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We're a local charity working in the community to support over 50s, those living with dementia and carers. We are committed to making Plymouth a city where people Love Later Life.

Who we are

Our mission statement: Age UK Plymouth exists to care for and work with older people and their carers in and around the City of Plymouth to improve their quality of life through the promotion of choice, opportunity and independence. 

Our vision: Love later life in Plymouth

Our values: Trusted, compassionate, innovative

We offer a range of services including Help at Home support to help people remain independent in their own homes for as long as possible. We work with partners in the city including the NHS and Livewell South West to create opportunities that support individuals in their journey to return to independent living. Our current aim is to tackle loneliness in Plymouth through numerous activities and one off events to help people feel more included in the community. We partner with organisations and charities in the community to recommend and provide information, advice and options for improving lives and helping people Love Later Life.

In 2022 Age UK Plymouth celebrated 80 years of supporting over 50s in the City of Plymouth. From determined and ambitious beginnings, the Charity’s origins can be found in the work of Elspeth Sitters OBE, who after volunteering with elderly people following the devastating effects of the Plymouth Blitz, knew that more had to be done for Plymouth’s older community. Over the years the charity has transformed, the challenges have changed but one thing has always remained at the heart of it all; Age UK Plymouth was, is and will be here to support over 50s continue to Love Later Life.

How we are funded

We rely on donations to keep us active in the community. All money raised is spent locally supporting people in Plymouth.

To donate click here or call into any Age UK Plymouth centre.

Management Team

Rich Masters, Interim Chief Executive Officer  - Having filled senior leadership roles in the energy and tech industries, Rich has been able to translate his 20 years of commercial experience to bring professionalism and accountability to the Charity in a number of key ways. As leader of our ever growing and needed Service provision, Rich’s job is to ensure efficiency and business focus, where decisions are made based on performance data, whilst simultaneously acting as safeguarding lead for our vulnerable client base.

Sarah Allen, Head of Wellbeing, Information & Advice - Managing arguably the most successful I&A team in the Age UK network, Sarah’s leadership enabled the delivery of over £2m of benefits for Plymouth’s elderly population and a 100% score in the national advice audit. As the Head of our Wellbeing services and a former AUKP volunteer herself, Sarah is best placed to lead the many Wellbeing and community programmes we offer, including our Veterans groups and Wellbeing Hub.

Tara Dale, Head of Fundraising - Having designed a complete programme of internal fundraising campaigns, external corporate relationships, and international funding events such as our Sahara Trek, Vietnam Cycling, and Mountain Climbing trips, it’s clear that Fundraising is Tara’s strength. She has also worked tirelessly to create Charity specific events, including our gala and forest walk, which raised our profile in the city and helped us create relationships with important players in the city.

Mike Hardie, Head of Operations - Mike’s hospitality expertise makes a hugely positive impact on the Charity and our day to day operations. He works to assure our compliance with complex Health & Safety legislation, manages the excellent running of our catering, fleet and housekeeping provisions, and is our primary point of contact for our award winning Short-Term Care Centre with Livewell South West. Mike was specially hired to lead our Community Meals provision because of his successful history in the industry.

Claire Langmead, HR Manager - Claire embodies the entire ethos of the Charity; she started as a volunteer and through diligence and commitment to Age UK Plymouth, worked her way up to becoming our trusted Human Resources expert. With a consistent eye on championing the needs and welfare of the employee, Claire supports every team with the same duty of care, and helps the Charity run smoothly by ensuring that all company processes are compliant with employment regulations and that all personnel are supported to be their best.

Steven Hookway, Head of Finance - Offering years of professional finance and accounting experience in the private sector, Steve provides a steady financial hand for the Charity. Steve has tightened all financial policy and procedure at the charity in order to ensure the Charity’s financial health, and leads our financial audit process.

