Cost Recovery and Sustainability Decisions Workshop – 14 December 2022

Find out all the details of the latest cost recovery and sustainability workshop from Age UK’s Financial Governance Team.

This is a quick reminder that Age UK’s Financial Governance Team are hosting a second half-day practical workshop on cost recovery and sustainability decisions. The workshop will take place online on Wednesday 14 December and will start at 10:00. Please read on for full details, including how to book your place.

On 2 November, the Financial Governance team delivered a half-day workshop, primarily for Service Managers within Brand Partners, via Teams, in which we worked through practical examples of the full cost recovery calculation process and then showed how to calculate the breakeven point for a service. This is the point at which total income for that service equals total costs, so that any further sales / income represents a direct contribution to reserves.

Such was the demand for places on that workshop, we are running a second session on Wednesday 14 December, starting at 10:00. We anticipate completing the workshop by 12:00 but could overrun to 12:30 if necessary.

While once again Service Managers are the primary target, CEOs, members of Partners’ SMTs and interested trustees will be very welcome to join. We are not placing any limitation on the number of attendees per local Age UK.

All those on the waiting list for the November workshop have been included on the attendee list for this event, and so do not need to book their place, but please do let us know if you are now not able to attend – john.fox@ageuk.org.uk.

Book your place!

To book your place at the meeting, please click here.

You will see a brief confirmation on screen once you have submitted your registration form. You will not receive a confirmation email. The Teams Meeting Link and Joining Instructions will be sent to you directly by the Financial Governance Team nearer the time of the event in the usual way.

So, please fill in the form using the above link ensuring your contact details are correct, book out the time in your diary and watch out for the Teams Meeting Link email – thank you.

Upcoming Finance Network Meetings

If you are interested in attending the cost recovery workshop, you may also wish to attend our upcoming Finance Network Meetings for December and January.

Find out all the details here.

Practical workshop on Cost Recovery and Sustainability Decisions – 14 December 2022

Find out all the details of the latest cost recovery and sustainability workshop from Age UK’s Financial Governance Team.

Age UK’s Financial Governance Team are hosting a second half-day practical workshop on cost recovery and sustainability decisions. The workshop will take place online on Wednesday 14 December and will start at 10:00. Please read on for full details, including how to book your place.

On 2 November, the Financial Governance team delivered a half-day workshop, primarily for Service Managers within Brand Partners, via Teams, in which we worked through practical examples of the full cost recovery calculation process and then showed how to calculate the breakeven point for a service. This is the point at which total income for that service equals total costs, so that any further sales / income represents a direct contribution to reserves.

Such was the demand for places on that workshop, we are running a second session on Wednesday 14 December, starting at 10:00. We anticipate completing the workshop by 12:00 but could overrun to 12:30 if necessary.

While once again Service Managers are the primary target, CEOs, members of Partners’ SMTs and interested trustees will be very welcome to join. We are not placing any limitation on the number of attendees per local Age UK.

All those on the waiting list for the November workshop have been included on the attendee list for this event, and so do not need to book their place, but please do let us know if you are now not able to attend – john.fox@ageuk.org.uk.

Book your place!

To book your place at the meeting, please click here.

You will see a brief confirmation on screen once you have submitted your registration form. You will not receive a confirmation email. The Teams Meeting Link and Joining Instructions will be sent to you directly by the Financial Governance Team nearer the time of the event in the usual way.

So, please fill in the form using the above link ensuring your contact details are correct, book out the time in your diary and watch out for the Teams Meeting Link email – thank you.

Upcoming Finance Network Meetings

If you are interested in attending the cost recovery workshop, you may also wish to attend our upcoming Finance Network Meetings for December and January.

Find out all the details here.

Chairs and Governance Roundup – November 2022

This Chairs and Governance Roundup is a collection of recent resources, news, and upcoming events for Board Members of local Age UKs.

Welcome to the latest edition of our Chairs and Governance Roundup, a collection of recent resources, news, and upcoming events for Board Members of local Age UKs. Read on for information about membership of the Association of Chairs, details on age-friendly communities, useful resources from NCVO, and much more.


The Association of Chairs (AoC) Membership

The Association of Chairs is run by and for charity Chairs and has a wealth of resources and support available. Membership for most local Age UK Chairs will cost £60 a year.

