Chairman’s Statement

Chairman's Statement

 

In recent months, Age Concern Slough and Berkshire East has undergone a fundamental change. Our management team has changed, our service provision has been streamlined and strengthened and new initiatives have been put in place, designed to be of long-term benefit to our clients and partners alike. Our watchword is ‘integration’. The way ahead for our charity is clear.

At ACSABE, it’s always been our aim to serve, champion and represent the needs of older people. Today, we are serving the needs of society as a whole, because our efforts are focused on preventing the kind of challenges and problems that many older people face; from loneliness to self-neglect, from poverty to exploitation and abuse. The impact of such problems goes beyond the purely personal, manifesting itself through health and social challenges which affect us all.

Loneliness is bad for health. Self-neglect is bad not only for the individual, but for all of us. Why? In human terms, because we’re a compassionate and civilised society. In practical, terms, because something as simple as an old lady’s over-long toenails can lead to tripping, breakages, hospital admission, loss of independence, which can result in financial pressure on our society that could have been avoided by the timely use of a pair of scissors. By the attention of people who care and notice. And that’s us.

We’re also here to educate and to change perceptions. We’re not ‘old’ these days, even in our seventies, eighties and nineties. With support, with the help of friends and family, countless thousands of us are leading good, productive lives at whatever age. You only have to look at some of our charity’s volunteers. They’re optimistic, invaluable, amazing. We are all going to be working longer. We’ll all have to shape up, stay fit, change the mindset that sees older people as a ‘burden’ on society, and not as a vital part of the overall mix. Our ageing population is not a problem, but an asset. We’re here to help prove it and to challenge negativity. To this end, we will make every effort we can to work closely and supportively with our partners in the NHS and across Social Services and other agencies. We are committed to sharing our energy, our experience, our skills and our commitment. To help anticipate and avoid problems wherever possible, and to apply our ingenuity in order to make finite budgets go further.

Good intentions are one thing. While we plan for the future, at the same time we never lose sight of the fact that our ability to put our plans into action depends on the support and commitment of individuals. I would like to personally thank our dedicated staff and tireless volunteers whose contribution, determination and professionalism inspires our efforts, every step of the way. But with the best will in the world, where would we be without funding? I would also like to take this opportunity to show our appreciation to all our funders, without whom our vision would never be realised.

We are working together. Looking ahead. Making progress. Whatever we achieve in the years to come will be of benefit to us all.

 

Raj Dhokia

Chairman for & on behalf of the Board of Trustees

August 2014