Age Concern loses Churchill to Asthma UK

Age Concern England’s external affairs director Neil Churchill is to take on the role of chief executive of Asthma UK. He takes over from Donna Covey, who will become chief executive of the Refugee Council.

Churchill joined Age Concern in 2001 from Crisis, where he was deputy chief executive. He has also held senior communication roles at Barnardo's and the Policy Studies Institute.

Churchill, who has asthma himself, will begin his new job on 20 August. He said one of his main priorities would be to make sure the disease is diagnosed earlier and the UK’s 5.5m sufferers receive the right kind of information and advice.

“I was diagnosed quite late and it got quite bad,” he said. “I often thought: ‘Why didn’t this get picked up earlier?’ We need to make sure people contact us when they have needs. There are people who can’t manage it properly and die from it. Giving prescriptions is not enough. We need to sit down with people and ask what other ways they can manage it.”

He added he was leaving Age Concern with a heavy heart. “The ageing agenda has been an important one and I’ll be sad to leave it behind,” he said. “But this was a challenge I couldn’t resist.”

Asthma UK chair John Price said: “Neil has a strong background in policy, fundraising and communications and brings with him an excellent knowledge of the charity sector.”

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