The AoC often host useful online events of around 60 or 90 minutes held at lunchtime or early evening.

Click here to find out more.


Age Friendly Communities – what are they and how to make it happen

The UK Network of Age-friendly Communities is a growing movement with over 50 member places across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The UK Network is affiliated to the World Health Organisation’s Global Network for Age-friendly Cities and Communities.

One way to involve many local organisations to improve your local community and provide immediate practical help for older people through service provision, is to adopt the Age Friendly Community approach.

The Centre for Ageing Better coordinates the UK Network of Age Friendly Communities and has lots of information on their website that may be helpful.

Click on this link to find out more.


Finance Network Meeting – 7 December 2022 | ‘The Finance Function as a Business Partner’


On Wednesday 7 December from 11:00 – 12:30, the monthly Finance Network meeting will welcome Simon Hopkins, Director of Finance and Corporate Resources at Versus Arthritis, who will give his perspectives and insights on the ‘Finance Function as a Business Partner’ and the importance of strategic leadership, especially in the current operating environment.

Click here for full details, including how to book your place.


NCVO Resources on governance and being a trustee

The NCVO website has lots of resources on governance, trusteeship and being a Chair. Click here for more information.

They have lots of short online courses aimed at trustees. Some are webinars on specific dates and others are online modules that you can complete in your own time, for example, roles and duties of trustees.

During Trustees’ Week, NCVO ran 5 webinars on leading a charity through challenging times. NCVO members can access the webinars which covered:

  1. Being a charity trustee in the current climate
  2. Setting direction in changing times
  3. Leading tough conversations
  4. Specialist skills and how to find them
  5. Trustees and continuous learning

Click here for more information.


Building good governance – short online sessions for trustees

NCVO also run a series of online training events specifically for trustees covering topics such as:

  • Trustee basics
  • Financial intelligence for trustees
  • Safeguarding for trustees
  • Quality, diversity and inclusion

To find out full details, please click here.


Resources to support Chairs and Trustees with good governance

Age UK provides a number of online resources aimed at supporting Chairs and trustees to deliver excellent governance of local Age UK charities.

The resources include:

  • Pointers to the key Charity Commission guidance
  • A link to the Association of Chairs, an independent membership group which supports Chairs from all charities
  • Ideas on recruiting and retaining trustees
  • Guidance on CEO appraisals
  • Information on Age UK network quality standards
  • A briefing on the Charity Governance Code
  • Sources of support for local Age UKs relating to service development, funding, finance and more
  • Template governing documents for local Age UKs – useful when reviewing your constitution

These resources can be found on the loop – the intranet for the Age UK network – by clicking here.

If you do not have access to ‘the loop’ then please contact theloop@ageuk.org.uk


Age UK’s response to the Autumn Statement 2022

Age UK’s Charity Director Caroline Abrahams has released a response following yesterday’s Autumn Statement. You can read the full statement below.

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said:

“The restoration of the triple lock next year, uprating of Pension Credit in line with inflation, and cost of living payments, are all extremely important for older people, particularly for the many with no other income to fall back on, including hundreds of thousands of older women, and we welcome them wholeheartedly. We thank all the older people and their friends and allies who campaigned so hard for these things in recent months, and we thank the Government for listening.    

“These are really difficult times for millions of older people who are living on a low income, waiting endlessly for social care so they can get home from hospital, or in a long queue for a minor operation or some diagnostic tests and living with discomfort and pain in the meantime. Today’s Autumn Statement gave the Government an opportunity to help older people like these and, to our profound relief at Age UK, to a considerable extent it was taken. However, unfortunately the cost of living crisis, social care shortfalls and NHS pressures are all so acute that realistically, life will continue to be extremely tough for many older people, and for the local charities that support them, especially this winter. This means that as a country and as individuals we need to do everything we can to support our older population over the next few months, and as a charity Age UK is determined to take a lead in that.    

“We regret the decision to delay the cap on catastrophic care costs for two years because Prime Minister Boris Johnson had made a firm commitment to introduce it in 2023 and having raised public expectations so high we feel it was right for this Government to follow through. Although the cap as currently proposed is considerably less generous than we wanted, it is a start and something to build on. Delaying it by a further two years raises serious questions over whether it will ever be introduced at all.  However, having said that, we agree that with the social care system as weak as it currently is, the priority today must be to strengthen and deliver more care services rather than protecting people with assets from the full force of sky high bills.  

