St Monica Trust’s Charitable Impact Team provides £40,000 support to local information and advice services
The number of older people who require access to reliable information and advice is growing, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately affected older people.
Recognising this demand and the need for good quality information and advice for older people, the Trust awarded a total of £40,000 to local Age UK branches (Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, Somerset, and South Gloucestershire) to support delivery of their information and advice services in 2022. These teams are at the frontline of support for older people in the region.
Information and advice services
The information and advice services offer free and confidential support on a wide range of issues that affect people in later life, such as low income, poor quality housing conditions and choosing care packages. They help older people navigate the benefits system so they can receive all of the entitlements that are due to them. This could be anything from Blue Badge applications to Attendance Allowance and Lasting Power of Attorney.
These organisations have reported that a key concern for older people is knowing where to find information about their rights and entitlements.
The current situation with energy prices and Universal Credit makes life even more difficult for older people and these advice services are able to give specialist support to older people through these difficult times.
Sheila, 89, had been struggling to cover the costs of maintaining her home since her husband had a fall two years ago and as a result, needed to move into residential care. Along with a sudden lack of companionship, Sheila struggled to cope with the financial implications of this
It was a shock when they took all his pension towards his care at the home. My pension was tiny and I suddenly started really worrying about money. I would wake up in the night worrying. I had no idea I was eligible for what I received. It was a lot of money to find each month.
For Sheila, her benefits check from Age UK Bath and North East Somerset was life-changing. They enabled her to save £2,000 on household bills and claim an additional £8,725 in benefits.
Although I don’t know what’s around the corner in life, I now know I don’t have to worry about money in the future. It’s such a brilliant feeling.
This funding will help ensure that hundreds of people this year will be supported through advice on the phone, online and face-to-face.
Supporting the lives of older people in Bristol and the surrounding area has been part of the vision for St Monica Trust since it began 100 years ago. Today our Charitable Giving team helps tackle a variety of issues by distributing hundreds of thousands of pounds to individuals, families and organisations across Bristol, South Gloucestershire, North Somerset and Bath & North-East Somerset.
As well as the funding for Age UK’s local information and advice services, the St Monica Trust’s Charitable Impact Team is also providing a package of support for older people over the winter months, including a fund to help with winter fuel payments.