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Exclusive: Age Exchange merges with Community Integrated Care

Age Exchange, a national centre for dementia intervention and ‘reminiscence arts’ based in Blackheath, has merged with Community Integrated Care, one of the UK’s largest health and care charities.

The partnership sees Age Exchange become a subsidiary of Community Integrated Care, while maintaining its own identity, staffing structure, board of trustees and governance agreements. The merger will support Age Exchange to grow its organisation within the infrastructure of Community Integrated Care, and allow the latter to develop and extend its existing dementia services.

North-West based Community Integrated Care supports more than 3,500 people with a range of needs including learning disabilities, mental health, autism, dementia and age-related needs. It employs more than 5,500 staff throughout England and Scotland.

Age Exchange, which has 16 staff and 100 volunteers, supports hundreds of people every week through its outreach projects, with the Blackheath centre visited by 180,000 people each year.

The two charities were legally joined on 27 July 2018, following due diligence processes and unanimous ratification by the board of trustees of both organisations.

The partnership follows an internal review of Age Exchange’s sustainability in 2016-17, which revealed an opportunity to extend the impact of its services through partnership with a national social care charity. The merger also supports Community Integrated Care’s five-year strategy, which sets out to assist the provider to “reconnect with its charitable principles” by working with community-based charities and organisations.

Age Exchange chief executive Rebecca Packwood (pictured, left) commented: "We set out to find a national partner that provided both the infrastructure we needed to grow and synergy in terms of values and ambition - Community Integrated Care was the perfect candidate.

"This partnership will allow us to replicate the work we do in our Blackheath centre across the UK, dramatically increasing the number of beneficiaries we are able to reach."

Mark Adams, Community Integrated Care chief executive (pictured, right), said that Age Exchange was a “beacon of best practice”. He added: “Having already successfully ventured into dementia and reminiscence projects to improve the lives of people we support, our partnership with Age Exchange will now allow us to further improve those projects by sharing knowledge, learning from Age Exchange’s industry-leading strategies and expanding our offer to deliver genuine social impact to communities across the country.

"We hope Age Exchange is the first partnership of many to come, as we help more charities increase the reach of their incredible work.” 

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Posted on: 03/08/2018

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