Mayor joins charity partnership celebrations

Special Guests at launch event: (Left to right): Damien Egan (Mayor of Lewisham), Janet Daby (MP for Lewisham East), Rebecca Packwood (Chief Executive, Age Exchange), Roy Lilley (Academy of Fab Stuff), Sharon Allen (CEO, Skills for Care), Mark Adams (CEO, Community Integrated Care) Photography - Nick Harrison

The Mayor of Lewisham and the MP for Lewisham East have helped a renowned centre for reminiscence arts in Blackheath to mark its ground-breaking partnership with national health and social care charity, Community Integrated Care.

The celebration was attended by more than 50 special guests including dedicated colleagues, volunteer and trustees, as well as special guests from both organisations. The Mayor of Lewisham, Damien Egan and MP for Lewisham East, Janet Daby also honoured the event, along with a wide range of sector organisations.

Mayor joins charity partnership celebrations
Reminiscence arts display room at the launch event.
Photography – Nick Harrison
Speaking at the event, Janet Daby MP said:

“It’s absolutely fantastic to see these two organisations come together. I am incredibly proud to see a charity from Blackheath showing the agility and initiative to join with a large national charity to enable it to roll out its renowned and vital services across the UK.”

The Mayor of Lewisham, Damien Egan, added:

“As a long-standing friend and supporter of Age Exchange, it is an honour to be a part of these celebrations. The partnership with Community Integrated Care is truly groundbreaking and it is paving the way for new and impactful models of social care. I wish them both the very best for the future of the partnership.”

Attendees heard ambitious plans for the partnership from both Community Integrated Care CEO, Mark Adams and Age Exchange Chief Executive, Rebecca Packwood – highlighting how they will expand the reach of the industry leading reminiscence and dementia services.

Guest speakers Sharon Allen, CEO of Skills For Care and Roy Lilley, from Academy of Fab Stuff, inspired the audience by sharing their personal experiences with dementia and the social care sector as a whole.

As part of the celebration, volunteers also hosted personal tours of the Blackheath centre which included a curated display of reminiscence art, all created by people who use Age Exchange services.

Mayor joins charity partnership celebrations
Rebecca Packwood, Chief Executive, Age Exchange
Photography – Nick Harrison
Rebecca Packwood, CEO of Age Exchange, said:

“We had a fantastic day launching our partnership. It has been a great opportunity to say what the partnership means for us in terms of growing for the future and helping more and more people with our specialist dementia services.”

Mark Adams, CEO of Community Integrated Care, added:

“It has been incredible to honour our partnership today alongside the dedicated colleagues, volunteers and trustees at Age Exchange.

“Our guest speakers, Sharon Allen and Roy Lilley were just exceptional. Everybody is incredibly excited about what Age Exchange and Community Integrated Care can do together. We are looking forward to working with more charities to continually develop and improve our offer to the people we care for, as well as supporting our charitable principles.”

Speaking at the event last week, Sharon Allen, CEO of Skills For Care, said:

“Bringing together the strengths of these two organisations is going to be a fantastic way to ensure that people have more access to arts and creativity. I’m really excited to see what happens next.”

Roy Lilley, Academy of Fab Stuff, added:

“I feel like history has been made here today, I’m very pleased to have been here and I wish both organisations all the best with their partnership.”

The merger between Community Integrated Care and Age Exchange, which was announced in August, is set to enable Age Exchange to benefit from Community Integrated Care’s infrastructure, 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.