th birthday issue, but sadly by then we knew our time with her could be cut short as he was battling cancer. Many of you were hugely inspired following her cancer journey and touched by her final interview, as she spoke to Yours magazine just days before she died on October 19, 2014.

Yours today

Sharon Reid took over from Valery in 2014 and, with 25 years’ experience on the title Sharon knew the magazine and the readers like no-one else. She was able to ensure that unique Yours spirit continued into our next decade. She guided the magazine through the difficult days of the Covid pandemic, providing readers with an important lifeline of trusted advice and uplifting stories, continuing until our 400th issue when she handed over to Caroline Reid.

Now with only its fourth editor, the spirit of Yours is as strong as ever. Caroline recognises that the success of Yours is down to the kindness and loyalty of you, our amazing readers. “People continue to be at the heart of everything we do,” says Caroline. “Sharing your memories, celebrating your passions, and helping solve your problems is a privilege.”

So, although it’s our birthday, we raise a glass to you and to the next 50 years!

Not yet a subscriber? Take advantage of our Spring offer and get 3 issues of Yours for £5 (saving £20% on shop prices!)*

SC24_Twitter_1600x900 (2)

*Offer available overseas. Offer starts from the next available issue at time of sign up.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us