Welcome to our Annual Report for 2017, which has been an especially significant year for Independent Age. Now halfway through our exciting five-year strategy and expansion plan, we have updated the vision, mission and ambition we set out in 2015 to make the greatest impact we can over the coming years.
Independent Age has made remarkable progress since the launch of the strategy and we are incredibly proud of our achievements so far. We are supporting more older people than ever before and have made enormous improvements to the quality and breadth of our services. We have also built a grassroots campaigning base from scratch and become a recognised and respected thought leader on ageing issues.
We believe we have built a sustainable foundation upon which we can continue to grow while, at the same time, retaining our ability to respond to the changing external landscape. After consistent campaigning to raise the standard of care for older people, we have been encouraged by the government’s promise of a proposed plan for social care. Our influence on this plan will be led by our frontline services as we strive to ensure older people have a say in their care.
We are also keen to explore how we can increase the involvement of older people in the work of the charity, from decisionmaking through to service delivery. In fact, we are implementing plans to develop closer, more meaningful relationships with everyone who interacts with us, including our wonderful volunteers, donors and campaigners.
This is a critical time for the growing population of older people in the UK. Recent figures show that almost 2 million older people in the UK are living in financial hardship, while more than 1 million in England alone are struggling with unmet care needs. Meanwhile, extreme loneliness remains an unbearable reality for too many as increasing numbers are forced to endure day after day alone with no one to talk to.
Your support is needed now more than ever and we are extremely grateful to our trustees, staff, volunteers, supporters and campaigners for everything they are doing to help make our huge ambitions a reality. In the following pages we have outlined some of our achievements and hope you enjoy reading about them. We look forward to updating you on our progress again next year.
Dr Justine Frain, Chair
Janet Morrison, Chief Executive