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Message from the President

April already and, by the time you read this, some of us will have been to the VII European Congress on ‘Healthy and Active Ageing for all Europeans’ (Apr 14-17 in Bologna) and shared in intellectual endeavours as well as, hopefully, pizza and a glass of wine at a BSG get-together evening! As the conference season gets underway, we would urge you to take a look at our new website (http://www.britishgerontology.org) and sign up for our own conference in Plymouth this coming July – the earlybird registration deadline is May 6th and it promises to be a stimulating and fun-packed event helping us to celebrate 40 years of the Society.

As part of our celebrations can I also urge members to think about nominating people for what is now the ‘BSG Outstanding Achievement Award’. The award is made annually to an individual or organisation that, in the opinion of the judges, has made a significant and lasting contribution to British Social Gerontology. Nominations need to be received by the end of May and the forms and further details can be found on our website: (BSG Outstanding Achievement Award).

In terms of our 5-year strategy (2009-2014), the Chairs and members of each task/working group have been making considerable progress with reviewing the remit, functions and priorities of their groups in relation to the overall strategy. This is important for our strategic directions and is part of the drive to deliver improved services to our membership. The ongoing professionalisation and streamlining of our activities is made possible through the outstanding administrative support we now have from Rachel Hazelwood, as well as the hard work the Executive and other members have been doing. Apart from the more visible aspects of our work like the new website, this also includes things like clarifying roles and responsibilities of Executive Committee members and others co-opted onto/linked with our groups; bringing our varied activities together in logical ways so that they are all under the purview of one or other or our task/working groups; making strategic links with key organisations such as ILC-UK, Age-UK and others; taking a lead in revamping and re-energising the British Council on Ageing (an alliance of the BSG, the British Geriatrics Society [BGS] and the British Society for Research in Ageing [BSRA]); and getting to grips with the complexities of the Europeanand international scene. As we get towards the end of Year Two of our five-year strategy, we will be articulating the activities each group will be engaging in between 2011 and 2013 and look forward to sharing this with you all at the AGM.

As part of our desire to raise the profile of BSG we nominated a number of people as possible panel members for REF2014. Details of all panel members are now available at: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/research/ref/panels but we aredelighted to report that BSG members Professors Judith Phillips (Swansea University, Wales) and Alison Bowes (Stirling University, Scotland) have been appointed to the Social Work and Social Policy sub panel (sub panel 22 of main panel C); and Professor Sara Arber (Surrey University) has been appointed to Sociology (sub panel 23). Congratulations go to all three of them. The REF timetable can be seen at: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/research/ref/timetable. Congratulations also go to Dr Chris Gilleard (UCL) who, following our nomination, has had the award of Academician conferred on him by the Council of the Academy of Social Sciences.

We look forward to seeing you all in Plymouth!
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