NPC and the International Longevity Centre-UK have launched a commission which will look at ageing and its effect on charities and wider society.
The Commission will tackle the rising issue of an ever-increasing population and the impact that ageing has on the voluntary sector. It will receive £175,000 from the Big Lottery Fund and £35,000 from Prudential to fund the project.
There has been a steady increase of people aged 65 and over in the UK for the past decade. The Office for National Statistics predicts that the number of people aged over 65 will be higher than the number of people aged under 16 in 2023.
Lynne Berry (pictured), deputy chair of the Canal and River Trust, and former chief executive of Royal Voluntary Service, will chair the Commission on Ageing and the Voluntary Sector. She has extensive experience in both the charitable sector and in tackling the issues arising from an increase in an elderly population.
In her blog, Berry expressed the need for charities and organisations to begin strategising plans for this increase in numbers of the elderly and believes people should “share the challenge of helping charities adapt to the huge opportunities of an ageing society”.
She said that an increase in people aged 65 and older is not only an issue to tackle but also an opportunity. She added: “This is a great chance for society, the voluntary sector and individuals to rethink how we view ageing, and consider how we can harness the potential of this extraordinary social change.”
Dan Corry, chief executive of NPC, said: “This initiative will consider the impact that ageing has on the whole of the voluntary sector.”
Baroness Sally Greengross, chief executive of the International Longevity Centre-UK (ILC-UK), agreed, adding: “This Commission will help charities adapt to an ageing society.”
One in five over-60s volunteer
Elsewhere, research from the Royal Voluntary Service (formerly WRVS) found that 22 per cent of over-60s volunteer for two or more charities.
There are 10.4 million adults in Britain aged 60 and over, and Royal Voluntary Service estimates 2.2 million volunteer for two or more charities.
ICM Research surveyed 689 over-60s on behalf of the Royal Voluntary Service.