Charities look at merger

A merger is one of the possible outcomes of a review being
undertaken of the work of the largest and best known charities for
older people.

In a joint statement issued last week, Age Concern England and
Help the Aged announced that they have commissioned management
consultants Deloitte and Touche to carry out an independent review
of all aspects of the charities’ operations.

The review will examine all options including collaboration,
joint working and merger.

The charities already work together in several areas including
campaigning, supporting local groups and helping older people back
to work. At a local level, Age Concern is probably the largest
single recipient of grants from Help the Aged.

The news follows last year’s call by Prince Charles, patron of
both charities, for the two to merge into a single organisation and
choose a name that projects a more positive image of older

Michael Lake, director general of Help the Aged, said: “My view
is that there are far too many charities working in areas where
there is considerable overlap.

“Given that both charities are successful and well-founded we
have to test very carefully the notion that a merger would be a
good idea.”

However, a merger could erase destructive competitiveness and
reduce duplication, he said. “Bringing the two organisations
together could have an impact on policy makers and legislation,
which could result in a more powerful voice for older people.” said

An Age Concern England spokesperson said: “Nothing is being
ruled in or out yet. We have been working closely together
particularly at local level. This is to find out if there are any
more and better ways of working in partnership.”

Deloitte and Touche will report back with its findings by the
end of May.

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