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Age UK Sheffield welcomes three new trustees

22 October 2015

A bank director, a community champion and a pensions specialist have joined our Board of Trustees.

Age UK Sheffield has welcomed the trio of new faces as trustees, all looking to play a part in the future of services for older people in the city.

Melanie Perkins is a director at the British Business Bank, the state-owned bank set up to support UK SMEs. She is a member of the Venture Capital Solutions Team with responsibility for managing the direct investment portfolio.

Mum of two, Melanie, who lives in North Derbyshire, is a former non-executive director of Community Health Sheffield NHS Trust and school governor and has also worked as a non-executive director and business advisor at Board level helping various firms set strategy and raise funds for growth.

She said: "Older people are a growing percentage of our population and I feel their interests are currently under represented. I strongly believe the younger generations should be encouraged to do more to improve the quality of later life - they can also benefit from the experience of life and knowledge of older people.

“Loneliness and isolation is unfortunately all too common these days and is something I believe that Age UK Sheffield can help address."

Maurice Littlewood worked in the coal, power generation and steel industries until he retired when he started to work for the community. He was chair of the Handsworth Community Forum for many years and when this organisation closed became chair of its successor the Friends of Handsworth.  He was awarded the MBE in 2011 for services to the community.

Following the death of their granddaughter Amy in 1999 he and his wife founded ‘Amy's House’, to care for up to 80 families with children aged five to 16 who have special needs, and is now the President of the organisation. After the death of their second granddaughter Molly the company has founded ‘Molly's Mates’ to care for more mature people aged 16 to 25 with special needs.

He said: "I have loved working for the community with people who share my enthusiasm and I hope to bring the same enthusiasm to the important position of Trustee on the Age UK Sheffield board.”

Melinda Riley is Head of Policy, Technical and Advocacy for The Pensions Advisory Service, a national service that gives people free independent help with their pensions.

She started her career as a librarian for Sheffield City Council and has also held roles at the Department for Work and Pensions, the Department for Education and the Health and Safety Executive.

Melinda, who lives in Crookes and is a member of South Yorkshire Orienteers, said:  “I was attracted to the trustee role for a number of reasons, not least that I would like to reconnect with my local community, having worked at a national level for many years and having had positive experiences of working with Age UK during that time.

“At the heart of it, however, is the experience I had with my mum as she got older. I wanted to be able to make something meaningful out of our experience of a system that is not always easy to navigate. It seemed to me the best way to do this was to volunteer for Age UK Sheffield and to help improve the lives of older people.”

Jenny Dewsnap, Age UK Sheffield Business and Marketing Manager, said: “We’re very pleased to welcome the three new trustees and are sure the skills, knowledge and care they will each bring will help enhance the team here as we continue to find new ways to deliver services that enable older people to maintain or regain their independence.”