Age UK Hertfordshire and Age UK Dacorum will be merging in order to strengthen their services and support offering for older people, their families and carers in the Hertfordshire area. The Charity has been undertaking a consultation process with staff, volunteers and older people over the past few months, in order to shape the organisation ahead of a re-launch on 1 September 2023.
From September onwards the charities will begin to operate under the name Age UK Hertfordshire, coming together to consolidate and simplify the offering for those in the county, with Age UK Dacorum officially wound down from April 2024. The merger will allow sharing of expertise and resources, enabling Age UK Hertfordshire to help more people whilst ensuring that the Charity continues to be financially efficient and sustainable.
Both charities are dedicated to improving the lives of older people through a range of services, activities and support programmes, and the merger follows a successful partnership established over a number of years. The two organisations have been working together since 2017 on several support programmes including Hertswise, a dementia support service, domestic, handyperson and gardening services; and the Maintenance Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (MCST) programme for people living with mild to moderate dementia, which the charities have piloted over the past 18 months.
All existing staff and volunteers are to be retained, with no disruption to existing services, which will continue to run as usual.
The merger also provides the opportunity to expand existing services to ensure that older people are better supported in the region and to grow the organisation. As part of this development, Age UK Hertfordshire will be expanding its domestic support service, Help in the Home, to cover the whole county and West Essex.
Mark Hanna Chief Executive at Age UK Hertfordshire said, ‘We are excited to be bringing Age UK Hertfordshire and Age UK Dacorum together. Not only does the merger make sense practically and financially, but it is a fantastic opportunity to strengthen our services and operations.
‘The two charities have worked together for a number of years and the mutual decision to unite is a natural evolution of our already successful relationship. The merger will allow us to improve our offering, whilst preserving our local links and the work we have been doing.
‘Older people are at the heart of everything we do and we would like to reassure people that our services will continue to run as usual to ensure their needs continue to be met. However, if older people, or their families, have any questions about support that may be available to them, they can contact Age UK Hertfordshire on 0300 345 3446.’
Age UK Hertfordshire is a brand partner of Age UK the national Charity, but exists as a separate entity, with its own Board of Trustees and separate finances. Trustees from both Age UK Hertfordshire and Dacorum are represented on a new bigger Board going forward. Last year the charities helped over 18,000 older people, tackling a range of issues such as income and benefits, social care and loneliness.