Heléna Herklots CBE has been named as the new Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, the Welsh Government has announced.
Heléna is currently Chief Executive of Carers UK, the national membership charity for the UK’s 6.5 million carers. She has had over 30 years’ experience of supporting and working with older people. She was awarded a CBE in the 2017 New Year’s Honours list for her work with carers.
Created by the Welsh Government in 2008, the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales is the independent voice and champion for older people aged 60 and over across Wales. The Commissioner’s work is driven by what older people say matters most to them, and ensures their voices are at the heart of all the commissioner does.
- promotes awareness of the rights and interests of older people in Wales;
- challenges discrimination against older people in Wales;
- encourages best practice in the treatment of older people in Wales;
- reviews the law affecting the interests of older people in Wales.
The Commissioner has a wide range of legal powers to help deliver the change older people want and need to see.
The Minister for Children, Older People and Social Care, Huw Irranca-Davies said:
“I’m very pleased to announce the appointment of Heléna Herklots as Wales’ next Commissioner for Older People.
“The Commissioner is the voice and champion for older people across Wales, listening to their views and concerns and acting in their best interests. I look forward to working with Heléna in her new role.”
The appointment has been made by the First Minister of Wales, following a full public appointments process, which involved representatives of older people as well as a group of cross-party Assembly Members.
Heléna replaces the current Commissioner, Sarah Rochira.
Heléna Herklots said:
“It is a great honour to be appointed the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales. I am looking forward to working with older people across Wales in this vital role to protect and champion older people’s rights.”
Heléna’s appointment is for an initial four year term, with the new Commissioner starting in the role in August. The Commissioner’s role is remunerated at £90,000 per annum.