The members of the Commission for the Voluntary Sector & Ageing have today been announced on the day as the formal work of the enquiry begins. The Commission was established by the charity think tank, NPC, in partnership with ILC-UK, and is chaired by Lynne Berry OBE. It aims to provide strategic thinking about how voluntary organisations in England can prepare for and adapt to an ageing society in the next 20 years.

The Commissioners have been selected to bring a range of perspectives and experiences and to reflect the fact that the Commission is not just about older people but also about the huge impact an ageing society will have on the voluntary sector. It is hoped that this forward thinking approach might, in turn, be replicated in other sectors. The Commissioners are:

  • Stephen Burke: Director of United for All Ages, a social enterprise that brings older and younger people together, and Good Care Guide, a website that enables families to review the childcare and eldercare they use.
  • Ken Burnett: Trustee of the Disasters Emergency Committee and founder and a managing trustee of the SOFII Foundation.
  • James Cochrane: Vice Chairman of Raleigh International , with a previous 30 year career in the pharmaceutical industry resulting in his appointment to the main Board of Glaxo in charge of international operations. 
  • Dan Corry: Chief Executive of NPC, previous Head of the Number 10 Policy Unit and Senior Adviser to the Prime Minister on the Economy.
  • Kristina Glenn MBE: Chief Executive of Cripplegate Foundation in Islington and Chair of London Funders.
  • Baroness Sally Greengross: Chief Executive of ILC-UK; crossbench (independent) member of the House of Lords since 2000 and chair of five All-Party Parliamentary Groups: Dementia, Corporate Social Responsibility, Intergenerational Futures, Continence Care and Ageing and Older People (Co-Chair).
  • Javed Khan: Chief Executive of Victim Support, a board member of the Sentencing Council for England and Wales, the Criminal Justice Council and a London Clinical Commissioning Group.
  • Keji Okeowo: Youth Participation Manager of National Council for Voluntary Youth Services.
  • Paul Palmer: Professor of Voluntary Sector Management and Associate Dean for Ethics, Sustainability and Engagement, Cass Business School.
  • Sonia Sodha: Head of Public Services and Consumer Rights policy at Which?, the Consumers' Association, where she leads their work on public services, health and social care

The Commission will draw together existing research, engage and consult the sector through a series of events, and work with voluntary organisations to develop answers as to how the sector can lead the way in adapting to an ageing population. It will publish its initial findings in March 2014 and an interim report in the run up to the 2015 general election. These will be followed later by a final report with recommendations for the future. The Commission will have three strands of work: building an understanding of how ageing will affect the sector; engaging the sector in thinking about the voluntary sector and ageing; and enabling the sector to respond and adapt. NPC and ILC-UK are also bringing together an expert panel to advise the Commission and ensure it is firmly rooted in the voluntary sector, including representatives from NCVO, Age UK, ACEVO and RVS.

Lynne Berry, Chair of the Commission for the Voluntary Sector & Ageing, said:

‘The scale and nature of the changes brought about by an ageing society will present significant challenges and opportunities for all charities and their funders. The fact that around one-third of babies born in 2012 in the United Kingdom are expected to celebrate their 100th birthday, and that so many people are living longer and healthier lives, is of course good news but we must prepare for the changes this will bring.

‘I am delighted that we have recruited so many wise and interesting people to sit on the Commission for the Voluntary Sector & Ageing, and I look forward to us putting our heads together and getting on with rethinking the future of the voluntary sector.’

Stephen Burke, Director of United for All Ages, said:

‘Our ageing society has implications for people of all ages and therefore for all voluntary organisations. Those implications range from the recruitment of volunteers and maintaining donations to the kind of society we want to build. Bringing older and younger people together will create a stronger Britain, but too often the voluntary sector segments people by age. I hope the Commission will challenge the voluntary sector to change the way it engages with people of all ages.’

Dan Corry, Chief Executive of NPC and member of the Commission on the Voluntary Sector & Ageing, said:

‘It is encouraging that we have got so many talented people on board with this Commission, a reflection of how important this work is. The whole sector needs to wake up to huge changes we will all face by 2033, and I believe that our Commissioners and members of the expert panel will help us prepare for the future.’

Baroness Sally Greengross OBE, Chief Executive of ILC-UK and member of the Commission on the Voluntary Sector & Ageing, said:

‘As we move forwards with the Commission’s tasks, it is a privilege and a pleasure to be working alongside individuals with such expertise. The insight of the Commissioners into these issues will ensure that we are able to find strong, focussed answers to the questions around how the voluntary sector adapts to an ageing population.’

Ahead of the Commission’s first meeting today Lynne Berry will also give evidence to the latest hearing of the CAF Growing Giving Inquiry, which focusses on older people and giving.

Interviews available on request. For more information please contact NPC’s Media Relations Manager Vicki Prout at or on 0207 620 4880 or 07764 746 631.

The Commission's website is here.



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