The Wearside branch of Age UK has appointed a new boss to lead its staff and volunteers.
The charity has appointed Tracy Buck as its new director, following retirement of Alan Patchett in March.
Tracy has worked for the charity for over two years in her previous roles as deputy director and acting director.
Her appointment as director aims to support the charity to continue to offer much needed help to thousands of older people living in Sunderland via its many services, which are often a lifeline to people aged over 50 across the city.
Tracy brings with her many years of experience in roles within the NHS, together with senior management experience working in the charitable sector often working at national level.
She has built her career on focusing on the needs of vulnerable groups, breaking down negative stereotypes whilst improving their physical and mental health and wellbeing.
As she has lived in Sunderland all of her life, she says she is passionate about the needs of older people in Sunderland and that she is "absolutely thrilled to work in our great city."
Part of Tracy’s role is to ensure that the services offered are tailored to the city’s community needs, and that Sunderland’s older residents are aware of what is on offer.
Tracy said: “Times are changing massively for both charities and older people.
"It is a hard time to be either, so our approach to ensuring what we deliver makes the right impact with the right funds has never been more important.
"Age UK Sunderland staff do an amazing job to support older people across the city and achieve this through their passion and enthusiasm.
"I am thrilled to be leading such a great organisation and team.
"It is all-important to me to see respect and dignity afforded to older people, as I would want it extended to me.
"Our services need to give older people that opportunity, as well as support, care and compassion.
"Age UK Sunderland and its fantastic staff does an amazing job already and I am privileged to take the organisation into the future.”
As part of her role, she said she would like to see "respect for elders return to our culture" and with Christmas approaching has urged people to think about the older people in their lives and include them in their celebrations.
The chairman of Age UK Sunderland Graeme Miller commented: “Innovative and inspirational leaders are needed to harness and develop strategies, and bring the best out of our dedicated team.
"Tracy fits the bill with her experience and her approach.
"Her directorship will help make her mark and enhance what we are already doing so well.”
Age UK Sunderland is preparing to host its Christmas Spectacular on Friday, December 1, from 7pm, with doors at the Salvation Army in Roker Avenue to open at 6.15pm.
Tickets are £10 and are available by calling (0191) 514 1131.
More details about the work of the branch can be found via https://www.ageuk.org.uk/sunderland/