Welcome from Maggy Pigott CBE, Vice-Chair and Iain Cassidy, Chief Executive
Thank you for your interest in the roles of Chair or Treasurer of Open Age.
Open Age is about promoting a positive approach to later life and providing opportunities to those aged 50+ to enjoy healthy, fulfilling and happy lives.
Our board, staff and volunteers are all immensely proud of what our charity delivers and achieves on a daily basis. We are highly valued by our members, over 5000 of them. We receive substantial funding from local authority and health agencies who see us key partners in their plan for addressing the pressures of an ageing population on their services. We are a truly preventative service keeping our members healthier for longer. Our work reduces social isolation and loneliness, and brings purpose, fun and laughter into the lives of a large number of older people.
We are a destination of choice for our members. Our numerous and varied range of activities are available at minimal cost to members who come from a broad demographic in London. Our success lies in the fact our model works across such a diverse group. Our appeal is universal and taps into the desires of our members to have fun and meaning in their day. We alleviate, but do not highlight, the very real issues of ill health, frailty or loneliness.
We are now developing our next five-year strategy, which will focus on sustainable growth, strengthening our funding streams, improving our impact evaluation, and continuing to deliver what members want. With the new and welcome focus on prevention, the impact of loneliness and the need for government to reduce the cost of an ageing population, we believe we are well placed to lead a new approach to delivering services for older people.
Our current Chair, David Sinclair (from the International Longevity Centre), and Treasurer, Allen Molesworth, are stepping down and we are now seeking strategic, collaborative leaders to join our board and help build on our success. You will be working with a committed and diverse board and a passionate and energetic CEO all of whom truly believe Open Age is a special model that deserves to be available to many more older people.
If you have the skills and enthusiasm to help Open Age with its increasingly important work, please read on!
Maggy Pigott CBE, Vice-Chair and Iain Cassidy, Chief Executive, Open Age
Open Age promotes a positive approach to ageing by providing a wide range of activities for older people in London. We strive to enable everyone aged 50+ to remain mentally and physically active and meaningfully engaged in their community.
Founded in 1993, Open Age now hosts over 380 weekly activities across Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster, and Hammersmith and Fulham and Brent. Delivered by high quality tutors our activities range from creative classes to IT classes, special events for unpaid carers, and a fantastic range of physical activities, Open Age has something for everyone. In addition, Open Age runs an employment centre to help people aged 50+ find work. With over 5,000 members, Open Age is committed to reducing isolation and loneliness among older people. We create the conditions that allow our members to have fun while maintaining their existing connections and forming new ones. We celebrate older people and promote a positive approach to later life.
Many studies, including Open Age’s own research, have proved time and again the positive, measurable impact of multi-faceted engagement with a particular group. Open Age’s approach not only directly benefits the growing number of older people in our community, it also eases the pressure on public services aimed at this group. Improved wellbeing among older people has a positive impact on overstretched health and social services.
At its core, Open Age is a member-driven organisation. Our members determine much of what the charity does and how it operates.
How Open Age tackles the challenges facing today’s older generation
Over 380 weekly activities for older people in London
Open Age uses our own dedicated centres as well as smaller hubs and community venues to deliver our activities.
Open Age currently has three dedicated centres and three smaller hubs. Each of our dedicated centres feature IT equipment, rooms for exercise and creative offerings, a lending library and a café area, where our members can meet with friends and enjoy a cup of tea or a bite to eat. Open Age’s centres are located in North Kensington, Chelsea and North Westminster.
Meanwhile, our three smaller hubs consist of rooms in community venues. Each hub has a semi-permanent base running several activities on most days. In addition, we go where older people are and use various community spaces to increase our reach, including sheltered accommodation, churches, council estate buildings and libraries. Our centres, hubs and community venues are where we run the vast majority of Open Age offerings. We offer a broad range of classes and drop-in activities, from dance, yoga and boxing, to language classes, art history and IT, to cater to a broad range of interests. In addition to activities supported solely by Open Age, we also arrange a variety of one-off events, such as health related workshops run by other charities and visits from local interest groups.