“We warmly welcome the decision the Government has made to channel more resources into social care in various ways. They are desperately needed, but until the technical detail  has been scrutinised we reserve judgement on just how much practical difference they will actually make to older and disabled people, especially once the impact of the rise in the national living wage is taken into account – brilliant though it is that care workers will receive higher pay as they richly deserve it.

“The Government had signalled in advance that it was likely to use increases in council tax as a mechanism for increasing financial support for social care. Age UK has never been very keen on this approach because although any extra money for social care is extremely welcome, the problems facing social care are really national in nature and require a national response. What’s more, we know that some areas can raise a lot more council tax than others but the need for social care is not distributed in the same way. The upshot is that council tax increases tend to create winners and losers, with poorer areas most likely to be left behind. Nothing could better demonstrate the urgent need for the Government to look at a much broader range of funded reforms to help older and disabled people, and their unpaid carers, wherever they happen to live.   

“The extra funding for the NHS is extremely welcome, but we shouldn’t underestimate the challenges ahead. One of the biggest being workforce, so it was good to hear that proper projections of workforce needs will now be created and published, and the same should happen for social care too.   

“Listening to the Autumn Statement as a whole, it was clear that the Chancellor has learned from his extensive experience concerning the NHS and social care and is committed to strengthening them as best he can in the powerful role he now occupies. It is a tragedy that this is a time when the public finances are so weak, but we look forward to working with him and his officials to make the most of an extremely difficult situation. Strong and effective health and social care services are not only crucial for our economy, they matter enormously to our older population too, who are the principal users of both. There is an opportunity now to build on the steps towards integration that have already been taken to create a much more effective approach for helping older people live independently and well in their own homes. With an ageing population and demand on NHS and social care services having risen as a result of the pandemic, it is increasingly urgent that it’s taken.” 

Updated VAT guidance on business & non-business activities

HMRC has changed its guidance and tests for determining activities as business or non-business for VAT purposes. Find out full details in an article from Crowe LLP below.

This is a quick update from Age UK’s Financial Governance Team to share an article from Crowe LLP, which contains details of recently updated guidance from HMRC as to whether activities are considered business or non-business for VAT purposes. The article is clear that charitable services are now in scope for VAT, even if charities are not making money on them. Read on for full details, including the link to the article.

HMRC issued a Revenue and Customs Brief in June with regards to whether an organisation’s activity was a Business or a Non-Business Activity. As ever, this is a complex and often confusing subject – for charities, we always start with the wider issue around VAT assessment and whether to register for VAT or not. The article is clear that charitable services are now in scope for VAT, even if charities are not making money on them. Then there is the consideration of the Welfare Act and whether we have assessed someone for such services, etc.

This is a generic article produced by Crowe and we felt that we should ensure that all Brand Partners are aware. If you have any concerns as to how this might affect your organisation, we would encourage your organisation to seek clarification, either through the VAT helpline or from your usual professional advisor.

Click here to read the full article from Crowe LLP.

Important Change to Signpost Communications from Age UK

We’re going to stop sending our Daily Signpost Updates and move to a weekly schedule instead. As of the week commencing 14 November, you’ll start to receive Signpost on Fridays at 11am instead of daily.

Following feedback from local Age UKs and consultation with the Age England Association, we are going to turn off our Daily Signpost Updates. Signpost will now be a weekly e-newsletter only to help cut down on the number of messages you receive from Age UK each week. This change will take place automatically from the week commencing Monday 14 November and you don’t need to do anything further – we’ll move recipients from the daily to the weekly email automatically. Full details of this decision can be found below.

What is Signpost? 

Signpost is a regular newsletter from Age UK to local and national Age UKs which all staff can sign up for if they wish – if you are reading this message, it’s likely that you clicked through to it from a Signpost email.

For many years Signpost was a weekly newsletter, until the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, when we started sending daily Signpost messages to communicate the urgent details of the rapidly changing situation as quickly as possible.

