Heyday has not worked, admits Age Concern

Age Concern England has admitted that Heyday, its subsidiary targeting people preparing for retirement, has failed.

Following a meeting of the board of trustees yesterday, the charity has announced that plans to extend its reach beyond pensioners towards baby boomers was “a step too far, too fast”.

Heyday is aimed at people over 50, but Age Concern England has revealed that the majority of its members are not in the target age group – they are aged between 65 and 80.

Heyday, which was only launched officially last year, has consistently failed to meet membership targets. The original aim was to recruit 300,000 by the end of its first year, but nine months in only 45,000 had signed up, 31,000 of whom were transferred across from another organisation.

However, Age Concern England will continue to use Heyday’s membership programme to “help it represent the interests of all older people and offer members more sustained support”.

“Our experience shows that baby boomers are reluctant to think about the things that could go wrong in retirement if they don’t plan ahead,” said Age Concern England director general Gordon Lishman. “This is a serious challenge to all of us who want to see older people fully benefit from the opportunities opened up by increasing life expectancy.

“A broader membership approach will help Age Concern England provide a more joined-up service to many older people. It will also deepen our knowledge and thus make us more effective advocates.”

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