More for elderly

SERVICES for the elderly in Exmouth will be improved following next month's merger of two major older people's charities, Age Concern Exmouth's chief officer has said.

SERVICES for the elderly in Exmouth will be improved following next month's merger of two major older people's charities, Age Concern Exmouth's chief officer has said.The merger of the two pensioners' charities, Age Concern and Help The Aged, will create a 'super' charity, one of the top 10 largest in England, but yet to be named.And Steve Dace has said it will enable them to "widen their net" and help more people - even as young as 50.The merger was rubberstamped during a special reception at Clarence House hosted by the patron of both charities, HRH Prince Charles.Lympstone campaigner, trustee of Age Concern England, Graham Martin, was part of a delegation who attended the reception.Mr Martin said: "Over the years there has been frequent confusion with many people thinking Help The Aged is part of Age Concern or vice versa."This will help clear up the confusion and I hope that the new name gives us a more positive 21st Century feel."I hope that the new name will have a more 'people's welfare' feel, something which can appeal to the over 50s and not just the over 85s."This new charity will be amongst the top 10 in the country."Mr Dace said: "The services we provide won't change in terms of our lunch clubs, help and advice and day centres will continue."In fact, after the merger, we hope there will be enhanced services - our new information centre opens at the end of next month in Rolle Street."He said he recognised that people in their 50s and 60s had different needs than those over 85:"We are attempting to appeal to a wider spectrum of people, with a service tailored to more individual needs."We feel this will be better than the more traditional blanket approach enabling us to be more responsive to the needs of people who need our help."The two charities will officially merge on Tuesday, April 7, with a major joint conference in London attended by the Secretaries of State for Work and Pensions and health, James Purnell and Alan Johnson.The new centre in Rolle Street will have full disabled access and will provide a much needed service for older people. The office will not replace the services at the Exmouth and district Age concern in New Street, Exmouth.


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