Are you an older person who finds it hard to make ends meet? Do you know an older person who might welcome some help with day to day living costs? If so, national charity, Friends of the Elderly, can offer one-off grants to older people living in England and Wales, to help relieve the stress and worry often experienced by older people living on a low income.
These grants are to help towards utility bills, household repairs and adaptations; the purchase of mobility aids and the replacement of essential items that support daily living, such as basic furniture, flooring, and household appliances; and the cost of equipment such as tablets and broadband to help people get and stay online. They are available to older people who are over state retirement age who are not care home residents, and who are living on a low income. They are available through Friends of the Elderly, courtesy of trust funds.
Mature Times shares Pamela’s story of how a one-off grant from Friends of the Elderly made a huge difference to her quality of life:
‘When Pamela’s 16 year old television started to lose sound and picture, she started to worry about what she would do when it eventually gave in. Pamela is 81 years old and lives alone, she said: “Days are endless; there is a massive void if you do not have a television. If it got to the stage where I had no television at all I would have lost my mind with boredom. The television is a lifeline; it is a companion that is there any time of the day or night.”
One of Pamela’s friends spotted an article in Mature Times about Friends of the Elderly’s grants and suggested she got in touch with the charity to see if they could help. She said: “When I telephoned Friends of the Elderly I spoke to a lovely lady who did not make me feel uncomfortable – she was so kind and gentle explaining the process to me. I do not like to take charity and I know this is such a big thing for other older people too, but charities like Friends of the Elderly can be such a fantastic help in situations like mine.”
After completing the application process, Friends of the Elderly ordered Pamela a brand new television and had it sent directly to her home. “It was so exciting when it arrived,” said Pamela. “I time it so that I have my lunch ready when Neighbours and Home and Away are on – they are my favourite programmes. The beaches are so beautiful! The bright colour and sound on the television is amazing, very different to my old one!”
Pamela’s mobility is not as good as it used to be and she finds getting out and about difficult. Whilst she enjoys hobbies such as reading and knitting, having a television means that she can choose from many programmes to suit her mood and make the days not seem so long and vacant.
Pamela said: “I do not know what I would do without my television. Lots of older people are not aware they qualify for a grant like this. I would urge anyone who needs help buying something to telephone Friends of the Elderly – they are so kind and sympathetic, with a great understanding of our needs. It can really change your life.”’
If you think you may be eligible for a one-off grant, you can download guidance notes at: www.fote.org.uk/our-services/grants/
More information is also available by calling Friends of the Elderly on 0330 332 1110 (Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm) or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org