Age Concern Havering, one of the charities that decided not to join Age UK when it was formed from the merger of Age Concern England and Help the Aged, has rebranded and is beginning to reorganise as a social enterprise.
After the merger of two of the UK’s largest older people’s charities in 2009, 320 local Age Concern charities were given until the end of March 2011 to decide whether or not to sign brand partnership agreements with the new organisation.
According to a spokeswoman for Age UK, a total of 170 Age Concerns, together covering 96 per cent of England, have done so. The remaining independent Age Concerns continue to have "certain legal rights to use the individual Age Concern name", she said.
Last month, the east London-based charity unveiled its new name: Tapestry. It will be referred to as Tapestry, formerly Age Concern Havering, until the end of 2015, from when the name will be simply Tapestry.
A spokesman for the charity said it was looking to "move away from the traditional charity model towards being a social enterprise".
He said that Tapestry was interested in bidding for more public service contracts and in delivering more services, and was looking into the possibility of bidding for money from the newly announced £100m endowment fund, created by the government to help third sector organisations attract social investment and win contracts.
Tony Lowe, chief executive of Tapestry, said the name change reflected the charity’s broader remit. He said the charity wanted to change its name because, though Havering was its main area of operation, it also helped a significant number of people outside the borough.
"We also wanted to move away from defining ourselves by the age of the people we benefit," he said. "We support younger people with dementia and carers, not just the elderly – though of course we will continue to do everything we can to support them."
Tapestry had an income of £2,148,532, some 117 staff and 300 volunteers in the year to 31 March 2013, according to its accounts.