Set up in 1972, celebrating our 40th anniversary year, Age UK Gateshead is an independent autonomous local charity and a member of the national Age England Association. (We changed our name from Age Concern Gateshead in May 2011) to become a local brand partner of the national charity Age UK which was formed after the merger of Age Concern England and Help the Aged.) We are a registered Charity and Company Limited by Guarantee operating across the Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead, and are governed by a Management Committee who are Trustees of the Charity. We have 22 staff and 140 volunteers providing services for approximately 800 older people each week.
Age UK Gateshead Advocacy Project started in 2000, funded by Gateshead Council. Initially our aim was to provide advocacy to 450 people affected by the planned closure of eleven council run care homes and provide a small community outreach service for older people in Gateshead. We now provide case advocacy to older people aged 50+ helping them with all manner of issues from making personal choices, right up to more serious concerns including mistreatment and safeguarding.
Over the years we have expanded the service to include older people aged 65+ with enduring mental health difficulties, with the support of Comic Relief funding. We deliver case advocacy in a range of venues from hospital settings to care homes. We run two Peer Advocacy Support groups in urban and semi-rural areas where members support each other, promoting good mental health and wellbeing and campaigning on issues which directly affect them.
A range of other services are provided within Gateshead by Age UK Gateshead including information and advice, day services, exercise classes and walking groups, befriending, travelling companions service, bereavement support, computer training, skills sharing and voluntary work opportunities.