Local Age Concern groups from Birmingham, Hampshire, Liverpool, and Slough / Berkshire East have combined to launch Advant~Age as a rival to the national Age UK Enterprises.
Advant~Age offers insurance for elderly people and other specialist products designed for an older market.
It began trading in England and Wales on 1 April, when existing agreements between local Age Concerns and Age UK came to a close.
15 other local Age Concerns from across England and Wales have already signed up as members, and others are expected to join. There are 320 local groups.
Advant~Age, a social enterprise, sells products including travel insurance and funeral from companies including Golden Charter and TIF.
The national bodies of Age Concern merged with Help the Aged to form Age UK. It sells similar products, but some local Age Concerns, which are independent charities, were unhappy with the terms of the trading and brand agreements they were asked to sign to join Age UK.Some were worried they would lose independence and become franchises of a centralised charity; others claimed they would lose income by receiving less commission on the sale of products.
Advant~Age partners include Age Concerns in Barnstaple, Cardiff, Central Lancashire, Eastbourne, Exmouth, Morgannwg, Okehampton & Torridge, and Torfaen.
Long term care news: 6 April 2011