Age UK, United Kindom

Back to all partner profiles

Key contact

Professor James Goodwin PhD


Age UK launched in April 2010, the result of a merger between our two predecessor organisations: Help the Aged and Age Concern England. Bringing together the strengths and the expertise of these organisations, many subsidiaries and over 2,500 staff, Age UK is now recognised as one of the top three influencing charities in Westminster and an expert on ageing and older people’s issues.

Age UK’s mission is to improve later life, making a real practical difference to older people both now and in the future. We do this both at home and internationally, working in over 70 different countries alongside our partner organisations. Age UK carries out a wide range of different functions to deliver outcomes in those areas of life where we aim to make a difference: money matters, health and well-being, care and home, travel and lifestyle, work and leisure. Research is at the heart of what we do. We:

  • Carry out research ourselves to generate authoritative evidence on age and ageing to achieve change and development in policy and services to older people
  • Fund research carried out by others that will lead to positive solutions for later life
  • Are a hub for knowledge about older people and issues in ageing for ourselves and others
  • Work in partnership with others from local to global level to support the promotion of age-related research


Age UK is the only charity in the UK to focus research effort and funds exclusively on later Life. Evidence from our research underpins policy change - for example the abolition of the default retirement age in the UK - and our grant funded research programme increases understanding of a wide range of age-related health conditions.

Age UK seeks to influence the direction of scientific research in to ageing and encourage the best scientific researchers to focus on ageing.  The charity holds appointments on both national and international research committees (for example the UN and WHO). We have excellent working relationships with the Research Councils and with government departments.  Age UK has a commitment to the wider and more effective dissemination and implementation of research findings and in exercising this commitment we aim to integrate older people more closely into the research and policy-making process.  We contribute significantly to all areas of policy development and both advise and debate equality related issues with Government departments.  In particular we have worked extensively with the Department for International Development and the Home Office.

Professor James Goodwin is the Head of Research for Age UK.  He was appointed as Head of Research at Help the Aged in 2002 and has led the development of research within Age UK.  He sits on numerous expert bodies, including a Ministerial Advisory Group on Research, a UN Research Agenda for Ageing panel, the UN Digital Health Group, a WHO Advisory Group, leads the user involvement element of the EC funded FUTURAGE project and is Chair of the Halcyon (NDA) Knowledge Transfer Steering Committee.  He is a member of the editorial board of the UK journal ‘Quality in Ageing’.  He presented evidence to the House of Lords Inquiry on the Scientific Aspects of Ageing (Select Committee on Science and Technology) in 2005 and 2009, and to a US Congressional hearing in 2006. 

Professor Goodwin graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Keele University, UK.  After graduation and service in HM Forces, he read for a Master’s in human biology at Loughborough University and then for a PhD in medical science in Professor Sir John Tooke’s department at the Postgraduate Medical School, University of Exeter.   His research area was the effects of temperature variations on the autonomic cardiovascular responses of older people, an area highly relevant to the issue of climate change and older people’s health.  He has been a consultant adviser to the Met Office for over 10 years and holds a visiting professorship at Loughborough University in the Physiology of Ageing.  After 15 years in the university sector he was appointed as Head of Research at the Help the Aged in 2002.