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Three in four older people have an Age UK near them
150 Age Concerns look set to have become local Age UKs by 31 March.
The number of local Age Concerns who have already agreed to become local Age UKs has now reached 122, with more still to come. Working in partnership with the national charity they hope to achieve even more for older people.
Following the merger of Help the Aged and Age Concern England in 2009, Age UK has spent two years working with local Age Concerns to design the best way to combine the national with the local to best help older people, wherever they live.
The vast majority are expected to choose to become local Age UKs or Friends of Age UK depending on the range of activities they undertake in their area.
Helena Herklots, Age UK’s Services Director, explains more. ‘Working together, we already reach 74% of older people at a local level in their community. This rises to over 80% if we include all the latest applications we’ve received and will continue to rise as more come in over the coming weeks.
‘Our ambition is to combine the strength and passion of the national and the local to reach as many people in later life as possible. Working with a network of independent partners across the country is how we hope to achieve that.’
‘We believe our proposals for working together represent a really good package. There are over 300 local Age Concerns across England and we have always estimated that half will choose to become local Age UKs and about half will choose to become a Friend of Age UK.
There will, of course, be a small number of local Age Concerns who do not wish to become either a local Age UK or a Friend. Each Age Concern has to do what they believe is right for them and we respect their decisions as independent charities.’
Age UK and its partners, who all remain as independent charities, provide top-quality information and advice to 5 million people, campaign both locally and nationally on behalf of older people and support smaller groups of older people in their communities.
The new local Age UKs who have joined us are very excited by the new partnership.
Keith Nathan, Age UK Bradford and District Chief Executive, said: ‘We are delighted to be working with national charity Age UK as the 100th partner to become a local Age UK. This is a great opportunity for us to help as many older people in our area as possible through high quality local and national support and services – which is of course of particular importance during a time of increased pressure on local funding.’
Sonia Mangan, Director for Age UK South Lakeland, and the very first local Age UK, said: ‘Becoming a brand partner with Age UK gave us the chance to refresh our brand at a local level. Age UK has great influence at a national level and this is a great opportunity for us to benefit from that wider profile and increase our awareness and impact locally. We remain a local charity for local people but we can now be bigger, better and support more older people.’