The proposed merger between Help the Aged and Age Concern England has moved one step forward with the appointment of Dianne Jeffrey as chair.
The move will go before the boards of trustees of both charities in the autumn but has been agreed in principle by both organisations.
Subject to final approval the launch of the new charity, billed by Jeffrey as “one of the most exciting and important developments in the voluntary sector in recent years”, will take place in spring 2009.
Jeffrey, who will stand down as chair of sheltered housing provider the Anchor Trust to take up the post, said she was “delighted” at her appointment.
A joint statement from Help the Aged and Age Concern England said she had “an extensive understanding of the issues facing older people in the UK”.
A spokesperson for Age Concern England said the ongoing consultation with partners on whether they would support the proposal had been “very positive”, and discussions would continue “well after” spring 2009.
The proposal has gained support from Help the Aged and Age Concern in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, where new charities will be set up in those nations under the plan. Meanwhile, the National Council on Ageing, which includes a wide range of organisations including Age Concern and Help the Aged, voted overwhelmingly in favour of the merger.
The joint statement added that “by reducing duplication and allowing us to speak with a single voice, one new charity can better serve the needs of older people than the existing two.”
Help the Aged