Two major charities for older people could merge

Two of the largest and best known charities for older people
could be merging it has been revealed.

In a joint statement, Age Concern England and Help the Aged
announced that they have commissioned management consultants
Deloitte and Touche to carry out an independent review into the
work of the charities. 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.

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

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 Lake.

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.”

Prince Charles called for a merger of the two organisations last
summer. The Prince of Wales, who is a patron of both bodies, said
they should join together and choose a name which projects a more
positive image of older people.

* Last year, the two largest HIV charities in the UK, Terrence
Higgins Trust and London Lighthouse, merged.




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