Two more Age Concerns decline to partner with Age UK

They join five other independents as partnership deadline looms

Age Concern cares for the elderly
Age Concern cares for the elderly

Two further Age Concerns have announced that they will remain independent of the recently formed Age UK.

Age Concern Exmouth has written to Age UK and Age Concern Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan to its national body Age Cymru, saying they do not intend to sign partnership agreements that would involve adopting the Age UK branding.

Age UK, the national charity formed by the merger of Age Concern England and Help the Aged, revealed this week that five Age Concerns had indicated they would not sign the agreement.

The charity has predicted that, out of about 320 independent Age Concerns, 150 charities will sign formal 'brand partnership' agreements and a further 150 smaller organisations will become 'friends of Age UK'.

Both the newly announced independent Age Concerns said they felt these estimates were too high.

Steve Dace, chief executive of Age Concern Exmouth, said his organisation felt it would lose autonomy and would not be able to respond properly to local needs if it signed the agreement, which was much more restrictive than the loose agreement the charity had with Age Concern.

He said he did not feel that partnering with Age UK would lead to more effective spending on old people in his local area.

"There was a presumption that we would all sign this agreement," he said. "That made it difficult to have a discussion about the subject.

"If we’d been able to have a dialogue, I think many more organisations would have signed. I don’t think anything like 300 organisations will sign up."

Jeff Hawkins, chief executive of Age Concern Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, said it would not be signing the agreement for similar reasons.

Hawkins said he had spoken to most of the 15 Welsh Age Concerns and expected only about half to sign any form of agreement with the national body.

"For us, we have to be able to respond to the needs of local partners and partners at a Welsh level," he said. "Being part of a UK-wide agreement would have limited our ability to do that."

A spokeswoman for Age UK said: "As the deadline for brand partner decisions is 31 March, we fully expect the numbers who decide to join up and those who don’t to change over the coming weeks."

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