The Senior Directors work closely with the Trustees to carry out the day-to-day running of Age UK.
Steph Harland – Chief Executive
Steph has been CEO of Age UK since January 2018.
She joined one of our predecessor organisations, Age Concern England, in 2002. Before that Steph had worked in the voluntary sector locally, nationally and internationally mainly on issues to do with older people and other groups of adults with care needs. She first became involved with Age Concern in the late 1980s as a volunteer for Age Concern Greenwich.
Steph was closely involved in the creation of Age UK in 2009. Since then, Steph has had a number of different roles at Age UK, focusing on our international work, strategy, partnership with the Age UK network, people and performance, and governance, becoming Deputy CEO in 2016. Steph is also the Chairman of Cecily's Fund, a UK charity supporting orphans and vulnerable children in Zambia.
Steph decided to work with older people, after witnessing the difference between the lives of her grandparents, and the experiences of older people who she met when volunteering.
Caroline Abrahams – Charity Director
Caroline joined Age UK in 2012.
A social scientist and barrister, Caroline has spent her career in the voluntary and public sectors, mostly on children and families’ issues. She has worked in a senior capacity at the children’s charity, Action For Children and at the Local Government Association. Caroline has also been a policy adviser to Ministers and Shadow Ministers, and a senior civil servant. A former chair of the End Child Poverty campaign, Caroline’s policy interests include integrated health and care, family policy, poverty and the role of the voluntary sector.
Caroline oversees Age UK’s influencing work and her team covers research, public policy, health influencing, media, campaigns and engagement and public affairs. She is also the Charity's lead spokesperson.
Caroline decided to work for Age UK because she could see that there was a lot to do to change policy and practice so older people are served well, and because she passionately believes that Age UK can make a big difference.
Pam Creaven – Services Director
Pam joined Age UK in 2012.
Pam has extensive experience gained from a varied career working in roles in the voluntary sector, local authority and NHS, across a number of domains (health, education, housing, health and wellbeing) and for all ages –shaping and commissioning new ways to deliver services and particularly focusing on reducing inequalities.
Before joining Age UK, Pam was Managing Director of the NHS South East London Bexley Business Support Unit.
Pam felt she would be better able to improve the lives of older people and their families by working for Age UK. The big opportunity being to develop and showcase best practice and the added value of what the voluntary sector brings to people in later life every day.
Chris Roles – Managing Director, Age International
Chris joined Age International, Age UK’s sister charity, in 2012.
Chris is responsible for the leadership of Age International, and its policy and influencing work, its fundraising and communications, and its programme funding and emergency response work, as the UK member of the global HelpAge network.
Before joining Age International, Chris was Chief Executive of Y Care International – a youth focused international relief and development agency. He has also held senior positions at ActionAid, Christian Aid and YMCA England.
Chris is also a member of the BBC’s Appeals Advisory Committee.
Chris was attracted by the challenge of becoming Age International’s first Director in 2012, and by the opportunity to shape and develop the organisation, utilising the strengths of the wider Age UK group, as a strong UK member of the global HelpAge network.
Laurie Boult – Fundraising Director
Laurie joined Age UK in 2010.
Laurie has spent her career in fundraising and marketing roles at various charities, covering a range of issues including female cancers, disability, and social isolation and exclusion. She is also a Trustee at The Running Charity and a Board member of the Institute of Fundraising National Convention.
Laurie has steered several multi-million fundraising teams and has largely specialised in developing high-value partnerships with a diverse range of UK and global businesses. She is especially passionate about working with positive brands to deliver charitable objectives. She is also a firm believer in leading from the front and participates in at least one Fundraising event every year; usually the Great North Run.
Laurie’s interest in older people began from an early age, when she would accompany her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother on weekly visits to lonely older people in the local community. Now in her dream job at Age UK, she has a vision for the fundraising team to not only raise vital funds, but to influence public perception and passion for older people.
Tracey Bright – People, Performance and Retail Director
Tracey has worked for Age UK since 2001.
Coming from a commercial, Financial Conduct Authority, and human resources (HR) background, Tracey has held senior HR roles for both Thomas Cook and Barclays.
Since joining Age UK, Tracey has undertaken a number of HR roles before becoming our Director of People and Performance in 2017.
In September 2018, Tracey broadened her role and revisited her commercial experience, taking responsibility of our retail network of over 370 charity shops, including more than 5000 shop volunteers. Tracey's current role is People, Performance and Retail Director.
Tracey was inspired to join an organisation where she could use her skills and experience to engage, develop and support excellent people, while at the same time balancing the needs of a charity with those of an organisation that has to survive in today's world.
Her own ageing parents and the challenges they were facing made Age UK the perfect choice for Tracey.
Vicki Thornton – Chief Financial Officer
Vicki started her accountancy career in private practice and has held management roles in national and international private equity, public benefit and charitable organisations. Most recently she worked at Royal Mencap Society overseeing finance, procurement and payroll, as well as deputising for the CFO.
At Age UK Vicki is responsible for finance, procurement, risk, legal, IT and data.
Following an undergraduate degree in theology and philosophy and a stint as an artist, Vicki worked in Kenya which led to co-founding an educational charity for disadvantaged children in East Africa and the start of her interest in the voluntary sector. She has been actively engaged as an employee, volunteer or trustee ever since.
Vicki is an advocate of empowerment, collaboration and inclusion in the workplace and in society. She therefore feels she has found a good fit in working at Age UK to support vulnerable older people to have their voices heard and be respected as valued members of our communities.
For more information call the Age UK Advice Line on 0800 169 65 65 (8am-7pm, 365 days a year).