Recent talks have revealed that Help the Aged and Age Concern look certain to form a new Charity by April 2009. Both charities’ boards have backed the merger after widespread approval from stakeholders.

Dianne Jeffrey, current chair of Anchor Trust, was appointed as chair of the merger organisation earlier this month and will be taking up her new post on 1st October.

Jo Connell and Catherine McLoughlin, chairs of Help the Aged and Age Concern England respectively, said that Jeffrey "has a proven commitment to issues affecting older people and senior leadership experience."

They added: "She will play a leading role in setting the future direction of the new organisation and, with the support of a nominations committee, will ultimately be responsible for appointing a founding chief executive. This is a far bigger job than joining an existing organisation."

The merger follows months of talks. Catherine McLoughlin, chair of Age Concern England, says: "Spending time and energy operating separately no longer makes sense.  Instead, we intend to pool our talents and resources to ensure older people’s needs receive the even greater focus they deserve."