As Older People’s Commissioner for Wales I host and chair the Ageing Well in Wales programme, the first national collaborative partnership of its kind in the UK. 18 months ago I heard Guy Robertson speak persuasively about the work he had undertaken in England around ageing well, and this and subsequent conversations with Guy helped me shape my early thinking as Chair and the establishment of our Welsh programme.
Sarah Rochira, Older People’s Commissioner for Wales
The Local Government Association (LGA) commissioned Guy Robertson to provide us with an overview of the opportunities and challenges that an ageing population poses for local government. This involved much stakeholder work and engagement with councillors. Guy’s conclusions that there is a net positive contribution to the economy and society from an ageing population resonated with our members, and we are using his report to shape our ongoing work regarding older people, social care and the impact of changing demographics on councils. Most importantly, his work has influenced LGA communications and policy development. Guy was able to bring together into a single, weighty, report a wide range of complex issues, demonstrating his knowledge and experience in this area. He was timely and professional to work with, and presses home the need to change the public, public sector, private sector and government perception of ageing.
Abigail Gallop, Senior Adviser – Community Wellbeing, Local Government Association
The Campaign to End Loneliness commissioned Guy Robertson to help us develop a new impact measurement tool that would enable frontline services to assess how well their work is alleviating loneliness in older people. Guy expertly managed this large and evolving task, dealt swiftly and proactively with challenges and worked successfully alongside a range of stakeholders, including older people, charities, commissioners and researchers. We particularly appreciated how flexible Guy was to change, that he stayed focused on the ultimate outcomes of the project and delivered everything on time. Guy was a pleasure to work with and we strongly recommend his project management, facilitation and writing skills.
Anna Goodman, Learning and Research Manager, Campaign to End Loneliness
Guy has worked closely with Age UK Bristol and, more recently, the Bristol Ageing Better (BAB) Partnership (which Age UK Bristol leads) over the past few years- as its advisor- a role he continues in. His knowledge of older peoples’ policy issues, best practice and service design is unparalleled and he contributed to the shape of Bristol’s successful Lottery bid very significantly- making it highly innovative, older people focussed and built around best practice. Guy conveys an impressive ambition for older people, and services that support them, that comes through in his work here in Bristol, and motivates those around him to do more, and better. An example of this is his constant encouragement to involve older people for real in our thinking, design, planning and delivery- and his welcome challenge of things that fall short of this. We would unhesitatingly recommend Guy to anyone looking for strategic, policy or delivery support in the areas of social care and, particularly, older people and their services. He has been very generous with his time, is very committed and genuinely interested in older peoples’ issues. Guy’s work on our BAB components and bid was of the highest quality and can be seen on our web site too.
Alan Carpenter, Chair, AgeUK Bristol and Bristol Ageing Better Partnership, Mark Baker,CEO, Age UK Bristol
Guy worked with us to produce a literature review of early action initiatives in the UK. The review was designed to enable the Early Action Funders Alliance to learn from best practice and remain informed of existing and emerging schemes which may be of relevance to our work. We enjoyed working with Guy. He brought his considerable experience of the field and a real intellectual rigour to the issue and produced a terrific report to a very tight timetable.
Annabel Davidson Knight, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and Matthew Smerdon, Legal Education Foundation, on behalf of the Early Action Funders Alliance.
At the end of 2013 Guy Robertson undertook a piece of research for the Foundation on transitions in later life to identify issues and potential solutions. The work we received was thorough, well researched and articulate. The work has helped to shape our new strand of work in this area, not only providing us with valuable learning but insightful recommendations for action too. In this and previous work with the Foundation he has maintained a helpfully flexible approach and lent expertise to our discussions. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience of the ageing field and is a pleasure to work with.
Annabel Davidson Knight, Programme Manager, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK)
During the European Year of Active Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity 2012, CSV/Volonteurope commissioned Guy Robertson to work on a report which would bring together on a pan-European level examples of good practice in terms of active ageing projects. Guy did a fantastic piece of work for us. The report was well-researched, concise and coherent, contained entirely appropriate examples, and was delivered on time. The European Commission said that the report was the best that had been produced for the year. We were delighted with the final product and would not hesitate to recommend Guy Robertson and Positive Ageing and would certainly commission him again should further work in this area be required.
Oonagh Aitken, Director of Social Action, Volunteering and Policy, CSV
I know the programme came at a particularly challenging time and it is testament to your leadership that take up was so widespread and the programme developed such a positive reputation. I am particularly grateful for you perseverance in managing the evolving focus of the programme following the general election. Your management and stewardship of the programme has ensured a strong legacy. You should be proud of your achievements and the positive impact the programme will have on the lives of older people now and in the future. The feedback from Councils that you have worked with has been extremely positive as evidenced by the comments and feedback in the interim Ipsos MORI evaluation report. There is no doubt that your commitment, enthusiasm and sheer hard work contributed to this.
Brian Keating, Ageing Well Project Manager, Department of Work and Pensions
We have enjoyed working with Guy to deliver an important project around the use of mindfulness meditation with people with dementia. This has been a unique piece of work testing out a very positive approach to help people to live well with dementia. Guy has been very versatile throughout this project – designing it, acquiring funding and in some of the delivery. He also been a very efficient project manager. Guy is very professional, knowledgable and thorough in all his work. We look forward to with him again on future projects.
Rachael Litherland, Director, innovations in Dementia.
I strongly recommend Guy Robertson and Positive Ageing Associates for work to bring consensus and positive resolutions to complex issues in times of change. Guy is skilled in getting organisations/people to talk to each other, to share concerns and offer up solutions in a way that enables positive change. His calm facilitation and systematic approach, combined with an outstanding knowledge of issues affecting older people today, achieved great results for us in Bristol and helped to get a complex partnership back on track and ready to expand. Guy’s knowledge of the risk factors for older people becoming socially isolated both nationally and internationally, has been invaluable and has also helped Bristol succeed in the early stages of a bid for funding, giving us structure, encouraging and focusing our efforts. Guy can provide very constructive challenge in a friendly way and is able to work with a wide range of people to gain trust and become seen as ‘part of the team’. Guy has an extensive range of contacts across the country and is keen to link up organisations/people for their mutual benefit. His enthusiasm for improving the lives of older people is immense and he gives his time and advice generously because he genuinely cares about making a difference.
Kay Russell Strategic Planning Manager, Bristol City Council