Important Changes to the DBS Verification Process for local Age UKs

Local Age UKs need to make a change to the verification process for your DBS checks to make sure Age UK doesn’t receive confidential information about your employees and volunteers.

Age UK have been receiving some emails from GBG notifying us of the progress of DBS checks requested by local Age UKs. This means we receive personal, confidential information about your employees and volunteers which we shouldn’t have access to. To make sure that we don’t get these emails, the Disclosure Manager at your organisation will need to log in to the GBG system and change the verification process so that Age UK doesn’t get any notifications. An explanation of how to do this is linked below.

GBG have a number of User Guides available on the home page when you first log-in, these provide step-by-step instructions on most activities including how to change your Disclosure Manager and Verifier. If you have any questions, please contact: safeguardingteam@ageuk.org.uk.

Age UK have recently agreed our DBS policy and procedure, this provides clarity on our decision-making on the use of DBS, especially at Basic level where there is no set criteria on the roles this applies to. It also includes guidance on the required frequency of checks and how long personal data will be stored for. If you don’t have a DBS Policy and procedure, and would like to see a copy of the Age UK version as an example, please email safeguardingteam@ageuk.org.uk.

Age International – Covid-19 one year on: achievements and appeal

A year on since the WHO declared Covid-19 a global pandemic, Age International reflects on their achievements so far and provides an update on their Coronavirus Appeal.

A year on from the start of the pandemic, Age International has done so much to help older people in low and middle-income countries stay safe – but the challenge is far from over. 11 March 2021 marked a year since the World Health Organisation declared Covid-19 a global pandemic. At Age International, we understood early on that the virus was a particular threat to older people in low and middle-income countries who are already facing life-threatening challenges. For these older people, coronavirus has brought renewed fear and hardship.


63 years old Jubeda Khatun is receiving regular services from Age Friendly Space. She and her family has arrived in Cox’s Bazar Rohingya Refugee Camp three years ago. In one bed room tarpaulin tent she is living with nine members family. She says, “Every day I feel fear. We are already living vulnerably. There is little support for elderly people like us. This is the only space we have here now. When I visit this place, I feel relief, I feel secure. The care giver provider behaves nicely with us and listen to our need. Everywhere I see, I find people of my age. I am worried for coming days, what would happen to us as the outbreak of this disease is so frightening. Rohingya refugee Camp, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh

Meeting older people’s needs

Since the onset of the pandemic, we’ve been working with HelpAge International and local partners in 29 countries in Africa, Eurasia, the Middle East and Latin America. From initiating new emergency Covid-19 projects, to adapting long-running programmes – we have tailored our response to meet the needs of older people and their families, reaching thousands.

Partners in some countries carried out ‘Rapid Needs Assessments’, speaking to older people to understand how they were being affected and the impact of the movement restrictions on their lives. Many were worried about the virus and told us that they lacked adequate washing facilities and personal protective equipment (PPE), couldn’t access health services or medication, and struggled to get enough food or income during the pandemic.

A photo of Angelina.

Angelina told us: “Life is very hard in the time of coronavirus because you may find that food is there, but water is hard to find. I want to go and get water, but the water points are empty, unless you have money – then you can buy water. But if you don’t have money then you stay home and go thirsty.”

Read Angelina’s story and more on our website.

What we’ve achieved

With HelpAge International and our partners on the ground, we’ve helped thousands. From helping ensure that older people were made aware of the virus and how to prevent the spread with accessible messaging, to providing mental health and medical support and giving out necessities such as hygiene kits and handwashing facilities.

How you can help

This has all been achieved thanks to the DEC Coronavirus appeal and support from our generous donors. However, there is still a way to go. Whilst in the UK the roll out of the vaccine brings hope, it will be some time before it reaches the most at-risk living in conflicted affected areas and fragile states.

We believe that COVID-19 tests and deaths in these areas have been chronically underreported, and our colleagues on the ground have told us how the already-fragile health systems have been overwhelmed and disrupted. On top of this, the economic effects of the pandemic mean many of the poorest are struggling to get by, and hunger is a growing problem. So, if you are able to, we’re asking you to please continue supporting our Coronavirus Appeal. There are a number of ways to help out if you have time:

Help us fundraise

During the pandemic we can’t do bucket collections at train stations which is usually a great source of income for us during an appeal. Could you start a fundraiser for us on Facebook or JustGiving instead?  

