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Greater London Forum

for Older People

Make a difference - be part of the solution






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The Greater London Forum for Older People (GLF)  works in partnership with active forums and groups in 32 London boroughs and the City of London to provide a strong collective voice to influence change through engagement on a national, regional and local basis.


The GLF supports and facilitates the Forums and Groups run by volunteers providing the voice of older Londoners. Activities include capacity building, conferences, campaigns, engagement with and monitoring of local decision-making processes and local, regional and national strategic policy and procedures. 


The Greater London Forum for Older People was established as a charity in 1988. It is a voluntary organisation and the umbrella group for older people's Forums and Groups across the 32 London Boroughs and the City of London and is a voice for grassroots older Londoners.  



Working with Forums and Groups in the London region



Harry Kay and Jack Jones (right) set up the Greater London Forum for the Elderly (GLF) in 1987. The GLF grew out of a GLC Forum for the Elderly, led by Harry.


Carlie Newman was appointed as its first Director and work was launched in 1988. As Harry Kay was a councillor (as well as being Vice-Chairman of the GLC), the GLF was able to obtain support from the Barking and Dagenham council and set up rent-free premises.


The need was for an organisation to act as a Parliament for pensioners and to provide a body which looked after the needs of local pensioners by giving them a voice in their own affairs. The GLF began with 6 local borough Forums and in time, 33 boroughs had some kind of Forum or umbrella organisation in membership.




The new GLF was started with a half-time coordinator and a part-time secretary and funding for only five months. By the time Carlie Newman became a full-time Director, the GLF had become a charity with longer-term funding and an administrator to join the team. Two Forum Development Officers were recruited later and a half-time Administrator to support them also joined the team.


Grants were also obtained for a number of projects over the years including The Rowntree project for getting the older person’s voice heard in community care, the training of advocates to help frail elderly people with community care assessments and the Millennium Festival project which saw a meeting held by virtually every Forum to choose motions which were debated in a grand Seniors London Parliament. And, of course, the establishment of a Pensioners’ Centre in the late nineties (now lost) which, apart from providing the GLF with a home in the centre of London, enabled the NPC to set up a professional body. An active black and minority elders’ working group was also established.


Over the years, the GLF provided a lot of training for members. Carlie Newman retired in 2002 after 14 years with the GLF. Lynn Strother then joined the GLF as the new director.

What do people say about us? Here are some of our testimonials:


  • "The workshops, seminars and various meetings and events they organise are invaluable to myself and others some of whom are far worse off than I am. They encourage us to participate in and think about how we can help ourselves and others."


  • "The symbol for GLF is an umbrella, a most apt depiction, as they shelter all the forums and join us together under one top. However, aprt from unifying forums, giving us so much more strength, particularly at a pan London level."


The GLFs patrons are: Baroness Sally Greengross OBE, Professor Jill Manthorpe and Professor Alan Walker

River Thames, London


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The Greater London Forum for Older People supports the Forums and Groups through advice on governance; marketing; publicity; influencing the local Council, NHS, MPs, MEPs and statuary bodies; fundraising; training and recruitment of new members.

About the Forums

Local borough Forums are composed of individuals, representatives of older people’s organisations and other bodies working with or for older people in each borough. A Forum’s main concern is representing its own views to the local authorities, MPs, MEPs, GLA members, Councillors and statutory and voluntary agencies. The Forums play a key role in campaigning on national and regional issues that affect older people. A borough Forum provides older people with the opportunity to participate in borough strategic frameworks and policies and gives them the opportunity to be the active voice in the decision-making process for local services. Forums have their own Executive or Management Committee to make policies and plan events. They deal with local policy and have input into regional and national policies.


If you would like further information about any of the Forums and Groups:

Tony Tuck:





Address: 12 Cyril Mansions, Prince of Wales Drive, SW11 4HR


Phone: :  0207 622 0485



The Greater London Forum for Older People

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