Baroness Sally Greengross OBE, 1935-2022

27 June 2022

All at the BGS were very sad to hear last week of the death of Baroness Sally Greengross. She was a staunch advocate for the rights of older people, a tireless campaigner and a leader of great vision and integrity.

Sally Greengross was Director General of Age Concern from 1987, a position she held until 2000. She was joint Chair of the Age Concern Institute of Gerontology at King's College London, and Secretary General of Eurolink Age. She founded the International Longevity Centre in 1997 and was its Chief Executive until shortly before her death. She was Co-President of the ILC Global Alliance from 2010 to 2017 and then became their Global Ambassador. She joined the House of Lords as a crossbench peer in 2000, chairing five All Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) including the Dementia APPG and the APPG for Ageing and Older People and speaking in the House to advocate for older people’s right to equality of opportunity and access to care. She campaigned for better understanding between the generations and for policies and planning that recognised the reality of an ageing population.


Baroness Greengross was unfailingly supportive of the BGS’s work, including providing the Society with desk space at Age Concern in the 1980s. She was quick to offer a helping hand, sage advice or access to her wide network. In recognition of her commitment to older people, the Society’s patron HRH The Prince of Wales presented Baroness Greengross with a BGS Special Lifetime Achievement Award.

During her Guest Lecture at the BGS Autumn Meeting 2017, Baroness Greengross said “I’m very lucky in that I’m older and still able to work. I want everyone to be in that position and I want geriatricians to be part of that.” She provided generous counsel to BGS Chief Executives and Senior Officers down the years. She was full of ideas, invariably upbeat and constructive despite political barriers to change. 

President of the BGS, Dr Jennifer Burns, said:

The BGS has lost a true friend in Baroness Sally Greengross. Her vision for a society in which generations co-exist with mutual respect and support was one she championed throughout her life in her professional work, her leadership and her influence. We are sad to have lost such an important and articulate voice for older people, and are grateful for her friendship.”

Chief Executive of the BGS, Sarah Mistry, said:

We have benefited so much at the BGS from the campaigning energy of Baroness Sally Greengross and her support for better healthcare for older people. She was tirelessly committed to changing society for the better and won people to her cause with intellectual argument, practical ideas and immense charm.”