Donate

If you’re able to, please consider making a donation to support older people around the world during the pandemic.

Share the appeal

You can tell your friends and family about the appeal and share our tweets and posts on social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AgeInternational/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/age_international/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Age_Int

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/4851767/

The impact of Covid-19 on older people – new research findings to be released soon

Age UK is updating its research on the impact of Covid-19 on older people. These findings will be released in April, along with a webinar to discuss the research.

Age UK is currently updating its research on the impact of Covid-19 on older people. Building on our previous survey, we’ve included more questions about social care and carers. We’ve also done more to understand the impact of ethnicity and sexuality on the findings and have undertaken in-depth interviews, increased our polling and boosted the response rate to ensure our report represents a wider diversity of older people.

We will publish our report in April but if you would like to know any of the key findings in the meantime to support your funding bids, planning and local influencing, please contact healthinfluencing@ageuk.org.uk and we will try to accommodate. We also plan to run a webinar in April to discuss the findings and also hope to be joined by someone from NHS England – giving some context for how the findings can be used in planning / prioritising services and positioning our organisations.

We are also soon to publish additional research findings on health inequalities on older people from certain groups in rural and coastal communities; and some work looking at the health and care experiences of the most socially excluded older people (homeless people, ex offenders etc).

Special recognition award for Age UK Mid Mersey

Congratulations to Age UK Mid Mersey, who have been presented with a special recognition award!

Age UK Mid Mersey has been presented with a special recognition award by the High Sheriff of Merseyside to acknowledge the wonderful work they do with older people in the community. Alongside their recent nomination for a Queens Award for Voluntary Service, it’s quite an accolade and recognises the professional, dedicated and caring service provided by their staff and volunteers.

CEO Shelley Brown says ‘I am delighted for our staff team and volunteers and extremely proud to work within the Age UK brand’.

Congratulations Age UK Mid Mersey!

Rethink and rebuild through and beyond Covid-19: Yes, but how?

An update from Age UK’s Finance Resilience Team, including a useful article on what Building Back Better could mean for the Age UK Network.

An update from Age UK’s Finance Resilience Team, including an upcoming Finance Network Meeting and a useful article on what Building Back Better could mean for the Age UK Network.

Yesterday, Age UK’s Financial Resilience Team hosted a Webinar on ‘Building Back Better’ – how to survive the recovery phase’, an extremely timely reminder of the risks which organisations face as they plan to emerge from a crisis (or in the present situation, emerge from the year-long Covid pandemic restrictions). This followed a Finance Network meeting at the end of February, when Stuart Walker, under the auspices of the Cranfield Trust, presented on ‘Forecasting in a time of Uncertainty’, when amongst other things, he spoke of the need for Scenario Planning, a subject on which we have since provided some short guidance notes.

As we plan for the next financial year (April 2021 – March 2022) and beyond, all our organisations will face some significant challenges:

  • Will our previous income streams return?
  • What is the future of sustainable service delivery?
  • What is the cost of change (and the cost of not changing)?

These questions will be the subject of the Finance Network Meeting scheduled for 24th March, 11:00 – 12:30, when Leo Jones, Head of Charities at HSBC Bank, will discuss these questions.

Leo brings a range of skills and insight developed over nearly two decades in banking and working across retail and commercial operations to deliver strategic change. Leo began working with Charity and Not for Profit sector customers in 2016 and brings together experiences from working with a range of organisations. Working closely with relationship teams, Leo helps charitable customers achieve their ambitions in areas of growth, sustainability and furthering their purpose and impact.

If you have not already registered to attend this event on 24th March, you can do so here.

Article: Rethink and rebuild through and beyond Covid-19: Yes, but how?

In advance of Leo’s presentation, we should consider what Building Back Better actually means for the Age UK Network. David Chenery, National Manager for Financial Governance, Quality & Transformation at Age UK, has written a useful article on what recovery might look like for the Age UK Network. You can download the article in full below:

Free Passes to TSA’s International Technology Enabled Care Conference

This year’s iTEC conference is free to Age UK Network staff. Find out all about the conference and how to book your place.

