About Us

Age Concern was founded in Barnstaple in 1990 by Andrea Scott. Andrea ran the Charity until retirement in 2022 when Amanda Howard became the CEO.

In 2023 Age Concern Barnstaple and District became Age Concern Barnstaple and North Devon CIO and today provides 8 services to older and vulnerable people in Barnstaple and the North Devon District.

With a small staff team and over 70 filled volunteer roles our services support over 2,500 people each year.

Our services reduce loneliness and isolation, improve health and wellbeing and support independent living. 

Age Concern Barnstaple and North Devon is governed by a Board of Trustees who meet a minimum of 6 times a year and are responsible for the overall direction and control of the organisation. 

Download our Annual Reports:


Staff Team

A photo of Amanda Howard in the office.
Amanda Howard

Amanda has a degree and masters degree in business and marketing, 10 years’ of marketing experience in the finance and media sectors at Reuters and consulting in London and 20 years’ experience in the charity sector at the BBC, NSPCC, Cotswold Friends and Age Concern in Bedfordshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and North Devon – specialising in crisis management, funding, service development, marketing, volunteer and risk management, governance and leadership.

A photo of Sarah Sime in the office.
Sarah Sime
Charity Administrator
& Bookkeeper

Sarah has over 30 years of experience as a bookkeeper, with payroll, HR and general office management expertise. A local girl Sarah moved back to Barnstaple after living and working in London for 17 years, most recently as Operations Director for a fashion retail recruitment company. 

A photo of Tina Harris in the office.
Tina Harris
Care Line, Transport
& Shopping Services Manager

Tina has over 15 years’ experience managing and delivering services with North Devon Citizens Advice, The Stroke Association, and as a Family Advisor and Funeral Organiser. Tina also has experience volunteering on the bookings desk for a community transport charity. 

A photo of Natasha Harvey in the office.
Natasha Harvey
Befriending, Carer Support & Hospital Support Services Manager

Natasha has over 20 years of experience as a Registered General Nurse and has been managing Age Concern ‘home visiting’ services for over 15 years. Natasha is an expert in supporting older people and is the Age Concern Safeguarding Lead.

A photo of Jill Ackland in the office.

Jill Ackland

Volunteer Manager

Jill was the Service Lead for Action for Children for over 24 years managing the centres and ensuring effective service delivery. Jill has excellent HR experience and is used to recruiting, training and supporting staff and volunteers. Jill has also worked as an Activities Co-ordinator and Care Giver at a nursing home and has a good understanding of the needs of older people.
A photo of Meryl Tanton in the office.
Meryl Tanton
Community Activities Manager

Before joining Age Concern as the Community Activities Manager Meryl worked for The National Trust at Arlington Court creating, organising and running events for visitors to enjoy. Meryl worked at the National Trust for 9 years and during this time worked with many volunteers and partners to make the events programme varied, interesting and accessible. Prior to that Meryl worked at Petroc College as the Web Officer and is a website and social media expert!

Board of Trustees

A photo of Ian Roome.
Ian Roome

Ian Roome is Head of Charity Fundraising for the Royal Devon University NHS Foundation Trust. He has 30 years of experience working across non-profit organisations, local government and the Armed Forces. He is an elected County Councillor for Barnstaple North and has been Mayor of Barnstaple three times. Ian has supported Age Concern for many years including fundraising and awareness campaigns. Ian joined the Trustee Board in 2023 and is the current Chair.
A photo of Bea Gravett.
Bea Gravett

Bea Gravett joined the Board of Trustees in 2020. Bea has lived in North Devon since 1979 and worked as a bookkeeper, payroll and accounts specialist running her own business for many years. Bea has also been a carer. Bea is the current Treasurer.
A photo of Louisa York.
Louisa York

Louisa York is a Town and District Councillor representing Newport Ward in Barnstaple. Louisa is also a registered childminder. Louisa is attending Age Concern Board meetings as a representative for the Town and District Council. Louisa was born in Barnstaple and is passionate about local issues, Louisa is the current Mayor of Barnstaple. 

A photo of Rob Ward.
Rob Ward

Although born in Barnstaple, Rob spent several years working in Swindon and Birmingham as a Youth & Community worker. Rob also worked in Yeovil and Milton Keynes, before returning to North Devon and joining Barnstaple Town Council in 2018 as Town Clerk. Rob has town, area, Council and funding expertise. Rob has been a very active supporter of Age Concern in the past and joined the Trustee Board in 2023.

Angela Walter

Angela Walter has lived in Barnstaple for many years, now working at the North Devon District Hospital as the Lead for the Admiral Nursing Team – Dementia Specialist Nurse. Angela has worked for the NHS for 37 years as a Registered Nurse in Barnstaple, London and Exeter.

Angela is passionate about ensuring that older people are treated equally in our society and is pleased to be supporting Age Concern to help to achieve this within our community.

Angela is also a very keen runner, having completed (so far!) 28 marathons, most of which have been for charities both locally and nationally.

A photo of John Challis.
John Challis

Born in Barnstaple in 1961 and joined the army (Devonshire and Dorset Regiment) in 1978, stationed in Kent, West Germany, Essex and Northern Ireland. Moved back to Barnstaple and spent most of my working life in the sale and supply of building materials. A Barnstaple Town Councillor with specific interest in Barnstaple services and facilities and a keen interest in supporting older people in our community.

A photo of Simon Harvey.
Simon Harvey

Simon Harvey joined the Board of Trustees in 2019. Simon works as an Estate Officer for a local housing provider and was a Town Councillor for over 10 years. Simon has supported many local charities and has lived in Barnstaple for over 15 years.

Our area

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If you can volunteer a little time to support someone in your community, we would love to hear from you.