Reaching out to those most in need
Our outreach Link Up Programme works with a variety of healthcare and charity partners to identify and support those older people who have the greatest barriers to participation. The service conducts home visits to really get to know the person, assess what type of activity they might enjoy and then accompany them until they feel confident to go on their own.
Connecting the unconnected
Our Telephone Activities and Book Groups allow housebound people to take part in discussions and debates and meet new people without leaving home.
Getting the unemployed over 50s back into work
Open Age runs the Matrix-accredited New Futures 50+ Employment Programme, providing information, advice and support to older people seeking work.
Caring for older carers
Our Time for Me Programme enables older unpaid carers to socialise with other carers and take part in trips and activities.
Working with local partners
Open Age participates in local strategy and partnership boards, advising the NHS and local councils on policy relating to older people’s issues and services.
Building new local communities
By joining Open Age older people are not just taking part in an activity, they are becoming part of something bigger – a self-made community of Open Age members .
Supporting nationwide initiatives
Our knowledge and experience feeds into national work around older people’s health and wellbeing learning and digital inclusion.
Saving public funding and resources
Open Age initiatives help to lessen the high demand on public healthcare services by measurably improving the physical and mental health of older people and reducing pressure on the health system as a whole.
For further information please see these links:
Role: Open Age - Chair and Treasurer
Salary: Unremunerated, but reasonable expenses will be paid
Open Age is a highly regarded, award-winning charity that is redefining what services for older people look like.
Established in 1993, we’re now celebrating over 25 years of championing an active life for older people. We currently operate in several London boroughs but have ambitions to grow. With an organisational budget of c£1.6 million and 40 staff, each week we run over 380 different activities for older people from our own three centres and over 60 other community venues. Be it boxing or ballet, baking or blogging, French or fine art - Open Age’s array of activities improves the physical and mental wellbeing of our members and in doing so address the issues of loneliness and isolation among older people.
Open Age champions the importance of an active, fulfilling and fun social life for the over 50s. Our range of low cost weekly activities allow our over 5000 members to sustain and improve their mental and physical agility, maintain an active lifestyle, develop stimulating interests and make new friends. We are also committed to supporting older carers through our Time for Me programme, and support people over 50 who wish to retrain or re-enter the work force via our New Futures 50 Plus Employment Programme.
Open Age is a member-driven organisation that is leading the way in new ways of working with the NHS and local authorities to help address the pressures that an ageing population bring. We work in partnership with Clinical Commissioning Groups, public health and adult social care to reduce demand in the system through delivering preventative services. We also develop partnerships with adult community learning and organisations in the arts such as the Tate Modern and The National Theatres. We punch well above our weight.
Our new Chief Executive joined us last year, and we are now looking for a new Chair and Treasurer to join us as we begin to develop our new five-year strategy, look to strengthen our financial sustainability and diversify income streams, strengthen our infrastructure, and look to our future growth. We also want to ensure we are effectively evaluating our impact and continuing to place members at the heart of all we do.
Our new Chair will have a track record of leading an organisation through growth and change and be an experienced chair of a board or a committee. With a collaborative and enabling leadership style, you will have the ability to draw out and optimise the contributions of a diverse board, provide wise counsel and constructive challenge to a Chief Executive, and connect with our members. We are open to background, but experience of the charity sector, or of a sector related to our work or funding opportunities (e.g. older people, public health, health or life insurance etc) would be of interest.
Our new Treasurer will ensure there is strategic oversight of Open Age’s financial affairs and its longer-term financial viability, and act as a critical friend to the Head of Finance and Operations. You will have strategic senior management experience as a finance professional, and your strategic finance skills will enable you to support the board in their understanding of the strategic financial picture of Open Age.
Whether you are interested in the role of Chair or Treasurer, you will bring a passion for and commitment to Open Age’s work.
If you would like an informal conversation about the roles you can contact our advising consultant at Peridot Partners, Emma Harvey on 07702 678653 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Closing date for applications: 9am, Monday 18th February 2019