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Information & Advice Team Success!

17 February 2017

We have supported vulnerable older people from across West Sussex to access an additional £2 million of benefits



Over £2million of benefits accessed by Age UK West Sussex for residents of West Sussex.


Age UK West Sussex’s Information and Advice service has successfully supported vulnerable older people from across West Sussex to access an additional £2 million of benefits.


The service has gone from strength-to-strength and has doubled the amount of benefits accessed per year since April 2015 when it hit the £1million mark.


Known as the `Million Pound Team’, the service supports older people through a dedicated Freephone advice line and community outreach workers. The team has enabled residents from across West Sussex to maximise income through benefit checks, debt consolidation and financial guidance so that additional funds can be released and used to purchase help, support and care so older residents can remain living at home independently for as long as they wish.


Lynda Ryan, Head of Community Services for Age UK West Sussex says: “This is a real milestone, I am so proud of the team and their excellent work. The extra £2 million claimed for vulnerable people means that over 4,000 West Sussex residents are claiming the benefits they are entitled to and this is improving their quality of life and their health and wellbeing. This is a very worthwhile achievement.”

Age UK West Sussex receives funding from West Sussex County Council to provide the information and advice service, working in partnership with them to offer much valued and important advice and support to residents.


Peter Catchpole, Cabinet Member for Adult Services at West Sussex County Council, said: “This is great news for people who have had a welcome boost to their incomes.


“It is important that people claim all the benefits they are entitled to – it can help them remain independent in their own homes for longer and enhance their quality of life. 


I would encourage people to contact Age UK West Sussex to see what benefits they might be entitled to as they could be a lot better off. I’m also delighted that Age UK West Sussex is one of our Carewise care funding scheme partners.”


The information and advice team are based primarily at Age UK West Sussex’s Littlehampton headquarters. Anyone wishing to seek their advice or arrange their own benefit check should call the team directly via their Freephone number 0800 019 1310. 


For more information contact Lynda Ryan, Head of Community Services at Age UK West Sussex.  01903 731800 or


Information for editors:  

 For more information about Age UK West Sussex as an organisation please call the charity’s head office in Littlehampton on 01903 731800; by emailing or via the website


For information about fundraising for our 60th Anniversary Appeal please call 01903 731800 or visit

The history of our organisation

Age Concern West Sussex was founded in 1957 by West Sussex County Council with staff seconded by the Council to manage its affairs. In 1972, the organisation changed its name from West Sussex Association of Elderly People to Age Concern West Sussex, and in 1980 the organisation first employed staff independently of the Council. In April 2010 we changed our name to Age UK West Sussex (AWS).


Over its long history, AWS has moved from a focus on ‘welfare’ to developing a role in the policy and planning of services for older people across the county. Our core staff has grown from several part-time volunteers to a large team of paid and volunteer staff.

AWS is an independent charity and a member of the Age England Association. We are a Brand partner with Age UK. AWS is financially supported by West Sussex County Council, NHS West Sussex, Arun, Crawley and Mid Sussex District Councils. Other funding is made up of project grants, donations and legacies and commission from the sale of our insurance products. We are developing cost effective paid for services too.


AWS is managed by a Board of Trustees; members are elected for three year terms. The Board meets every 2 months. Trustees delegate the day-to-day management of the organisation to the Chief Executive.


Our organisation today

Age UK West Sussex provides services and support to anyone in later life throughout West Sussex. In addition to the county-wide Information and Advice service there are clubs and centres offering activities for fun, friendship, food and health in Crawley, Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill, Littlehampton, Bognor and Adur areas. There are also Home from Hospital, Relative Support, Take Home and Settle and Help at Home services available.