Toby Porter to step down as Chief Executive of HelpAge International


by Sarah Gillam

Toby Porter with older women in Myanmar in 2014

Toby Porter with older women in Myanmar in 2014

After three years as Chief Executive of HelpAge International, Toby Porter will be leaving in September to become the Chief Executive of Acorns Children’s Hospice Trust. Justin Derbyshire, Director of Programmes of HelpAge International, will take over as interim Chief Executive from September.

Plans for the transition process are already underway. The board of HelpAge International, chaired by Arun Maira, will begin a global search to recruit Toby’s successor.

Toby Porter said: “It has been a complete privilege to have been part of HelpAge International. I am so proud of what has been achieved over the past three years by our wonderful team of staff, partners, global network of organisations, and the older women and men we all work with.

"It really feels that there is a growing awareness and changing attitudes towards population ageing and the rights of older people.

Proud memories

"My proudest memory of my time with HelpAge will probably be the many references to age in last year’s Sustainable Development Goals declaration and the hope given to older people implicit in the promise to 'leave no one behind' – a testament to the many organisations and people who have worked hard to profile population ageing and older people.

"I am equally proud of the older people who I have met during my tenure as Chief Executive Officer at HelpAge – from activists to humanitarians to local actors advising on resilience strategies to cope with climate change.

"My successor will have the satisfaction to see the promise to 'leave no one behind' translate into improved healthcare provision for men and women as they age, tens of millions more people receiving social pensions, and transformed levels of awareness and practical engagement around the critical intersection between gender and age.

HelpAge International is a unique, expert and highly respected organisation, which will continue to be in high demand from governments, academic institutions, and organisations working nationally and internationally to improve the lives of older people."

Vision of becoming a strong global network

Arun Maira, Chair of HelpAge International, said: "The board would like to thank Toby for his energy and many achievements in his time as our Chief Executive. Our board and the executive directors are, and will remain, entirely committed to developing the HelpAge Global Network.

"We have created a very good vision with a change plan that has been developed with the participation of senior staff in the organisation. We have a strong team in place to implement this programme, with a committed and effective board to support them. While we will miss Toby, we are confident about realising our vision of becoming a very strong, central node in a global network of organisations dedicated to improving the lives of older people around the world.”