As we continue to grow the BOB VCSE Health Alliance, we will be regularly interviewing organisations in our member spotlight feature. Our first interviewee is Fiona Price, the multi-talented CEO of Age UK Berkshire.
Tell us about your organisation:
“Age UK Berkshire is an organisation that works across the old county lines of Berkshire that doesn’t exist anymore so we now work across six local authority areas and we support older people, their friends, family and carers. Although age is just a number, we do support people from the age of 50.”
How long have you worked there?
“I have been with the organisation for just over four years, been in the charity sector for 12 years, Cats Protection, Guide dogs, my last role was a social enterprise and I have been working with older people for the last ten years.”
Why did you join the Health Alliance?
“We are very keen to support and get the views, issues, and concerns that older people face on a day-to-day basis, out there so that people understand what those issues are. So that effectively we can influence and make sure policies procedures and services are as age-friendly as they need to be, and that is not just older people that is younger people too. It is making sure that Older people’s views are considered, we work closely with health partners in the local area anyway, so when we heard that there would be more work done in both place-based and BOB level then we felt it was important the older people’s views were represented.”
Why is the Health Alliance Important?
“One of the things that is incredibly important, there is a lot of information out there about what is going to change and what is going to happen and what the strategy is going to be, having access to strategy is only part of it, we need to be having those face to face conversations although virtual meetings, and having two way conversations. I think it is becoming clear that having the voluntary sector as part of the conversation is essential moving forward. Having that respect for their views to shape what happens is incredibly important, already there is a working relationship forming there, which will take some time but the mere fact that is has started is really important.”
How has being a member helped you?
“We have made new connections, I am more aware of the organisations in other areas, and getting to meet the people working in the organisations, so from a networking point of view that’s been good. It is also good to know that we are all in the same boat, we have got the same positive things, and same concerns. It has been great sharing that wider than just the Berkshire area.”
If you were to recommend the Health Alliance to others what would you say?
“It is a forum to share views and get the voice of the people that you support across to key influencers and people who can make changes in strategies and plans moving forwards, and it’s a really good place to do so.”
If you would like to become a member of the BOB VCSE Alliance please apply here
If you would like to be our next featured member, please email Dawn