‘Truly inspirational’ legacy left by charity’s chief executive

Elizabeth Phillips.
Elizabeth Phillips.

Staff at Age UK Warwickshire have paid tribute to the “truly inspirational” legacy being left by its chief executive as she takes her retirement.

Elizabeth Phliips MBE joined the charity in 1991 - when there were just two charity shops in Leamington and Warwick and the team consisted of a volunteer finance officer and an administrative staff member.

Over the past 25 years and under Elizabeth’s watchful eye, services for older people in the county have developed and now the wide range of services include befriending, carers’ groups, counselling, day-break dementia services, home safety schemes and home improvement.

Elizabeth, who was made MBE in 2004 for services to older people and the community, has also overseen the development and expansion of trading activities funded by the charity, including Handyperson, gardening, hospital discharge and care navigators working in GP surgeries.

A major development was the charity’s headquarters move to Clemens Street in 2004, with the help of significant funding from the SW Smedley Charitable Trust, which incorporated Age UK Warwickshire’s head office, activities and an information centre in the same building.

The charity’s marketing and PR consultant Allyson McAlister said: “The charity has faced many challenges, including the withdrawal of funding, services being cut and sadly, redundancies. But Elizabeth maintained her vision for the charity and her skill for developing new services and spotting or creating opportunities all the time.

“Elizabeth is an exceptional person to work with. She understands the needs of older people and has presence and leadership and couples that with being compassionate and supportive.

“Elizabeth can take enormous satisfaction in leaving the charity with around 250 employees, 500 volunteers and stable income. A truly inspirational legacy to leave behind.”