The man who ensures Wearside’s oldest residents have a voice and get the care they need is preparing to take retirement.
Alan Patchett, the director of Age UK Sunderland is to retire at the end of March after nearly 15 years in the role.
Being the director is not a job for me, it is a way of life.Alan Patchett
Age UK Sunderland is the only local charity that deals with all issues affecting older people and campaigns on issues as well as providing a host of services for older people across the whole city.
In recent years, he has seen the charity expand its work, launching innovative and much-needed projects, including the Essence Service, which was set up in the former Doxford Park library building and supports people living with dementia and their carers, as well as more traditional befriending services that help reduce social isolation.
With a staff of 94 and more than 300 volunteers, Age UK Sunderland and Alan work every day to deliver a comprehensive range of support.
Mr Patchett, 64, said: “I am passionate about the work we do across the city.
“We always ensure that we deliver the very best services to older people and it is great to know that our work has such a positive impact on the lives of those we serve.”
He added: “Being the director is not a job for me, it is a way of life.
“Over the last 15 or so years there have been a many challenges but I have enjoyed every minute of it.
“It is gratifying to see how we have grown to be able to provide much more for older people in Sunderland.
“The world has changed in recent years and older people face much tougher times ahead but Age UK Sunderland will always be there to offer support and help.”
Ged McCormack, chairman of Age UK Sunderland said: “Alan has been a tremendous asset to the organisation over the last 15 years.
“He leaves the organisation in a strong and respected position and I and all the trustees wish him well in his retirement.”
Mr Patchett intends to spend more time with his wife, Rosemary and their grandchildren and take full advantage of the opportunity to travel more.
He added: “I am not retiring to pipe and slippers as failing to keep active and involved in is not an option for me and not the recipe for good later life.
“I am already a trustee for one local charity and I fully intend to be involved in other charitable and voluntary work in the future.”
Age UK Sunderland will make an announcement next month about Mr Patchett’s successor.