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What is it like to work in the policy and influencing division at Independent Age?

Want to deliver first-class policy and public affairs campaigns that will change the lives of older people? George McNamara, director of policy and influencing at Independent Age, tells us about working in his team and the career opportunities on offer.

George McNamara, director of policy and influencing, Independent Age
George McNamara, director of policy and influencing, Independent Age

Independent Age is the fastest growing older people’s charity in the UK. Its policy and influencing division is creating a new function to deliver first-class policy analysis, and innovative local and national influencing, through strategic political engagement and hard-hitting transformational campaigns.

A key aspect of both the policy and influencing teams is to build relationships, enhance engagement with older people, and lead on external engagement with key influencers and decision-makers.

The team is currently recruiting for a range of policy and influencing roles including:

  • Head of policy - an opportunity to build an expanding ambitious policy team
  • Head of influencing - to lead a growing influencing team that produces and delivers high profile campaigns and public affairs
  • Public affairs manager - responsible for the development and delivery of Independent Age’s public affairs strategy
  • Policy manager - to drive a programme of policy development and engagement across national and local government, parliament and other key stakeholders
  • Senior policy officer - to identify, research and develop policy positions on the issues that are important to older people living in the UK
  • Policy officer - responsible for providing policy and research support
  • Campaigns officer - to develop and deliver high impact campaigns that lead to changes in policy and practice, nationally and locally, that improve the lives of older people.

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Do you have what it takes to succeed in one of these roles? Read on for insider insight into working at Independent Age and the policy and influencing team.

Champion the needs of older people

Independent Age is unashamedly independent in what it says and does, and is driven by what older people say the charity can do to have the most positive impact on their lives.

"We are proud of our history in supporting and championing the needs of people in later life and our renewed ambition to massively transform the lives of older people", says George McNamara, director of policy and influencing at Independent Age.

The charity is looking for highly driven, confident and talented individuals who are determined to succeed. McNamara states that successful candidates will be fully bought into the charity’s ambition, which is: "to be the most dynamic force in the voluntary sector, working with older people, to transform their lives through highly effective policy and influencing."

Work on exciting campaigns

As the charity is creating a new policy and influencing function, you will have the chance to make a key contribution to the shape, culture and leadership of the division.

You will also play an important role in helping to raise the external profile of the charity and be part of the launch of a new social care campaign focusing on increasing the quality of care, the need to transform and better value the workforce, and the need to address the unacceptable funding gap.

McNamara adds: "We are also at the early stages of forming campaigns that focus on addressing financial insecurity in later life, as well as building a rights approach for older people."

Deliver a first-class policy function

The newly created head of policy position will play a pivotal strategic leadership role in the development and delivery of the organisation’s policy and research programme.

As McNamara explains: "You will provide the strategic direction to deliver a first-class policy function that is the envy of the voluntary sector, which produces, analyses and translates policy research to provide impactful collateral for our influencing and campaigning activities."

Powerful influencing activities

The head of influencing vacancy is also a new strategic leadership position. It’s an opportunity to build an expanding and ambitious influencing team, working both within the division and across the organisation to produce and deliver high profile and innovative campaigns and public affairs.

McNamara explains: "You will provide the strategic direction to deliver a dynamic campaigns and public affairs function whose powerful influencing activities will improve the lives of older people."

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Great team spirit

McNamara enthuses: "Everyone working and associated with Independent Age is highly motivated and committed to making a difference. 

"As a fast growing charity, there are many new faces, as well as staff who have been at the organisation for a longer period of time. We have a great team spirit across the organisation, both professionally and socially."

Space to innovate

This is a unique opportunity to make a significant contribution in an ambitious charity that continuously raises the bar for the life that people should expect to live in later life. 

As McNamara explains: "We greatly value and encourage all staff to be part of our mission, to bring in new ideas and to challenge all areas of our work. We also provide the space to innovate."

Training and development

Independent Age offers a range of training and development opportunities to all its employees. Every member of the policy and influencing division gets their own personal development plan.

"People are our greatest asset. Investing in our people to flourish and become the best in their field benefits the work that we do – this is a key priority", says McNamara.

He adds: "We are investing more resources in our people to ensure we maintain the highest possible standards of delivery and support staff retention."

Job application tips

McNamara offers these tips for candidates applying to work for Independent Age:

  • Demonstrate a real commitment to the cause
  • Show that you have the desire to change things and a can do attitude
  • Demonstrate your experience and ability to innovate and be the best
  • Most of all, showcase the impact that you have made in your career to date

Find out more and apply for one of the roles below at Independent Age:

View all roles at Independent Age on Third Sector Jobs, the specialist job board for charity and not-for-profit vacancies.

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