Age Concern to stay independent

Age Concern Eastbourne. Chief Executive Clive Wormald shows the new identity at the Venton Centre cafe.
Age Concern Eastbourne. Chief Executive Clive Wormald shows the new identity at the Venton Centre cafe.
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AGE Concern Eastbourne is not signing up to Age UK and is instead becoming an independent charity.

The Venton Centre in Junction Road and Age Concern’s three Eastbourne shops are currently undergoing new branding to become an independent charity, with the slogan ‘give local help local’.

Last year, Age Concern England and Help the Aged merged to form Age UK, and Age Concerns up and down the country were invited to join the brand.

But Clive Wormald, chief executive of Age Concern Eastbourne, felt it was not in the interest of the town’s older residents to join.

Mr Wormald said, “When looking at whether to join, we felt we knew what was best for the older people of Eastbourne.

“Under Age UK there would have been income sharing and we thought money raised in Eastbourne should be for the older people of Eastbourne.

“People should know exactly where their money is being spent and we thought that was so important, which is why we came up with our new strap line.”

Age Concern Eastbourne, with it 230 volunteers, provides a wide range of service and activities for people over the age of 50 at the Venton Centre. Classes include dancing, Thai Chi, art, French and IT.

There is also a hairdresser, chiropodist, beauty salon and an advice centre.

Mr Wormald explained the advice centre was an important service and one that may have been centralised if they joined Age UK.

He said, “Much of the advice would have been given through a centralised helpline. Older people do not want that - they like to talk to someone about problems face-to-face.”