Skip to content

Our history

Age International's history stretches back to the 1960s when Help the Aged was formed. See the full timeline here.

Age International volunteer helps Carlonia, who has dementia

1961: Help the Aged is founded in response to overseas emergencies

In 1961, businessman Cecil Jackson-Cole set up the 'Help the Aged Refugees Appeal' following natural disasters and conflict in the former Yugoslavia, former East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and Rwanda. In its first year the appeal raised £105,302 for older refugees.

Renamed Help the Aged, the organisation continued to raise money for emergency aid overseas. It also became involved with projects for older people in the UK.

1971: Age Concern England is formed

In 1971, the National Old People's Welfare Committee (which was formed in the 1940s as a response to World War II) became Age Concern England. 

Age Concern England was primarily focused on helping older people in the UK. However, the charity also became involved in helping some older people overseas. 

1973: 'Adopt a Granny' scheme launches

Help the Aged launched the 'Adopt a Granny' scheme to provide long-term support to older people living in developing countries, through sponsorship.

The scheme continues to this day through our Sponsor a grandparent programme.

1983: HelpAge International is founded

Help the Aged and four other organisations founded HelpAge International in 1983. Helpage created a worldwide network of organisations working to improve older people’s lives.

Today Age International is a member of the HelpAge global ageing network, which consists of 119 organisations across 75 countries.

2009: Age UK forms after merger 

Age Concern England and Help the Aged joined together to create a new charity - Age UK - dedicated to improving later life for everyone.

2012: Age International launched by Age UK 

Age UK forms a subsidiary charity, Age International, to take their international work forward.

Age International's vision is a world in which women and men everywhere can lead dignified, healthy and secure lives as they grow older.

Follow us on social media

Keep seeing our stories or ask us a question - connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Share this page with a friend

Last updated: Aug 23 2023

Sign up today

Back to top