Pensioners' charity fears job cuts

John Phillips A WAVE of redundancies could hit the leading charity supporting pensioners. Barking and Dagenham Age Concern boss Claire Ramm warned of possible job losses among nearly 150 staff to ensure the survival of the 12-centre organisation, amid future funding cu

John Phillips

A WAVE of redundancies could hit the leading charity supporting pensioners.

Barking and Dagenham Age Concern boss Claire Ramm warned of possible job losses among nearly 150 staff to ensure the survival of the 12-centre organisation, amid future funding cutbacks.

The charity's head of fundraising Jane Coskry was made redundant last week and its first-ever volunteer co-ordinator, Joan Walker, who boosted her service's ranks to around 120 people, left on Friday.


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Management admitted the charity's services would be affected ahead of a review of the eight remaining Active Age and day care centres, which were trimmed before the recession.

Age Concern, which celebrated its 60th anniversary last summer, unveiled efficiency savings and a possible merger of services into one office on Monday.

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Several staff received redundancy notices in December when funding ran out, with staff typically on two to three-year contracts, facing the axe.

Mrs Walker, 57, of Chadwell Heath, worked for the charity for nearly eight years, helping the service blossom from helpers driving buses and befriending pensioners, to 120 people, including men and women of different ethnic backgrounds aged between 20 and 80.

She said: "I hope in the future I will continue to work with volunteers.

"One door closes, one opens. I enjoyed my time with Age Concern. I'm very sad to leave volunteers."

Charity chief executive Ms Ramm said: "The next couple of years will be a testing time for our organisation as it faces up to future challenges.

"These will undoubtedly affect the services we provide and the way we operate our business.

"To survive the current economic climate, we need to consolidate and strengthen the organisation to ensure we are around for another 60 years, to serve the older population of Barking and Dagenham.

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