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The next All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) meeting on Housing and Care for older people will take place online and be addressed by The Right Hon Chris Pincher MP, the Housing Minister.

He is expected to talk about the building of new homes for our ageing population, including issues around planning, accessibility, town centre renewal, and upgrading homes for older people of modest means.

Following a Q&A session with the Minister, there will be presentations on 'how technology can improve older people's lives’.


2pm - Introduction and welcome, by Peter Aldous MP

AGM/Election of Officers

2:05pm - First session

The Housing Minister:

The Right Hon Chris Pincher MP will speak about the building of new homes for our ageing population, including issues around planning, accessibility, town centre renewal, and upgrading homes for older people of modest means.

This will be followed by a question and answer session.

2:45pm - Second session

‘How technology can improve older people's lives’ with:

  • Professor Roy Sandbach (Chair, Inquiry into Technology for an Ageing Population)
  • Gary Jones and Orit Eyal-Fibeesh (Sparko TV)
  • Presentation from BT on its scheme for older people (to be confirmed)

Question and answer session with the tech speakers

3:30pm - meeting closes


  • Gary Jones FRSA - Development Manager, Sparko

    Gary Jones - development manager at sparko

    Gary works part-time for and combines that role with interim and consultancy work for charities and a trusteeship.

    He has had a long career in the voluntary sector, having been CEO of Age Concerns/UKs in Camden, Brent, Tower Hamlets and Enfield (the latter a recent interim role). Gary started his role in charities working front-line with older people in Hounslow, as a volunteer, and in Newham. Gary also was the resources director for a national charity before taking up the post of CEO at Age UK Camden.

    In his role at Camden from 2005 till 2018, he helped establish the UK’s largest LGBTQ+ older people’s charity Opening Doors London, of which APPG member Baroness Liz Barker is a patron.

    Gary is also the Treasurer (volunteer trustee) of Irish in Britain, which supports Irish organisations and undertakes policy and representation work.

    Twitter profile: @GaryJones1986

    Sparko Twitter: @SparkoVrc

  • Orit Eyal-Fibeesh - Chief Executive Officer, Sparko VRC Ltd

    Orit Eyal-Fibeesh - Chief Executive Officer, Sparko VRC Ltd

    Following a successful career as Managing Director of innovative multi-million pound logistics and tech organisations across Europe and the Far East, Orit was keen to apply her extensive experience and skills in business to a more community based cause. With a particular interest in Psychology (MSc), older people, loneliness, isolation and digital exclusion, Sparko was a natural fit; a company providing a digital solution for older people who are at high risk of loneliness and isolation due to digital exclusion.

    Using a simple set top box, Sparko enables people to access services, connect with friends and family, engage in live online exercise classes, social groups, events and activities, lifelong learning opportunities and much more.

    Since joining Sparko in 2019, Orit is utilising her strategic and leadership skills working with a wide range of organisations looking for effective ways to improve the wellbeing of the older people they work with as well as signposting to services in their communities.  Partners include; housing associations, age-sector charities, veteran and faith based organisations as well as local councils.

    Orit has been involved in charitable work her entire career, helping children with impaired vision, JAMI (a Jewish organisation supporting those with mental illness), WIZO and many others.

    Twitter profile: @EyalOrit

  • Helen Burrows - Content and services policy director, BT Group

    Helen Burrows leads the content and services policy team at BT covering issues including digital inclusion and consumer fairness, content delivery and media policy, online harms and data.

    Through the pandemic she has lead BT's efforts to work with the Government to support vulnerable customers and citizens; she brokered priority support for those identified as most vulnerable to the virus, and free connectivity for NHS workers, and kids and families home schooling.

    She leads on several other key policy areas: media - BT's TV interests, and the implications of the ongoing shift of viewing away from live / broadcast to online; online safety and security; and data.

    Previously she was in BT’s group strategy, policy and portfolio team covering media, copyright and privacy issues.

    Helen has been a member of the Creative Industries Council’s Access to Finance group and wrote the Council’s report on access to finance for the sector. She was the founding director of Private Office, a strategic consultancy enabling businesses and their senior people to take charge of their reputation and has been a research associate at the think tank Demos, leading projects on the creative industries.

    Twitter profile: @helenburrows

  • Professor Roy Sandbach OBE

    Professor Roy Sandbach OBE

    Roy is chairing the Technology for our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation (TAPPI), developing a benchmark for what ‘good’ looks like in technology for housing and care. Until September 2017, Roy was Director of the National Innovation Centre for Ageing at Newcastle University. He sits on the Advisory Board for the APPG for Longevity. He is a Board Member for the Technology Services Association, the trade association for technology applications in the care sector.

    Roy is immediate past-president of the Royal Society of Chemistry Industry Council and a Fellow of the Society. He chairs Northern Accelerator, the research commercialisation programme across the five North East Universities. He led the development of the regional innovation strategy for North East England and was founding chair of the NELEP Innovation Board. He holds visiting Professorships at Cranfield University and Central St. Martin’s College of Art & Design, London.

    Roy spent 31 years with the Procter & Gamble Company holding global R&D positions in Europe and Asia, leading innovation programmes across the world. One of his patented inventions is a $150 million business in the US.

    Roy was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2017 for services to science, innovation and skills.

    Twitter profile: @profRoys


  • The Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP - Minister of State for Housing

    Christopher was born in Walsall and grew up in Wombourne near Wolverhampton. He studied history at the London School of Economics before joining a major IT consultancy firm in 1993, now called Accenture. In his time with the firm he worked in Paris, Riyadh and Chicago as well as around the United Kingdom.

    He was elected to Parliament in May 2010 as the Member of Parliament for Tamworth and brought to Westminster a particular interest in energy policy and foreign affairs. He sat on the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, served on the Armed Forces Bill Committee and focused on a number of APPGs for Central Asian countries. Christopher’s first Government appointment was as the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the then Foreign Secretary in 2015. He went on to serve in a number of positions in the Whips’ Office before becoming Deputy Chief Whip in January 2018.

    Under Boris Johnson, Christopher has served as Minister of State for Europe and the Americas, attending the final meeting of the EU Council as the representative of the United Kingdom, as well as visiting Cyprus, Ukraine, Croatia and the Czech Republic. Christopher has been the Minister of State for Housing since February 2020, with a specific focus on planning reform, supporting the housing market and home ownership among his wide departmental brief.  He also supports the Minister of State for Building Safety by answering for the Government in the House of Commons on building safety matters.

    Twitter profile: @ChrisPincher

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