Sarah Hopes, Head of Community Support - Sarah leads two of the biggest areas of the charity, and is instrumental in the delivery of Community Services and the Charity’s continued success. She built the current hospital discharge provision, and is passionate about our client care and sustainability. Her work has had massive impact on wait times and bed availability in the NHS in Plymouth, having an impact on anyone waiting for care in the city’s hopitals. Due to her leadership of her functions, they are the two largest growing and commercially successful teams in the Charity.

Bryony Rawson, Head of Communications - In her time with Age UK Plymouth, Bryony has completely changed the way in which the Charity engages with the elderly of Plymouth, their carers, and our professional partners. An expert in web, social and print communication, her work and boundless professionalism has been crucial to our long-term plans, enabling us to reach and support more clients than ever before and carving a place for the charity in the region's social and political landscape. 

Tracy Walker, Head of Day Centres - Tracy has managed care and care-related training teams for over two decades, and manages the client journey from initial dementia diagnosis. Her running of our two day centres has enabled her to build a team of dedicated professionals we are proud to have associated with the Charity. She is expertly qualified in management of care, specifically the care of those living with Dementia, and has connections with many professional bodies and health providers in the city.

Meet our trustees

Patron: Dame Janet Fookes DBE, DL

All of our trustees are volunteers and give their valuable time and energy in the strategic planning and direction of the charity. The Executive Committee meet six times a year.

There are various sub-committees and special interest groups that are also held throughout the year focusing on different topics. These are investments, finance, care services, support services and training. Many of our trustees are members of one or more of these groups.

Chair of Trustees - Marjorie Creek is a solicitor with a keen professional interest in both dementia and the affairs of the elderly.

Prior to becoming a Trustee Marjorie spent many years as a Registered Nurse (Adult) and before that served in Her Majesty’s Women’s Royal Naval Service. As a veteran she is pleased to support the actions of Age UK Plymouth in all they do for retired service personnel in the city. 

When she is away from her desk Marjorie enjoys being with her family out on the water around the SW or exploring Dartmoor.

Vice Chair of Trustees - Benny Wright's first volunteer role within Age UK Plymouth was as a Befriender where he encountered first-hand the twin evils of an underfunded adult social care system and the chronic loneliness that some older people in our community suffer. It also became starkly clear how important small local charities like ours are in delivering services to tackle loneliness and to help the older people of Plymouth live active lives.

Benny says: "Plymouth is a wonderful city, but like all cities the most vulnerable are beset by many challenges. When my befriending role came to an end, I wanted to put to best use my experience and commitment to help the amazing people working at Age UK Plymouth further the charity’s role within our local communities in facilitating active and happy living for those in later life."

Elizabeth Bombieri is a member of The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, with over thirty years of experience in the NHS. Elizabeth settled in Plymouth in 1995 and is the former Falls Service Lead for Livewell Southwest. 

Elizabeth is committed to Age UK Plymouth's mission of making Plymouth a great place to grow old in; she intends to use her clinical and organisational experience to promote and support the work being undertaken by Age UK Plymouth, to enable the independence,dignity and wellbeing of those in later life. In her spare time Elizabeth enjoys hiking, travelling and reading.

Peter Burroughs is a qualified accountant with over 50 years experience in the National Health Service and the Charity sector and has served over 30 years at senior executive and non–executive Board level as Strategic Development Director, Finance Director and Chief Executive.

Peter was responsible for the completion and commissioning of the new £450M University College Hospital, one of the largest and most complex teaching and research hospitals to be built under the Government’s Private Finance Initiative. Peter also served as Financial Advisor to the University College London Hospitals Charities managing assets of £100M and on retirement from the UCLH NHS Foundation Trust Board in March 2006 took up the part-time post of Development Director to the University College London Hospitals Charity.

Following a move to the West Country in July 2006, he was appointed a Trustee of the Exeter Royal Academy for Deaf Education to advise on the financial management of the institution and the redevelopment and building of a new school and college and during the term of office served as Chairman of the Finance and Resources Committee and latterly Chair of the Charity up to the end of his term of office in August 2020.

Peter was also appointed as a Non-Executive Director of Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust in April 2009 and served as Vice Chair and Chair of the Trust Board for a period of 4 years.

