Greetings from the Jubilee!
In a packed newsletter this week, we have some more freebies but we will start with the bad news first. Get it out of the way.
Yesterday, we sadly heard that the BBC is to go ahead with a plan to end free TV licences for most over-75s, after a two-month delay, because of the coronavirus pandemic. That means more than three million households will be asked to start paying the £157.50 fee from Saturday 1st August. People who receive Pension Credit will continue to receive a free TV Licence.
The BBC said there would be a "Covid-safe" payment system, meaning people can apply online, and there will be a dedicated phone line and support staff. A BBC statement said "No-one needs to take any immediate action, or leave their home, to claim for a free TV licence or pay for one".
TV Licensing will write to all licence holders aged over 75, from early August, with clear guidance about how to pay. Until you get this official notification, please ignore fake emails urging you to pay immediately. For more information go to: https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/age
Our national partner, Age UK, issued a statement yesterday “We are extremely disappointed about today's decision by the BBC, if not altogether surprised, but we are not giving up the fight and it remains to be seen what the impact will be once they try to roll out their new scheme.” For information about the campaign, go to https://www.ageuk.org.uk/our-impact/campaigning/save-free-tv-for-older-people/
About 1.2 million older people in the UK are entitled to pension credit but do not claim it. We know from our research there is a higher proportion of older people in Bury not claiming the benefit than other areas.
Even if you are just entitled to a few pence, it is worth claiming because of all the other advantages this award brings. They include:
- free TV licence for over-75s (from August 2020) – worth £154.50 a year,
- council tax reduction – potentially worth £1,000 to £2,000 a year,
- warm home discount – worth £140 a year,
- housing benefit – potentially worth £1,000s a year,
- cold weather payments – potentially worth £25 a week in winter,
- free home insulation and boiler grants - worth £1,000s for some,
- free dental treatment – worth £100s a year for some,
- and a voucher for glasses/contact lenses – worth £39 to £215 depending on your prescription
For more information go to https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/money-legal/benefits-entitlements/pension-credit/
To see if you are entitled to any money, go to https://www.gov.uk/pension-credit-calculator
Our Information and Advice officers are working limited hours and can only offer telephone support. However, if you need help applying, call us on 0161 763 9030 and we will add you to our waiting list.
Needing a good night’s sleep?
Susana from Healthy Minds will be holding an online workshop on “Tips to improve your sleep and some self-help techniques to deal with worries.”
This free session will focus on reviewing current sleep routines and introducing some new behaviours to aid sleep. During the session, we will also discuss some useful techniques to manage worries during the day and at night.
Susana has been running workshops at the Jubilee Centre for the last few years and I have received glowing reports that the sessions really make a difference.
This session will be on Thursday 23rd July from 200 pm to 3.30. The workshop will be online using the Zoom platform.
To sign up, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org stating your name, date of birth, address & postcode and ethnic background (e.g White British, British Asian, etc…). This information required by Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust.
Face covering guidance
As we start to spend a little bit more time outside of our houses, the Government is advising that people should try to wear a face covering more often. It is mandatory for most people to wear a face covering while using public transport.
Some people are exempt from wearing a face covering. The list now includes people who experience dementia, visual impairment, mental health conditions such as anxiety or panic disorders, breathing difficulties and other respiratory conditions, and conditions affecting dexterity, meaning someone can not put on a face covering.
The Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has produced a flash card for those exempt from wearing face coverings. The card will be available on request from our Customer Services team, which can be contacted on 0161 244 1000 (Monday to Friday 7am to 8pm, weekends 8am to 8pm), the TfGM website contact form or in the Travelshops across Greater Manchester.
TfGM’s cards are valid across all transport modes and operators in Greater Manchester. They are discreet, easy to use and understand and can provide reassurance, especially if a person’s disability is hidden. You simply show the card on request to any member of staff who may ask why you are not wearing a face covering.
Click here for Age UK guidance on face coverings
Diana on Facebook
Diana held two popular Facebook sessions this week. Diana will next be live on our Facebook page on Monday and Wednesday next week.
Monday: 11.00 to 11.30 am: Gentle Exercise / Seated and Standing
Wednesday: 11.00 to 11.30 am: Pilates
These sessions are free and many thanks to Diana for setting them up. Please tell your friends they are welcome to join us.
If you can’t make these times, Facebook will let you watch at a later time. Join us at https://www.facebook.com/ageukbury/
We are still on course to opening up the Jubilee Centre & our shops from mid–August. Things will be different but we will be keeping you informed in future newsletters.
The Weekly Quiz
Answers to last week’s quiz on Homophones are attached. A big well done if you got all twenty answers!
This week’s quiz focuses on James Bond Films. Good Luck! Again, there is no prize other than the honour of you knowing that you are very, very clever!
…and finally the essential stuff
For help with getting food deliveries and prescriptions, please phone Bury Community Hubs on 0161 253 53 53, every day of the week.
Our Keeping in Touch telephone service offers older people in Bury a regular friendly phone call from one of our volunteers. For more information, call 0161 763 9030 (Monday to Friday 10.00 am to 2.00 pm) or email email@example.com to sign up. Alternatively, call Jane Lees, our Befriending Coordinator on 07541 741891.
The Age UK Advice Line is 0800 678 1602 from 8 am to 7 pm, every day of the year.
If you would just like to have a friendly natter with another person, please call The Silver Line 24 hours a day on 0800 470 80 90.
Our previous newsletters are online at https://www.ageuk.org.uk/bury/about-us/coronavirus/
For all those questions about Coronavirus and how it affects your life, please check out the Age UK FAQ website: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/coronavirus/coronavirus-guidance/coronavirus-faqs/
We are in the office on Monday to Friday and our phone lines will be open from 10.00 to 2.00. Call us on 0161 763 9030.
Please share this newsletter with your friends. If you know someone who is not on the internet, please phone and tell them the news.
Keep Strong, Stay Safe and let’s hope for some proper sunshine this weekend!
Andy and all at Age UK Bury