The Commissioner is a champion for older people providing information, advocacy and support for older people in Wales and their representatives. The Commission has specific legal powers to ensure that public bodies act in accordance with the interests of older people in Wales.
Sarah comes to the role from the Royal National Institute for the Blind Cymru, where she has been director since 2008. Here she oversaw delivery of services and support to 120,000 people in Wales with sight loss, the majority of whom are older people.
Ms Rochira of Whitchurch, Cardiff, established the partnership of the Wales Vision Strategy (part of a WHO Vision 2020 initiative) and is elected chair and an active member of Age Alliance Wales. Prior to this she had over a decade of experience in health commissioning, clinical governance and health development at Caerphilly Teaching Local Health Board and Gwent Health Authority.
Gwenda Thomas, Deputy Minister for Social Services and Children, said:
“We must value older people more, and tackle discrimination on the grounds of age by challenging unfair and outdated stereotypes, attitudes and practices that adversely affect older people.
“The new Commissioner will define her own role in her own way, but I am sure that she will live up to all of these aims and more. I congratulate Sarah on her appointment and warmly welcome her to this important role.
“This is the second appointment to the post of Older People’s Commissioner in Wales since the office was established in 2008. I would like to thank the outgoing Commissioner, Ruth Marks MBE, for establishing the first Commission and for laying the groundwork for the future.”
Ms Rochira said:
"I am delighted and honoured to have been appointed the Older Persons' Commissioner for Wales. As Older Persons' Commissioner I will be accountable to older people across Wales and look forward to working with and for them, ensuring that their voices are at the heart of what we do. There is much in Wales that we can be proud of but many older people also face real challenges particularly in the difficult times in which we all live.
"I look forward to working with my team and together to making a real and tangible difference to the lives of older people, across Wales. I want Wales to be a great place to grow old, for everyone."