It is 65 years today (19 December) since the Older People’s Welfare Committee for Wales and Glamorgan , one of the founding organisations that has since become Age Cymru, was established.
Our Chair of Trustees, Dr Bernadette Fuge says:
“Happy birthday Age Cymru.
“Today marks the start of our mission 65 years ago at a committee meeting of the Old People’s Welfare Committee at 118 Cathedral Road in Cardiff, to create a Wales in which older people are valued, respected and cared for.
“Age Cymru carries the same values and exists to ensure older people are respected and cared for; have equal access to services; and are empowered to play a full and active part in society.
“A great deal has been achieved over the last 65 years, and while Age Cymru is now eligible for its State Pension, with so much work still to do to tackle the injustices that affect older people in Wales every day, there’s certainly no sign of us retiring.”
The history of Age Cymru
Older People’s Welfare Committee for Wales was set up in 1947 as part of the National Council of Social Service, with the purpose of supporting older people in Wales.
By the 1950s, the Old People’s Welfare Committee for Wales was providing grants for building club premises for older people’s groups.
In 1962, the organisation changed its name to Care for the Elderly, and then to the Committee for the Welfare of the Elderly in Wales.
1969 brought about another new name and the Committee for the Welfare of the Elderly in Wales became the National Council for the Care of the Elderly in Wales/Cyngor Cenedlaethol Henoed Cymru.
Three years later, in 1972, the organisation became Age Concern Wales/Cyngor Henoed Cymru and over the next decade, it developed a range of pioneering projects.
These included good neighbour schemes in Mid Glamorgan and a service in West Glamorgan.
Age Concern Wales became an independent charity in 1976.
By the 1980s, Age Concern Wales was now running three pilot projects - a counselling service, a hospital discharge service and an action against crime initiative in Cardiff.
In 1981 an Age Concern Wales staff member was seconded to Age Concern Gwent to set up a hospital discharge service.
1987, was ‘Year of the Elderly in Wales’ and Age Concern Wales celebrated its 40th anniversary.
1993 saw another name change and Age Concern Wales became Age Concern Cymru.
One of its first ventures under the new title was to coordinate the European Year of Older People and Solidarity Between Generations.
Two year later, Age Concern Cymru took over responsibility from the Welsh Office for the management and development of the Keep Warm Keep Well campaign in 1995. (now called the Keep Well this Winter campaign).
Age Concern Cymru launched the Wales agenda for the Millennium Debate of the Age in 1998 and coordinated International Year of Older People in Wales in 1999.
2000 and onwards
In 2000, Age Concern Cymru set up the All-Party Group on Older People and Ageing at the National Assembly for Wales and the Age Concern Federation was also formed that year.
A year later, Age Concern Cymru organised and ran 27 focus groups for older people to help influence and shape the development of the Welsh Government’s Strategy for Older People in Wales.
Age Concern Cymru also founded the Older People’s Network in 2002 and launched its programme to involve older people, EngAGE in 2004.
In 2005, Age Concern Cymru moved to its new office building at Neptune Court, Cardiff which was named Tŷ John Pathy, in honour of Professor MS John Pathy, the president of Age Concern Cymru.
On 1 April 2009, Age Concern Cymru and Help the Aged in Wales joined together to create a new charity dedicated to improving the lives of older people.
In April 2010, Age Concern Cymru and Help the Aged in Wales became known as Age Cymru.