At its 2007 Sheffield annual conference, the British Society of Gerontology established this award (previously known as the Alan Walker Prize) to honour the lifetime achievement and massive contribution made to British and international Social Gerontology of its first recipient, Alan Walker. It is now an annual competitive award supported by nominations from the members of the British Society of Gerontology (henceforth the Society). A small judging committee has been established, chaired by Alan Walker and comprising Tessa Harding; a representative from AgeUK; a representative from the ILC-UK; the President, Sheila Peace; and Past-President of the Society, Robin Means.
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. This might be through for example, campaigning, teaching, lobbying, service provision, fundraising, journalism and research. In particular, the award is made to an individual or organisation that has made a significant impact on the policy process and through this helped improve the quality of life of older people.