Now that we are beyond the height of the pandemic, we have heard clear feedback from local Age UKs (both anecdotally and formally via the Age England Association’s Regional Representatives) that these Daily Signpost Updates are now too frequent.

In response, Signpost will return to being a weekly email only, which will go out on Fridays at 11am. We will stop sending Daily Signpost emails from the week commencing Monday 14 November.

What do I need to do to make sure I still receive Signpost?

Nothing! We will automatically move over those who received the Daily Signpost onto the Weekly version. That said, we would be grateful if you could encourage any colleagues who aren’t currently receiving communications from Age UK to sign up via this form.

Please note: if you have previously unsubscribed from the Daily Signpost Update, you will need to use the form linked above to re-subscribe to the Weekly version.

What if I want to get updates more frequently?

Although the Signpost newsletter will now be weekly, all the news contained in the email will still be published on our WordPress site throughout the week – www.ageuktheloop.com. You can check out the “Latest News” section at any point across the week to see the latest updates from Age UK. There are also several “Hubs” on the WordPress site which group these updates into different categories such as “Events”, “Campaigns”, “Finance” and much more. So, if you miss one of our emails, you can always take a look there.

I’ve been receiving emails every time something is posted on the WordPress site, what happens to these?

When we first started the Daily Signpost Updates, some colleagues also signed up to receive email notifications every time something was posted on our WordPress site. We will also be turning these emails off to cut down on the number of messages you receive from us.

How does the loop fit into this?

Following feedback from across the Age UK Network in 2019 that the loop was frustrating to use, particularly on mobile, we set up a WordPress site to make it easier to access communications from Age UK. This WordPress site is now the best place to go to get the latest news from us – we also put the articles from there into Signpost: www.ageuktheloop.com.

We still use the loop to host long-term information such as I&A guidance as well as confidential information such as press releases that are under embargo. So it’s still useful to have a loop account – please get in touch at theloop@ageuk.org.uk to get an account if you don’t have one already.

Get in touch!

In the meantime, if you’d like to provide any feedback on the communications you receive from Age UK, we have created a short form which you can complete here. There is no deadline by which the form needs filling in and you can complete it anonymously if you wish. You can also get in touch with us at any time at signpost@ageuk.org.uk.

“Help for Households” – Online Toolkit

View and download the “Help for Households” online toolkit – A resource containing suggested messaging, social media assets and logos to spread the word of the support available during the cost of living crisis.

In response to increasing prices and the pressures around the cost of living, the Government has launched ‘Help for Households’ – a campaign to raise awareness of the support available amongst those that need it most. The Government have shared an online toolkit with us which contains suggested messaging, social media assets and logos your organisation can share if you wish. Click here to view the toolkit.

Older People’s Health and Care Polling Headlines

View and download the headline findings from Age UK’s latest polling of older people’s health and care during October 2022.

Age UK’s latest polling of older people’s health and care was conducted by Kantar between 4th and 17th October 2022. We’ve analysed the results and can share the headlines with you below.

The topics covered are:

  • caring,
  • activities of daily living
  • access to and waiting for health and care services
  • community life and social contact
  • relationships with family and friends
  • concern about Covid
  • worries about the cost of living
  • concern about the coming winter

We’ll share the full findings of our survey, which will include quotes from older people, in the next few weeks. In the meantime, please view or download the headline findings below.

These results have not been published yet by Age UK, so we request that these are only used for bids and presentations to aide local health and care system influencing, not local media or for open publication.

If you have any questions about these data, contact lis.boulton@ageuk.org.uk, or healthinfluencing@ageuk.org.uk.

Paid-for Services and VAT – Guidance and Support

A reminder of the VAT guidance and support available, particularly regarding paid-for services such as Lasting Power of Attorney and Wills.

With its ever-widening scope; constantly updated regulations and case law governing; plus the onerous demands of HMRC; VAT is notoriously complicated. This message is a quick reminder of the VAT guidance and support available to local and national Age UKs, particularly regarding paid-for services such as Lasting Power of Attorney documents and Wills.

A local Age UK recently reported a concern regarding the VAT welfare exemption related to certain paid-for services, in particular Lasting Power of Attorney documents and Wills. As a result, they are currently working through the potential liability – what they will have to payback to the HMRC – which goes back over the last four years.

