Positive Ageing in London is chaired by Chris Walsh, Chief Executive, Wise Age. Its Vice-Chair is Irene Kohler.
Chris Walsh has been active in researching and campaigning around issues of ageism since 1999 when he helped found, and then run, Wise Owls and subsequently become the Chief Executive of Wise Age – a leading specialist agency helping older working age people ( 50+) get employment and self employment .
Wise Age has produced research and campaigns that have been successful in raising the profile of older people and overcoming ageism, including using the Freedom of Information legislation to force public sector employers to reveal the age profile of the workforce and the numbers of older people made redundant.
In this capacity Chris has helped hundreds of older people and voluntary organisations set up as social enterprises or small business and has enabled thousands of older unemployed working people get back into employment.
Chris also has wide experience of representing the views of older people and combating ageism on radio, TV and through papers and social media.
Chris worked as a Marketing Director in the public, private and voluntary sectors and has widespread experience of successful fundraising.
Chris has been involved with PAiL for the last two years, previously serving as Vice-Chair, and is also Co- Chair of Age Platform Europe UK.
Irene Kohler has over 35 years experience working with older people which has developed her passionate belief in older people having the right to make informed choices and have access to the care and support they need to retain control of their lives. Addressing age inequalities has been the driving force for her involvement in independent advocacy for and with older people, including people with dementia; in the community in day, residential health or social care settings
Irene brings to the role of vice-chair my experience over 30 years of facilitating learning groups, consultation meetings and focus groups, chairing voluntary organisation board meetings and sub-committees.
She currently chairs the board of trustees of an advocacy organization and is a trustee of a London CVS. Irene is also a member of Westminster Senior Citizens Forum.
Now retired, Irene is a qualified teacher and has an MSc in Human Resource Development.