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Age UK Herefordshire & Worcestershire Shines Spotlight on Challenges Faced by Older Adults during Pensions Minister, Paul Maynard MP visit to Worcester.

Published on 29 February 2024 09:26 AM

Earlier this week, we welcomed The Minister for Pensions, Paul Maynard MP, who met with staff managing the Information & Advice service, volunteers and members of the computer café at our Head Office at Malvern Gate, Worcester.

The Minister for Pensions sat down with our CEO, Julia Neal and staff members Sonya Murray and Sarah Turner, to understand more about the challenges facing older people across the two counties are and how the charity is working to support them.

The team told the Minister, about how difficult some older people find going online and completing often lengthy application forms and how much support some people need to do this.

The Minister for Pensions gave us insight into how he and his team are tackling these challenges in a very practical way, before asking what changes our team would like to see.

The next stop was a visit to one of our popular Computer Cafés. Social Inclusion and Wellbeing Manager, Caroline Savage, introduced the Minister to the volunteers who run the Café and its members who were able to explain how the sessions have helped them to develop their digital skills, giving them greater confidence to use online services.

CEO Julia Neal explained:

“The Age UK H&W Information & Advice Service helps over 12,000 people a year with a range of queries, many of whom need help to be able to apply for the benefits that they are entitled to.”

“Our clients find the support that we provide, including practical support from the Computer Café and other initiatives, is invaluable and tell us that without it they would not be able to navigate the complex processes involved. We feel passionately that older people should not be disadvantaged in a world where those skills are required for everyday activities like parking and banking as well as accessing benefits.”

Minister for Pensions, Paul Maynard, said:

“It was wonderful to visit Age UK Herefordshire and Worcestershire (H&W) to experience firsthand the important work they do to support our pensioners.”

“We are always looking for more innovative ways to reach out to pensioners, and it was great to hear about all the ways Age UK H&W tackle these challenges. It was also good to discuss our recent Pension Credit trials targeting those likely to be eligible for this vital support.”

Our free, confidential and impartial Information and Advice service helps older people across the two counties access the benefits that they are eligible for. Our advisors also assist them with filling out applications and can provide information about further support that may be available.

In just the final three months of 2023, the Information and Advice team supported people to apply for £561,407 worth of unclaimed benefits, money which not only has a transformative impact on individuals’ lives but would otherwise be lost to the economy.

This vital service is largely reliant on the charity’s fundraising efforts, the generosity of donors and last year a grant from the Eveson Trust, but receives no regular funding.

If you would like to know more about the support available via the Information & Advice Service or any of our services for you or an older loved one, please call 0800 008 6077 to speak to a member of our team.