Age charity has 21 reasons and more to celebrate success
STAFF and volunteers have celebrated the 21st anniversary of a Warwickshire charity which campaigns for better care for the elderly.
Launched in 1991 Age UK Warwickshire, formerly known as Age Concern Warwickshire, has changed and progressed since the days of having just two members of staff and two charity shops.
The independent charity now comprises of eight charity shops across the county, including a recycling centre in Rugby, employing 225 staff and 480 volunteers who gave more than 50,000 hours of their time last year alone.
Elizabeth Phillips, chief executive officer for the charity, said: “I started on a three-year fixed contract, which has stretched to 21 years, it is astonishing just how quickly the years have passed.
“It is so rewarding to see how many new services have been developed, which all help to keep people independent.
“Many older people and their carers have and continue to be touched by our organisation and their lives improved and changed for the better.”
Campaigning for better health and housing was the charity’s top priority in the 1990s when many older people were unnecessarily living in care homes due to the lack of provision to support them in their homes.
The charity championed the development of Care and Repair services, which are still used throughout the county.
Centres opened in Clemens Street, Leamington, Rugby and Atherstone have become hubs for crucial services, information and advice.
The charity’s launch of Advocacy, a service where trained volunteers speak up on behalf of older people led to the charity Independent Advocacy being formed.
Gateway, a service which supports older people when they return home from hospital, is another point of pride for the charity as is its information and advice service which deals with 15,000 enquiries ranging from benefit entitlement to utility bill clarification annually.
As with all charities, Age UK Warwickshire has had to reduce costs and cut contracts recently and faces a challenging budget this year.
The charity is encouraging people to volunteer within their communities where supporting older people has never been more important.
Eileen Paling, who has volunteered at the charity’s Leamington shop for 25 years, said: “I enjoy meeting new people and being able to help people who need advice. We are all getting older and it’s a good feeling to be able to give something back to the community.” Call 458100.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Kenilworth
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 11 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North