In April 2009 Age Concern England and Help the Aged joined together under the legal name Age UK, and a year later the new charity launched publicly under the same name.
Age UK aims to improve the lives of older people by fighting poverty, isolation and neglect. It provides information and advice, runs day centres, lunch clubs, home help and ‘handyperson’ schemes, as well as educational training to over five million people.
Its public affairs department raises awareness of the hardships faced by many older people and keeps these issues in the public and parliamentary eye. The charity runs campaigns on the low take-up of benefits, age discrimination and poverty. Age UK also provides a free national information line for older people, their carers and families.
As 50 per cent of UK legislation is now influenced by the EU, the charity monitors and influences European institutions. It is a member of the international organisations the International Federation on Ageing and AGE – the European Older People’s Platform.