Paul Cann joined Age Concern (now Age UK) Oxfordshire as its Chief Executive in April 2009. Age UK Oxfordshire works at grassroots level to help older people and their families live in comfort, with support and enjoying opportunities to live life to the full.
Paul read English Literature at King’s College Cambridge, also holding a Choral Scholarship. After teaching for five years, he joined the Civil Service where he held a range of postings at the Cabinet Office, including working as a Private Secretary to successive Cabinet Ministers, including the Minister for the Arts. A subsequent spell in the private sector included working for ‘The Independent’ newspaper. He joined the charity world in 1992 as Director of the British Dyslexia Association and subsequently of the National Autistic Society. He was a Trustee of the disability charity Contact a Family for five years, a charity which supports carers and people with special needs or disabilities.
From 2000 to his arrival at Age Concern Oxfordshire he was Director of Policy and External Relations at Help the Aged, where he had responsibility for research, policy, international strategy, media and external relations. He brought together research and policy, and was particularly involved in Help the Aged’s work on pensioner poverty, social exclusion and care issues. As Director with responsibility for international affairs, he helped to reshape the charity’s international programme and increased Help the Aged’s own profile and activity. From 2004-07 Paul held a Visiting Fellowship at the Oxford Institute of Ageing.
In 2008 Paul was awarded the medal of the British Geriatrics Society for an outstanding contribution to the well-being of older people. In 2009 he was appointed an Associate Fellow of the International Longevity Centre and also in that year a Charter Member of the charity Independent Age. He co-edited ‘Unequal Ageing (Policy Press, 2009), which examines in turn the injustice and inequalities experienced by older people in income, housing, health, and many other aspects of daily life. Paul chairs the Public Policy Panel of the national charity Age UK. He and Age UK Oxfordshire are founding members of the national Campaign to End Loneliness.
A keen singer and lover of the arts, and a Director of Creative Dementia Arts Network, (CDAN), Paul believes that “the arts” should be at the centre of our lives and public policy; taking part in the arts simulates, connects, fulfils us and makes us happy. The charity’s projectwww.ageofcreativity.co.uk aims to promote and celebrate arts activities of all kinds and their value to older people across the UK and beyond.