Rino Marinelli is an Electronic Engineer with over 13 years of experience in prototyping and manufacturing electronic devices for various technology applications. 

Born in the Puglia region of Italy, he studied in L'Aquila and lived in Abruzzo and the Milan area before moving to Plymouth in July 2020 to join Meta (formerly Facebook). Currently, Rino works as an Integration Technical Lead for the Reality Labs Team at Meta, where he focuses on microLED display architectures for AR smart glasses and VR headsets. 

Outside of work, Rino enjoys sailing, photography, dancing, reading, hiking, and coaching. He is committed to making a positive difference in the lives of others, particularly vulnerable individuals with physical and/or mental disabilities. In Italy, he volunteered as an emergency rescuer and assisted the elderly, and since moving to the UK, he has joined Age UK Plymouth as a trustee, bringing his expertise in technology, social advertising, and IT to support the charity's mission.

Freyja Thomson-Alberts has worked in Public and Community Engagement for the past four years with Ocean Conservation Trust, the charity that runs and operates the National Marine Aquarium.

After living in Plymouth as a child Freyja returned to the city to attend university in 2014 and has loved living in Britain’s Ocean City ever since.

Nicky Watt has worked in Human Resources and Business Operations for over thirty years with a career spanning Private, Public and 3rd Sector Organisations. Having relocated from Scotland to Plymouth in 2015 Nicky currently works with Babcock as a Senior HR Business Partner supporting International Growth.

As a former Head of People for Age UK in Plymouth Nicky has joined the Board of Trustees to combine her HR expertise with mher knowledge of the charity to support the Board, CEO and team in continuing to grow and develop their services and make Age UK Plymouth the charity of choice in the city. "It is fantastic to see how Age UK Plymouth has changed and developed over the past few years," said Nicky. "The charity has an incredible team of employees and volunteers who strive every day to make a difference to over 50s in Plymouth.”

Organisational Quality Standards

Our achievement of the Organisational Quality Standards recognises the high standard of our performance as an organisation. It certifies that we are a well-governed and effective organisation committed to the wellbeing of older people, our staff and volunteers and to working in partnership with others. The Standards are externally assessed by industry leaders SGS and endorsed by the Charity Commission.

To find out more about our Organisational Quality Standards certification, please contact us.OQS logoAssessed by SGS United Kingdom Limited

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Our history

The story behind Age UK Plymouth started in 1942, when a young Elspeth Sitters began voluntary work visiting and helping older people.

Shortly after arriving in Plymouth, a young bride, Elspeth Sitters began voluntary work visiting older people. She became acutely aware of the plight of many of the older residents in the City and set about seeking ways she might make an effective contribution to their welfare.

Elspeth Sitters was not prepared to take ‘no’ for an answer, she worked tirelessly in pursuit of her objectives –chief among which was the determination to alleviate the distress brought about by loneliness and deprivation experienced by older people in war-torn Plymouth.

In 1946, Elspeth Sitters helped to set up and organise a Home Help Scheme. This was followed by a voluntary visiting scheme, the introduction of old peoples’ clubs, handicraft groups and a day centre based at King Street Methodist Church.

With the help of a benefactor, a new day centre was opened in Plymstock, the William Venton Day Centre. Plymouth Age Concern continued to benefit from the generosity of Mrs Patricia Venton as a further centre was opened in the year of the charity's Golden Jubillee Year in 1992.

The charity continued to grow and in 1997 the Dementia Services Centre was opened providing day care and respite care to those suffering from cognitive impairment.

Age UK Plymouth still cares for older people in Plymouth and maintains it's independence and self funding. The charity is grateful to all it's benefactors, for whatever amount has been generously donated, to further the charity and the good work it does.

Sadly Mrs Elspeth Sitters passed away in October 2008, but her work continues to inspire our managers, staff and volunteers and the diverse range of services we provide.

Our policies

For information about any of our internal policies and procedures please submit a request to

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