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Age UK is a registered charity in the United Kingdom, formed on 25 February 2009, and launched on 1 April 2009, which combines the operations of the previously separate charities Age Concern and Help the Aged to form the UK's largest charity for older people. The charity is continuing to operate under its original charity names as "Age Concern and Help the Aged" until Spring 2010. It also includes separate but interdependant charities for the regions called Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI.
Age UK was formed from the merger of Help the Aged and Age Concern, creating an organisation with a combined income of around £160 million, including £47 million a year raised through fundraising, and over 520 charity shops.
The merger was first confirmed in September, when Dianne Jeffrey was confirmed as the new chair of trustees.
Age Concern's origins are British and can be traced back to a realisation in that country of the effects on aged people of the Second World War; the dislocation and breakdown of family life arising out of conscription led to a recognition that existing poor laws failed to provide effective support for old people separated from family support networks.
In 1940, the Old People’s Welfare Committee (OPWC), chaired by Eleanor Rathbone, was formed as a forum for discussion between government and voluntary organisations. OPWC was a sub-committee of Liverpool Personal Service Society (PSS). In 1944, the committee changed its name to the National Old People’s Welfare Committee (NOPWC), and took on responsibility for coordinating the activities of numerous local OPWCs.
From the 1950s onwards, NOPWC accessed government and local funds associated with the post-war development of the welfare state, to provide services to local committees, and training to wardens of old people's homes.
In 1971, under the direction of David Hobman, the NOPWC changed its public name to Age Concern, and separated itself entirely from government and the National Council for Social Service, now NCVO. It did so while also launching a 'manifesto for old age' and establishing itself nationally as a lobbying body as well as an organisation that engaged in service provision and enhancement, training and research.
Help the Aged
Help the Aged was founded in 1961 by Cecil Jackson-Cole, with the aim to free disadvantaged older people from poverty, isolation and neglect.
The two brand logos from the merged charities will continue to be used until the new Age UK brand is launched and new brand-awareness develops during 2010.
Tom Wright, the new charity's Chief Executive, stated "Age Concern and Help the Aged is a single organisation with one clear objective - to make a real difference to the lives of older people. By combining the unique strengths, skills and experience of our two great charities, we have created one united organisation that will be stronger and more influential than ever before."
- Age UK Website (with links to the two former organisations)
- Background to the Age Concern/Help the Aged merger a CommunityCare website article, (Retrieved 1 April 2009)
- Head to head: Help the Aged vs Age Concern Intelligent Giving website article. (Retrieved 1 April 2009)
- ^ Age UK, Registered Charity no. 1128267 at the Charity Commission
- ^ . BBC Radio 4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/youandyours/items/02/2009_11_mon.shtml. Retrieved 2009-04-01.
- ^ "Age UK Homepage". Age UK. http://www.ageuk.org/. Retrieved 2009-11-27.
- ^ "Charity Finance Article". Charity Finance. http://www.charityfinance.co.uk/home/content.php?id=2453. Retrieved 2009-04-01.
- ^ Third Sector online article, retrieved 1 April 2009
- ^ "Hepl the aged and Age Concern England merger moves forward". Community Care.
- ^ "Chief Executive named for age charities". Third Sector. http://www.thirdsector.co.uk/Channels/Management/Article/860417/Chief-executive-named-age-charities-merger/. Retrieved 2009-03-12.
- ^ Age Concern website, retrieved 1 April 2009
- ^ Help the Aged website, retrieved 1 April 2009
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