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New chair for Age Cymru

Published on 03 March 2020 09:17 AM

Age Cymru has appointed Professor John Williams as its new chair of trustees. The Emeritus Professor of Law enjoyed a long and distinguished career at Aberystwyth University between 1975 and 2018, primarily researching into the human rights of older people.

During his career Professor Williams focused on the impact of the law in terms of older people accessing health and social care. He also undertook extensive research on older prisoners, the design of care homes, international law and ageing, and domestic abuse and older people.

In addition, the professor advised a number of national bodies including the National Assembly for Wales on the drafting of the Social Services and Well-being Act, and the Welsh Government’s Safeguarding and Protection Advisory Committee on safeguarding guidance and regulations.

His expertise was also sought outside of Wales and he became a member of the United Nations Expert Group Meeting on Human Rights of Older People, provided evidence to the joint House of Lords and House of Commons Committee on the draft Mental Incapacity Bill, and between 2017 and 2020 was a member of the Commissioner for Older People Northern Ireland’s statutory review of Dunmurry Care Home and its treatment of older people.

Speaking of his appointment Emeritus Professor John Williams said: “Throughout my academic career, the central theme of my work has always been about the protection of the human rights of older people, in whatever environment they find themselves. I’d envisage that my new role with Age Cymru will enable me to further protect and promote the fundamental human rights of older people. We can only make Wales an age friendly country by placing older people and their rights at the centre of our policy and decision making processes.

“Age Cymru has a strong track record in campaigning for the rights of older people in Wales and, at the same time, it is well respected amongst politicians and other policy makers so I am confident that the Charity can play a major part in improving the lives of all older people in Wales.”

Age Cymru’s chief executive, Victoria Lloyd says: “We’re delighted to have someone of the calibre of Professor John Williams as our chair of trustees. There are some really big issues facing older people over the coming months and years such as how will they get the social care they need to live a dignified life, will they be able to live in an age friendly community with access to all the services they need, and will they be able to access a health service that is fit to meet the needs of an ageing and diverse population.”

Professor Williams’ experience and expertise will be of huge benefit as we try to bring about the changes that are needed to enable older people to live a dignified later life.”

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