With that in mind, we would actively encourage all Age UKs delivering or developing a Lasting Power of Attorney and/or Wills service to take professional advice and/or use the VAT Helpline to seek clarity on your position and to ensure you are compliant with VAT rules. This may also provide an opportunity for you to assess your wider VAT status, particularly in relation to other new services you may be delivering and/or looking to develop, whether paid-for, grant-funded, or under contract, etc.

If you would like to learn more about paid-for services and VAT there is guidance and support available below:

The VAT helpline can be contacted by email AgeukVAT@crowe.co.uk or by calling 0207 842 7499. VAT information is also available on the finance support and guidance pages of the loop here.

If you are having any trouble accessing the loop, please contact: theloop@ageuk.org.uk.

Introducing Age UK’s Brand & Fundraising Christmas Campaign 2022!

Our multi-award-winning Brand & Fundraising Christmas Campaign is back for 2022! Download a guide to getting involved, plus find out how you can be part of Age UK’s media activity this December.

With Age UK’s Brand & Fundraising Christmas Campaign set to launch on Tuesday 1 November, please read on for ways your organisation can get involved over the festive period. There’s a Christmas Brand & Fundraising Campaign guide to help you prepare as well as ways to get involved in our media activity this December. Read on for full details.

Brand & Fundraising Christmas Campaign Guide

Our multi-award-winning Brand & Fundraising Christmas Campaign is back, launching on Tuesday 1 November 2022! Please find below a guide to help you prepare – with details on the assets you’ll receive from us as well as guidance on storytelling at Christmas, contacting corporates, and promoting your campaign. The guide also contains the findings from our survey following last year’s campaign to show how we’ve adapted the assets we provide following your feedback.

Be part of Age UK’s Christmas Campaign!

As part of this year’s Christmas campaign work, Age UK’s Media team are looking for content to potentially be featured in national newspapers, TV shows, websites and magazines this December.

We know that too many older people find themselves alone, especially so at Christmas time, with nobody to talk to or ask for help, and with the cost of living crisis, this year’s festive period is set to be even harder than usual. Our media work will remind the public that Age UK is there for older people, whether that’s through our national Friendship Services, or Information & Advice, or perhaps through local activity groups and the work of local Age UKs.

Featuring your work and stories in national newspapers or TV reports as part of our PR to support the Christmas campaign will help demonstrate to the public how Age UKs are supporting older people and put your services at the forefront. We will work with the media title to try and get a credit for your organisation in any coverage secured, ensuring that you can benefit from the publicity.

We would work with you and any storytellers to ensure they were happy with each opportunity that came up, and there would be no pressure for people to do anything they weren’t happy about. Any media interviews would be managed by Age UK’s Media Team and storytellers can chose what they are happy to do (i.e. some may prefer to just do telephone interviews or may not want their photo included). Age UK’s Media team will work with you and we will also ensure all safeguarding procedures are adhered to.

Please do get in touch with the Media Team if you can offer:

Storytellers to share their experiences
  • Older people who can talk about their positive experiences of the support their Age UK has provided, is a great way of highlighting the benefits and importance of your work to the public.
  • To link in with the Christmas campaign, the media would like to hear from older people who have experienced loneliness or feeling alone, and can talk honestly about how that felt. As well as how their local Age UK helped them make new friends, particularly through any befriending services or social activities. 
  • Volunteer stories are also a great way to highlight the benefits of your services. For example, do you have anybody that is helping out by doing something special this Christmas? Or have any of your volunteers gone above and beyond in their work with older people? If so, please let us know!
  • The Media Team are keen to showcase the diverse range of older people that Age UK and local Age UKs support and we are actively looking for people from all ethnicities and backgrounds.
Services and special events running this Christmas 
  • Are you planning on hosting a carol concert or Christmas party, providing support with Christmas meals or will you be offering phone calls or visits over the festive period? If you are, then we would love to hear from you!
  • Do you have any new or interesting group activities you think the media would be interested in? Even if it’s not about Christmas, we’d still like to hear about it!

How to share your stories

To share your stories and content, or find out more please email the Age UK Media team on: Hannah.barker-green@ageuk.org.uk. Thank you for your support!