About Us

HelpAge International helps older people claim their rights, challenge discrimination and overcome poverty, so that they can lead dignified, healthy and secure lives.

Our work is strengthened through our global network of like minded organisations – the only one of its kind in the world.

We believe that the contribution older people make to society is invaluable. Yet older people remain some of the poorest and most neglected in the world. We are committed to helping them claim their rights, challenge discrimination and overcome poverty.

Our history

HelpAge International was established in 1983 by five organisations working for older people – in Canada, Colombia, Kenya, India and the UK. The vision of the founders was that HelpAge International would become the Secretariat supporting a global network of organisations supporting and working with older people.

The HelpAge International Secretariat has grown significantly since then, but working as a network is still central to our identity and values. There are currently 114 members of the HelpAge global network, who between them raise and spend well over £1bn annually on their work with and for older people in their own countries.

The HelpAge network is a diverse, non-branded and nonexclusive network, with only a small number of member organisations using the HelpAge name. The main criteria for
membership are a commitment to the rights of older people and to improving their lives. A clear majority of members are from the global South,
linked through common membership of the HelpAge network with some of the largest and best-established people’s organisations in the world, such as the AARP USA, Dane Age in Denmark and Age UK in the UK.

HelpAge International is in the process of becoming a co-owner of the International Civil Society Centre, which brings together the world’s leading civil society global networks,
including at Chair level once a year. Our CEO has attended the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting at Davos since 2011 as one of the Civil Society representatives. Two of our Board Members, one of our Global Ambassadors and our CEO were all invited this year to join the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Ageing.

HelpAge International has a Programme Partnership Agreement with the UK’s Department for International Development and is a Strategic Partner of Swedish Sida. We
enjoy formal Consultancy Status with the WHO and a multifaceted partnership with the UNFPA.

As the acknowledged expert civil society organisation ageing and older people, HelpAge International enjoys particularly good access and working relations with Governments and Regional bodies where we work.

The rate and speed of global population ageing is unprecedented in human history


Facts about global ageing