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Local Age UK Brand Partners merge and seek older people's views to shape new strategy

Published on 01 July 2019 03:23 PM

Local Age UK brand partners merge and seek older people’s views to shape new strategy

Age UK West Sussex and Age UK Brighton & Hove have completed a merger today and are now working together to support older people in our area. The charity will be undertaking a consultation process with older people over the coming months, in order to shape the organisation ahead of a re-launch in 2020.

During the consultation, the charity will continue to use its existing names in each area, but behind the scenes will be one organisation, working together to provide the best possible services for over 50s. The new strategy and potentially new name will be guided by older people, the charity will be holding a number of consultation events to seek views on what people in our area need and want. Older people will be able to have meaningful input to improve existing services and inspire new ones.  

The merger of Age UK West Sussex and Age UK Brighton & Hove follows a successful partnership which began earlier this year. The merger allows sharing of expertise and resources, enabling Age UK to help more people and ensuring that the charity is financially efficient and sustainable.

Helen Rice, Chief Executive at Age UK West Sussex, Brighton & Hove said “Not only does the merger make sense practically and financially, but it is a fantastic opportunity to review our services. Older people are at the heart of everything we do, so they will be the ones shaping our organisation for the future. We can’t wait to hear their views on everything from interesting social activities, to support for some of the most frail and vulnerable in our community. When we re-launch our new strategy next year, it will be truly guided by older people and dedicated to helping them make the most of later life.”

Volunteer receptionist Patsy Tayler, 70, from Brighton & Hove said “I’ve volunteered at Age UK Brighton & Hove for some time now and attend some of the activities.  I’m delighted that the merger with Age UK West Sussex means a bright future for the charity which has become part of my life. I’m also looking forward to getting involved in the consultation. Older people can feel a bit invisible in society, people can make assumptions about us or decisions for us. To hear that we’re going to play a key part in shaping the new strategy is fantastic, we’re the experts on later life after all!”

The charity will be directly contacting service users, volunteers and other stakeholders to gather their views on the future of the organisation. Members of the public who would like to find out more, or get involved in the consultation if aged 50+, can call Vicki Rayment on 01903 731800 or email marketing@ageukwestsussex.org.uk

Age UK West Sussex, Brighton & Hove is a brand partner of Age UK national, but exists as a separate entity, with its own Board of Trustees and separate finances. Trustees from both Age UK West Sussex and Age UK Brighton & Hove are represented on a new bigger Board going forward. Last year the charities helped over 15,000 older people, tackling a range of issues like poverty, social care and loneliness. During the consultation, the charity will continue to offer existing services, information and advice to those who need help or support.

Ends

For further information, please contact:
-     Sally Sharpe on sallys@ageuk-bh.org.uk / 07734 130 524 or
-    Vicki Rayment on vicki.rayment@ageukwestsussex.org.uk / 01903 731800

Information for editors:

For more information about Age UK West Sussex please call the charity’s head office in Littlehampton on 01903 731800; email admin@ageukwestsussex.org.uk or visit the website www.ageukwestsussex.org.uk.

For Age UK Brighton & Hove, call 01273 720 603, email info@ageuk-bh.org.uk or visit www.ageuk.org.uk/brightonandhove


History
Age Concern West Sussex was founded in 1957 by West Sussex County Council with staff seconded by the Council to manage its affairs. In 1972, the organisation changed its name from West Sussex Association of Elderly People to Age Concern West Sussex, and in 1980 the organisation first employed staff independently of the Council. In April 2010 we changed our name to Age UK West Sussex (AWS).

Over its long history, AWS has moved from a focus on ‘welfare’ to developing a role in the policy and planning of services for older people across the county. Our core staff has grown from several part-time volunteers to a large team of paid and volunteer staff.

AWS is an independent charity and a member of the Age England Association. We are a Brand partner with Age UK. AWS is financially supported by West Sussex County Council, NHS West Sussex, Arun, Crawley and Mid Sussex District Councils. Other funding is made up of project grants, donations and legacies and commission from the sale of our insurance products. We are developing cost effective paid for services too.

Age UK West Sussex merged with Age UK Brighton & Hove in July 2019. Age UK Brighton & Hove began life in the 1980s as Hove & Portslade Old People’s Welfare Committee and was later Age Concern Brighton, Hove and Portslade. In 2010, the organisation became Age UK Brighton & Hove and an official brand partner of Age UK national.

The newly merged organisation is managed by a Board of Trustees; members are elected for three year terms. The Board meets every 2 months. Trustees delegate the day-to-day management of the organisation to the Chief Executive.

Our organisation today
Age UK West Sussex and Age UK Brighton & Hove work together to provide services and support to over 50s in our area. In addition to the Information and Advice service there are clubs and centres offering activities for fun, friendship and health in Crawley, Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill, Littlehampton, Bognor, Adur and Brighton areas. There are also Home from Hospital, Relative Support, Take Home and Settle and Help at Home services available in many areas.