External Affairs Manager
Mervyn Kohler is External Affairs Manager at Age UK, the national charity which helps to improve the lives of older people. Mervyn provides strategic support and expertise on the changing nature of older people's lives, as we live through unprecedented technological, social and demographic change. He looks at the challenges of an ageing society to our political debate and policies, and also on what this means to our public and commercial services, and our social networks and community organisations. We've never been here before: we need a new narrative about how older people should feel and think about themselves, and how they connect with the whole of society.
Mervyn has over thirty years of experience working to develop the political and social agenda involving older people and has focused his work on reducing fuel poverty for older people, raising awareness of the severe health risks of being cold in the winter and the issue of isolation and loneliness among older people. He was closely involved in the process of pension reform, culminating in the introduction of auto-enrolment and the current moves towards a single tier state pension set above the level for means-tested benefits. He has also followed the current agenda (supported by all parties in some measure) addressing the modernisation and reform of traditional public services, and the shift towards local decision-taking, premised on the idea of active and engaged local communities.