TSA, (the membership & advisory body for Technology Enabled Care in UK & Europe) are offering free places to Age UK Network staff at this year’s International Technology Enabled Care Conference. This year’s virtual conference takes place on 22 – 25 March 2021 and will concentrate on the ways in which technology can be incorporated into the fields of health, housing, and social care. There will also be virtual networking opportunities during the conference. The details below will entitle you to a free four day conference pass, where you can join the relevant bits of the conference programme to suit your needs.

Conference Programme

To find out all about the International Technology Enabled Care Conference you can view a full event programme here.

Booking your place

To book your place, please use the instructions below:

  1. Please register for the Virtual ITEC Conference via: https://itecconf.org.uk/registration/
  2. Please follow the on screen instructions and complete the booking and select the full conference (4 day) package
  3. When asked if you have been issued a booking code, please select YES
  4. Then input the code: VITEC/AgeUK21 (ensuring there are no spaces after the code)
  5. Complete the rest of your booking and the discount will be calculated on the basket page

Support to Handle Serious Incidents

We know that handling a serious incident can be very stressful, so here’s a set of resources help you to prepare and respond.

Over the past few months, Age UK has supported a number of partners to handle serious incidents. The causes have been varied but we’re seeing more incidents that relate to the impact of the pandemic and several that require notification to insurers. We know that handling a serious incident can be very stressful so want to remind you that support is available as detailed below.

We have developed a set of checklists, guidance and key contacts to help you be prepared for and respond to a serious incident.

We can also put you in touch with Age UK colleagues who can support you (e.g. the Media team; the broker who organises the Professional Indemnity insurance that is provided to your organisation).

If your organisation experiences a serious incident please contact partnership@ageuk.org.uk and we’ll help you receive the guidance and support that you need.

Microsoft Exchange Server – Potential Security Concern

Microsoft have alerted us to a potential security issue to do with Microsoft Exchange Server. Find out how to check if you have been affected.

Microsoft have alerted us to a potential security issue to do with Microsoft Exchange Server. Microsoft Exchange Server is a mail server and calendaring software developed by Microsoft which is widely used for email by many organisations. This is a serious security alert, so please check with your IT support person or company to ensure your organisation is not affected. If you are unsure, please ask your IT support to review the support documents below so they can confirm you are not at risk or let you know if they need to do anything further.

Microsoft On the Issues blog

Microsoft Threat Intelligence Centre

Microsoft are especially concerned by “on-premises” Servers, i.e. those running on computers on the premises of the organization using the software, rather than at a remote facility such as a server farm or cloud. So, if your organisation runs your own email server or have a third party hosting your email on their server then this applies to you. If you are unsure, please check with your IT support.

We wanted to share this information with you so that, if you haven’t heard from Microsoft already, you can check with your IT Support Provider that you are not at risk or need to do anything further.

Network Infrastructure update: Charitylog user groups

The Network Infrastructure Team have been working with Charitylog over the last few months, find out all the details here.

In this latest update we look back at the work we have done with Charitylog, how we plan to strengthen the relationship with them in the next 12 months, and how you can get involved in the upcoming user group meetings.

Covid-19 Webinar Recording: Roadmap out of lockdown and Vaccination Programme

If you couldn’t make the recent webinar on the roadmap out of lockdown and the vaccination programme, you can view the recording here.

The Health Influencing team recently held a webinar where the Head of Health Influencing and Head of Research provided details of the Government published Roadmap out of lockdown, the latest data from the pandemic and the impact of the vaccination programme to date. We discussed and answered questions around the implications for older people and the Age UK Network. If you weren’t able to join the webinar on the day, you can see the recording here. As a reminder, we also have 2 Covid-19 Q&As on this site which we regularly update. These can be found below.

  • Covid-19 Q&A: covers the government guidance on social distancing, testing, tracing, what services are open and where people can get support.
  • Covid-19 Vaccine Q&A: covers a range of questions relating to the vaccine itself and the roll out programme.

If you have any questions about any of the topics covered in the webinar or you feel are missing from our Q&A documents please do get in touch: healthinfluencing@ageuk.org.uk.