About Us

Years Ahead is a business-to-business consultancy, with an unusual mix of commercial and clinical expertise, working exclusively in the field of ageing, independent living and Assistive Technology.

We work with, and support, organisations, both private and public, whose products and services aim to make the process of ageing easier for self-funding consumers and public sector service users. We provide expert knowledge, advice, training and undertake consumer research studies. We also provide help and advice directly to self-funding consumers, on behalf of our clients, in the form of occupational therapy assessment and information services. Years Ahead does not sell or manufacture products.

Formed in 2007, we have worked with a variety of organisations to assist in developing their propositions. This is particularly relevant as the independent living market place opens up, in the wake of changes the Government is making to public services, which are now shaping much of the thinking and delivery of health and social services at a local level.

Our knowledge base is informed by both our extensive research studies with consumers and our participation in a number of long-term, University led projects, looking both at specific areas of daily living, the development of the wider market and the barriers to adoption of Assistive Living Technologies.

Sitting alongside our consultancy is our social enterprise arm – the not-for-profit Better Living Trust – into which we channel a proportion of our profits. The Trust aims to promote independent living by improving consumer knowledge and understanding, and through this, choice.

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The Team

The Team

Marie Hendry
Marie Hendry has worked as a chartered physiotherapist for more than two decades within NHS and local community care facilities in the North West. She made the transition into the independent living product sector by becoming a successful sales and marketing executive of a company offering mobility, seating and disability products. She then went on to work in the disability charity sector, eventually becoming Chief Executive of regional charity, Disabled Living, before leaving to go into consultancy. Marie′s extensive experience in matching the appropriate services for disabled and older people to lead sustainably independent lives opened up a new career as a consultant. Her interest in championing the rights of people to live independent lives led her to take up a new business challenge in 2007 when she jointly founded Years Ahead with David Silver and Maggie Winchcombe. With intimate knowledge of the independent living product manufacturing and supply sectors from both a product and sales standpoint − Marie′s expertise is regularly sought by companies wishing to build brand recognition and sales.

The Team

David Silver
David has a distinguished background in management and marketing, which he gained in the consumer electronics sector. Immediately following his corporate career he established a communications, change and research agency, which allowed him to pursue parallel interests, and he has been an active contributor to the voluntary sector for the last 20 years. His interest in the issues affecting older people and his understanding of the business context in which independent living products and services operate are integral to the Years Ahead proposition. David’s marketing, retail and commercial background has given him a keen interest in how research can help shape strategies that enable organisations to engage with their older consumers. David has co-authored a number of research publications in the Mobility and Independent Living arena, most recently in conjunction with Coventry University as part of a 3-year study funded by the Technology Strategy Board. David has served as director, trustee and treasurer of numerous charities, including the Oxford based disability charity, Dialability and was retained as the business advisor of national disability charity, Assist UK (formerly the Disabled Living Centres Council) for ten years. He has also helped restructure and implement change programmes within a number of charities and businesses over the last 20 years.

The Team

Maggie Winchcombe OBE, FCOT
Maggie Winchcombe qualified as an occupational therapist in 1973 and, after working in the NHS, began specialising in information and advice about independent living products for consumers in 1983. After working for 20 years in the voluntary sector at local and national levels she took up a consultancy role. Her extensive experience of working within the independent living product sector and her background in occupational therapy has given her valuable strategic insight into how companies and organisations can have a more meaningful dialogue with older consumers. She has authored a long list of publications including research studies, good practice guides and papers in the disability equipment field. She was made a Fellow of the College of Occupational Therapists in 2006, awarded an OBE in the Queen′s 2007 New Year′s Honours List and received an Honorary Fellowship from York St John University also in 2007. In 2008 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Portsmouth, her home town, in recognition of her achievements.

The Better Living Trust

The social enterprise arm of Years Ahead

In setting up the new business the co-founders are committed to channelling a proportion of funds back into the independent living sector to promote consumer knowledge and understanding, and through this, choice. [expand title="Click to read more..." swaptitle="Close" trigpos="below" id="trust-expand" trigclass="arrowright"] The Better Living Trust has been registered and has received its first donation. Our aim is for the Trust to be the vehicle through which we will progress the cause of positive ageing through research and partnerships that increase knowledge and learning in this area. Please see our News and Research pages for further information about work supported by the Trust. Expressions of interest in forming partnerships are welcomed. [/expand]