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Age UK East Grinstead and District is an independent local charity. It is not funded by Age UK nationally and is responsible for raising its own running costs and seeking funding for new projects and services for older people in its area of benefit, which is the civil parishes of East Grinstead Town, Ashurst Wood, West Hoathly and Worth, including the villages of Copthorne, Crawley Down, Turners Hill and Sharpthorne.

In the current economic climate, funders, health and social services support the ethos of partnership working, and organisations which commit to this belief are more likely to secure funding and survive into the future than those who work autonomously.

At Age UK East Grinstead & District, both trustees and staff fully support the commitment to partnership working and believe it can add value to any project. However, the organisation also recognises that there can be some resistance to this, particularly from smaller local groups which sees Age UK East Grinstead & District as a competitor for both members and funding.

However, all local Age UK services, including Age UK East Grinstead & District, are independent charities and are not funded by Age UK nationally, although they receive some support in the form of grants, publicity, advice, campaigns, etc.

Therefore, we believe it not only add capacity to the local services we can devote to older people living in our area, but can also add value to other local services, if we work in partnership.

However, to address any potential fears, we lay out below our beliefs in terms of a healthy and mutually beneficial approach to working in partnership:

* We aim to work with local partners to add value to other local services and enable a sharing of resources, expertise and skills.

* We do not aim to ‘poach’ members from our partners who already run local services in our area. We do believe in giving as much choice as possible to older people but would aim to do this in partnership and with agreement of other services who look to do the same.