Commission on the Voluntary Sector & Ageing

The Commission on the Voluntary Sector & Ageing was established by NPC in 2013, in partnership with ILC-UK, to put ageing on the agenda of the voluntary sector. It brought together a range of commissioners with different perspectives and was funded by the Big Lottery Fund and Prudential.

The Commission had an ambitious aim: to encourage charities and funders of all types, not just those working with older people, to consider how the ageing population will affect their organisation. This strategic thinking covered volunteering, funding, governance, services and partnerships, and looked ahead at the next 10 and 20 years to think through how the sector can prepare and adapt.

There were three strands to the Commission’s work:

• Building an understanding of how ageing will affect the sector: through research, analysis and futures thinking.

• Engaging sector leaders in thinking about the implications of ageing for their organisations: through events, awareness-raising, consultation and dialogue.

• Enabling the sector to respond and adapt to ageing: through practical recommendations, exploring different approached and sharing best practice.

This initiative provides just the kick-start that the voluntary sector needs to embrace the demographic changes and opportunities ahead.

Martyn Lewis CBE
Chair, NCVO

The Commissioners on the project, included: Lynne Berry OBE, Steven Burke, Ken Burnett, Dan Corry, James Cochrane, Kristina Glenn MBE, Keji Okeowo, Javed Khan, Baroness Sally Greengross OBE, Professor Paul Palmer, and Sonia Sodha.

In March 2015, the Commission issued its final report and completed its formal work Decision time: Will the voluntary sector embrace the age of opportunity?

A number of charities committed to incorporating the questions and recommendations into their strategic planning, including NCVO, Age UK, NIACE (National Institute of Adult Continuing Education) and Grandparents Plus.

This is an important report, a wake-up call to the sector to think radically and differently.

Justin Davis Smith
Executive Director of Volunteering and Development, NCVO

Sample of media coverage

Third Sector

Charities should build relationships with a new generation of rich retired people, study says.

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The Guardian

Charities must adapt to ageing population—or miss out.

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The Huffington Post

Why NPC established the Commission on the Voluntary Sector and Ageing.

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The Guardian

Can charities keep attracting an ageing population?

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