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Age UK creates new Charity Division

Published on 08 February 2012 11:00 AM

Age UK has announced the creation of a new division which brings together its Influencing and Services work.

The move is designed to respond to an external environment in which the need to integrate research, policy creation and service delivery is needed now more than ever - for example in the current debate over the future of social care or the impact of spending cuts around the country.

Michelle Mitchell, to date the Charity Director of Age UK, will lead the division in the newly created role of Age UK Charity Director General. The role will lead all Age UK charitable work in England and sit beside equivalent roles heading Age UK's Retail and Fundraising Divisions and Age UK Enterprises.

She said: 'This is a really exciting role to be taking on at a time when the interplay between service delivery and policy formation in many key areas for older people in England is so close and so crucial. Many of the traditional assumptions as to how services are delivered to older people are now being questioned and Age UK needs to be at the heart of that debate shaping both the policy of decision makers and also adjusting the services it provides to fit in with a changing landscape.'

A Director of Services reporting to Ms Mitchell will be recruited soon.

The Influencing Division contains Age UK's Policy, Campaigns, Research, Media and Public Affairs departments. The Services Division provides services to older people, their carers, families and friends. These services include information and advice, health and well-being, home services and helping to ensure that more people are digitally included.

Before becoming Charity Director for Age UK in April 2009 when the charity was formed by the merger of Age Concern and Help the Aged, Ms Mitchell was Communications Director for Age Concern England. She was previously Chair of the gender equality charity, Fawcett (2005-2008).

Heléna Herklots, currently Age UK Director of Services, will join Carers UK as Chief Executive in February. She leaves after 11 years with Age Concern and then Age UK.

Tom Wright, Chief Executive of Age UK said: 'Heléna has made a huge contribution to Age UK and we are very sorry to see her leave. The opportunity to join Carers UK as chief executive at such a momentous time for social care reform is however exciting and our two organisations will be working closely over the coming months to achieve the changes to the care system that are urgently needed.'

Age UK has also welcomed  Caroline Abrahams as Director of External Affairs. Caroline joins Age UK from Ed Ball's office where she was Chief of Staff after working as Ed Ball's special advisor while he was Secretary of State for Children and Families. Her previous experience includes being Director of Policy and Strategy for the National Children's Bureau and the Local Government Association.

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For more information contact Fiona Callister in the Age UK Media Team on 020 3033 1439 or email

Notes to editors

Age UK

Age UK works in partnership with Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI. For media enquiries relating to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland please contact the appropriate national office: Age Scotland on 0131 668 8055, Age Cymru on 029 2043 1562 and Age NI on 028 9024 5729.

Age UK is inspired by the belief that it can improve the lives of people in later life. It celebrates ageing and believes it presents unprecedented opportunities and challenges at home and abroad. Age UK will challenge ageist prejudice in society, provide services that address market failures and support the public and private sectors to design age-friendly products and services. It will support people to remain in their own homes through campaigning and practical services and its Information and Advice service will offer millions of people support on a range of issues from claiming benefits to staying fit and healthy.

Age UK will fund biomedical research that helps tackle the ill health and poor quality of life that are too common as people age. Working with over 350 partners across the country, Age UK helps influence local decisions and delivers the most appropriate services. Its network of over 475 shops will act as a focal point for the local community, providing information and help with local services. Age UK works across the globe as well as in the UK, with its international partner, Help Age International, championing older people's rights and needs and as an active member of the DEC.

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Last updated: Oct 06 2017

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