Community Integrated Care and Age Exchange unveil partnership

Blackheath-based Age Exchange has merged with one of the UK’s largest health and social care charities, Community Integrated Care.

Age Exchange, the renowned national centre for reminiscence arts announces a ground-breaking partnership with Community Integrated Care, marking the start of an exciting new chapter for both charities.

The exciting partnership enables Age Exchange to benefit from Community Integrated Care’s infrastructure to grow its organisation and increase its reach, it will also enable the latter to elevate its existing dementia services and expand its offer to include Age Exchange’s industry-leading reminiscence and dementia services to the people they support.

Community Integrated Care supports over 3,500 people with a range of support needs including learning disabilities, mental health concerns, autism, dementia and age-related needs. The north-west based charity employs over 5,500 caring and passionate staff throughout England and Scotland.

Age Exchange supports 100’s of people every week through outreach projects in the community and a hub in Blackheath. Each year Age Exchanges centre in Blackheath is visited by 180,000 people. The charity is run by 16 colleagues and over 100 dedicated volunteers.

There will be no changes in terms of staffing or organisational structure at either organisation as a result of the partnership and services at Age Exchange in Blackheath centre will remain the same. Age Exchange will become a subsidiary of Community Integrated Care, retaining its own identity, board of Trustees and governance agreements.

The partnership also supports Community Integrated Care’s new five-year strategy, which sees the organisation reconnect with its charitable principles by working in partnership with community-based charities and organisations.

The merger arose following an internal review of Age Exchange’s sustainability in 2016/17, which revealed an opportunity to extend the reach and impact of its services by partnering with a national social care charity. Community Integrated Care was selected for its national infrastructure and commitment to delivering exceptional specialist dementia services.

Age Exchange Chief Executive, Rebecca Packwood, managed the rigorous selection process to find a national partner that met its requirements and matched the organisation’s values, approach and ambition.

Rebecca Packwood said: “We are extremely proud to announce our partnership with Community Integrated Care, which represents the start of an exciting new chapter for Age Exchange.

“We set out to find a national partner that provided both the infrastructure we needed to grow and synergy in terms of values and ambition – Community Integrated Care was the perfect candidate. This partnership will allow us to replicate the work we do in our Blackheath centre across the UK, dramatically increasing the number of beneficiaries we are able to reach.

“Community Integrated Care will benefit from our expertise in Reminiscence Arts, allowing it to further develop its award-winning dementia services using Age Exchange’s impactful strategies, which are the blueprint for the ambitious plans for this partnership.”

The two charities were legally joined on 27th July 2018 following due diligence processes and the unanimous ratification by the Board of Trustees of both organisations.

Mark Adams, Chief Executive Officer at Community Integrated Care, said: “Age Exchange is a beacon of best practice in reminiscence arts and dementia intervention. We have been inspired by the impact that their life-enhancing work has had on the people in its care and in the wider local community.

“With 850,000 people in the UK currently living with dementia and those numbers set to rise to more than one million by 2025*, investing in this partnership with Age Exchange supports our bold new five-year strategy.

“This represents a fantastic start to our bold new five-year strategy, as we begin to go back to our charitable roots, putting the people we support, our colleagues and the community at the heart of what we do.

“Having already successfully ventured into dementia and reminiscence projects to improve the lives of people we support. Our partnership with Age Exchange will now allow us to further improve those projects by sharing knowledge, learning from Age Exchange’s industry-leading strategies and expanding our offer to deliver genuine social impact to communities across the country. We hope Age Exchange is the first partnership of many to come, as we help more charities increase the reach of their incredible work.”

For further information or to request interviews with Rebecca Packwood or Mark Adams, please contact Joseph Kelly, External Communications & Marketing Manager on or 0151 423 7202

*Source: Alzheimers Society