Age UK is a charity formed in 2009 to assist older people in all aspects of their life and wellbeing. It provides advice on everything from money matters to further education opportunities, enables independence with all kinds of initiatives, from exercise classes to mobility aids, and combats loneliness among older people.
Age UK was originally called Age Concern, a charity dating back to 1940. World War II had heightened the need for assistance for older people, who were suffering particular hardship during wartime austerity. The Old Age and Widows Pensions Act 1940 had extended means-tested benefits to senior citizens and their widows and lowered the women’s retirement pension age to 60.
But the Assistance Board, who visited claimants at home, felt more help was needed for elderly people. They asked the National Council of Social Services for help, which resulted in a conference on 7th October 1940 attended by 20 voluntary organisations, individuals experienced in helping elderly people and three government departments, to discuss the problems.
The result was the National Old People’s Welfare Committee – the origins of Age Concern England – with offices and clerical services provided by NCSS. In the 1950s, local authorities lobbied for legislative change to help the NOPWC to assist the nation’s elderly population. The Pre-Retirement Association, now an independent organisation, was formed in 1964 as a result.
In 1971, the NOPWC became Age Concern and subsequently, a study of 2,700 retired people led to a Manifesto on the Place of the Retired and Elderly in Modern Society, which put forward proposals for improving the elderly’s quality of life. In 1982, Age Concern became one of 15 specialist organisations which administered and awarded grants on behalf of the Department of Social Security.
In 2009, Age Concern joined forces with another voluntary organisation, Help the Aged, to create a new charity to help improve elderly people’s lives across the UK. It became known as Age UK in April 2010, looking after the needs of more than 12 million UK senior citizens.
The Age UK freephone advice line and website offer information on many topics, such as money matters, health and wellbeing, getting care at home, including the financial side, and elderly people’s rights when it comes to work and further education.
The charity enables independence by offering various services, such as the handyperson service for small jobs around the home, exercise classes from Tai Chi to chair-obics, home shopping delivery, computer training and lunch clubs.
It helps combat loneliness through initiatives such as the Age UK Befriending Services, connecting lonely people with a volunteer who can visit them at home, or call them for a chat. It helps people to connect through forums such as Gransnet, where senior citizens can chat online, or joining the RNIB’s telephone book club for visually impaired people, enabling them to talk to up to eight people on the telephone at a low cost.
Other Age UK products are available to help seniors, such as home, car and travel insurance, aids including stairlifts and adjustable beds to assist independence at home, personal alarms and hearing aids.
The charity’s work is possible thanks to the help of a network of 250,000 volunteers, corporate and individual donations and income from its charity shops and products.
Automatic Access is proud to be associated with a charity as valuable as Age UK, which assists millions of elderly people nationwide. We have completed work for Age UK in Coventry, a testament to our reliable and trusted services.
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