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All change at the top

Published on 14 March 2019 02:33 PM

Representatives from Milton Keynes Council and Sue Graham

Jane Palmer is retiring after 12 years as chief executive.

Jane Palmer has been chief executive of the organisation for 12 years, having joined when it was known as Age Concern Milton Keynes.  During her time at the charity Jane oversaw the change from Age Concern Milton Keynes to Age UK Milton Keynes, when the Age Concern partnership of local charities and Help the Aged combined to make a larger, stronger body that lobbies for older people at parliamentary level whilst maintaining local services and making more effective use of resources. 

Under Jane’s guidance Age UK Milton Keynes has developed and improved its key services, making the support we provide more flexible so that it suits older people and the way they wish to live.  

Jane originally trained as a graphic designer, working in a design studio creating work for some of the biggest brands in the country.  Her career took a different turn in 1995 when she joined Age Concern Milton Keynes as a Home Visiting Organiser working in the villages to the north of Milton Keynes.  She enjoyed being able to make a difference to lonely and isolated older people, taking on more responsibility until she was appointed as chief executive in November 2006.

Sharing happy memories of working for the charity

Among her many achievements are being a finalist for the Women Leaders 2018 award and working with the Open University on several research projects, including “Social isolation and loneliness in people aged 55 and over in Milton Keynes” in 2016.  Jane said: "I have enjoyed every minute working at Age UK Milton Keynes.  I leave at a time when there are more people over the age of 60 than under the age of 16 in this country.  There is less funding to pay for the care and support older people need and many people aged 65 plus don't receive the care support they need. In Milton Keynes there are over 17,000 older people living with long term health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and dementia and I am proud to have been a part of a terrific charity that makes a hugely positive difference to many lives in Milton Keynes.

Jane with former colleagues

“Age UK Milton Keynes has an extraordinary workforce who are committed to putting the interests of local older people at the heart of everything they do and I know they will carry on making Milton Keynes a great place in which to grow older.  It's a good time to hand on to someone who can bring fresh passion and new ideas to the charity.

Jane Palmer and Janet Doran
Jane will be succeeded by Janet Doran who was previously First for Wellbeing’s Managing Director in Northampton.  Janet has worked in the public and voluntary sectors for more than 20 years, with a focus on improving outcomes for local people.  Janet said: “I am delighted to be joining Age UK Milton Keynes.  Jane has done a wonderful job of developing staff, and I am lucky to be working with dedicated talented people.  We cannot rest on our laurels however, and we have much to do to ensure that older people’s needs are met.  I am looking forward to working with the trustees, volunteers and staff to continue to deliver crucial services to older people in Milton Keynes.”

Jane and Janet are standing in front of two collages with a seaside theme that were created by people living with dementia who attend our Peartree Memory Club.