Independent Age and Counsel and Care are merging. The result will be the development of a broader range of services for older people than either could provide separately. 

Under the plans, Independent Age will become managing trustee of Counsel and Care, with a full legal merger taking place as soon as practical.

Janet Morrison, Chief Executive of Independent Age, said:

 “As well as protecting Counsel and Care’s services in the short term, this move will provide a platform for expansion to support even more older people in the future.

 “As the landscape for the funding and delivery of services and support to older people faces fundamental reform, the need for independent expert information and advice will only increase over the coming years and we are passionate about rising to that challenge.

 ”Counsel and Care’s unparalleled advice and Independent Age’s expertise in benefits advice and befriending will combine to make an even more comprehensive service. We will also look to provide the wider benefits of Independent Age membership to Counsel and Care service users. In future, we hope to be able to offer the advice, information and befriending services of both charities to even more older people – addressing the ‘three poverties’ of knowledge, income and social contact that affect older people today.”

 Sushil Radia, outgoing Chairman of Counsel and Care, said:

 “Counsel and Care’s trustees are pleased to conclude this very important merger with Independent Age. It ensures that the vital work of Counsel and Care of providing advice and support for older people, their families and carers will continue and be significantly enhanced, under the umbrella of Independent Age.”

Peter Watt, outgoing Chief Executive at Counsel and Care, said:

 “There has never been a greater need for information and advice for older people. I am therefore delighted that the merger with Independent Age will not only secure the future of our services, but will strengthen them, allowing the delivery of a broader range of advice and support for older people.”

Notes to editors:

 1.   Counsel and Care had been experiencing a severe squeeze on its finances in recent months and without the merger its vital services may well have been under threat.

2.   Peter Watt will leave Counsel and Care on 30 July having successfully overseen the merger with Independent Age.

3.   Under the merger, Independent Age has become the sole legal member of Counsel and Care and has appointed three trustees to oversee it. It intends to implement a full legal merger once it has had time to review the operations of the two charities. The name of the fully merged organisation will be ‘Independent Age’.

4.   Independent Age is a unique and growing charity: a support community for thousands of older people across the UK and the Republic of Ireland. It tackles older people’s poverty and loneliness by offering information, advice and friendship. For more information visit: www.independentage.org.uk

5.   Counsel and Care is a national charity working with older people, their families and carers to get the best care and support. Advice on issues affecting older people and carers can be obtained by calling 0845 300 7585 or emailing advice@counselandcare.org.uk

6.   Counsel and Care’s Advice Service opening hours are 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday. More information about Counsel and Care can be obtained from www.counselandcare.org.uk

7.   The impact of major reforms in social care and welfare and the increasing emphasis on personalised budgets will only increase the demand for professionally delivered, quality assured advice and information services. The Dilnot Commission report published on 4 July recommended that the Government develop a new advice and information strategy to ensure better provision of national and local information services.

For media inquiries, or for further comment from Independent Age or Counsel and Care, contact Rebecca Law on 020 7605 4291 or rebecca.law@independentage.org.uk. For out of hours media inquiries, call 07545 209589.

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