A new friendship and advice service for the over 50s has launched in Skegness, offering vital help from befrienders and professionals at Age UK Lindsey.
The charity has extended its facilities in the town, opening the morning sessions on the first Thursday of every month at the community facility at St Paul’s Baptist Church, Beresford Avenue.
From 10am until noon, anyone is invited along to take part in social activities, meet others – with advice on offer from trained members of the team.
Explaining the need for the service, Age UK Lindsey’s Service Manager Sue White said that in 2017 alone the organisation locally had helped 1,900 older people to obtain £6,064,804 of unclaimed benefit.
“A total of 1.9-million pensioners, 16 per cent, are living in poverty in the UK. This could mean struggling to cover food and energy bills with no money set aside for a sudden emergency such as the cooker or fridge breaking down,” she said.
“The Information and advice service can offer a benefits check, help with pension age benefit applications, or support to find a suitable grant. We can also provide information on a wide range of support available to older people,” added Sue.
With support from TED, the district’s BIG Lottery-funded project as part of its Aging Better Programme, the new service is part of the St Barnabas wellbeing drop-ins, which sees different organisations provide facilities on a rotational basis.
Suzanne Croft is a Befriender with Age UK Lindsey and called in to the first session. She visits an 87-year-old lady weekly and explained just why friendship and company is so important to elderly people.
“She looks forward to my visits and the conversation. It gives me a sense of satisfaction tooand I would hope if I am ever in that situation, that a befriender will be there for me,” she said.
For more information on the new group and other services offered by Age UK Lindsey, go to www.ageuk.org.uk/lindsey/