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Charities urge grandparents in the UK to help older people overseas

Published on 04 March 2013 04:00 PM

Age UK and Age International bring to life what people's donations could mean to an older person overseas. Goats, like these ones pictured in an Age UK shop, cost £18 each and provide milk, fertilizer and income.

With figures showing that 63.6% of people aged 55 and over in the UK have grandchildren [i,ii] Age International, partner charity of Age UK, is calling on the nation's 11.32 million grandparents[iii,iv] , and their families to donate unloved goods to Age UK shops. The goods will be sold on to help raise money for grandparents in desperate need.

In the developing world it is estimated that there are more than 556 million grandparents [v,vi], many of whom are the primary carers for their grandchildren. Age International works in 40 developing countries across the globe where in many cases older people survive on less than 60p per day. Often that money has to support not only themselves but also their grandchildren.

Until 29 March 2013, Age UK will be working with Age International to collect bags of donated goods from doorsteps across the country to help raise money for Age International's work with older people in developing countries. Money raised from donations will improve the lives of older people overseas in a variety of ways, from enabling them to set up sustainable businesses to ensuring that there is enough food and water for them and their grandchildren. Less than £10 could buy a chicken, school uniform, school books or mosquito nets for older people and their grandchildren.

Goats, like the ones pictured above in an Age UK shop, cost just £18 and can provide milk, fertilizer and a valuable source of income. The pictures were taken in the Romford shop as part of Age UK and Age International's work to highlight the value that donated goods can make to older people overseas.

Donations can make a real difference to older people in the developing world a dress which sells for £5 could buy a chicken which provides eggs for nutrition and an invaluable source of income. While a man's shirt which sells for £4 could buy a mosquito net for an older person, protecting them from malaria and potentially making the difference between life and death.

People can donate by looking out for an Age International charity bag posted through their door before 29 March or by taking stock to their local Age UK shop. All items of quality clothes, shoes, accessories, home ware, toys and gifts will be greatly appreciated.

Chris Roles, Director of Age International, said: "Older people in developing countries are some of the most ignored and marginalised people on the planet. That's why we are urging local grandparents and their families to spare a thought for those in desperate need by donating clothes and other items to Age UK shops in March. Items that are collected and then sold through Age UK shops during this period will help to raise vital funds".

Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall, author of the Good Granny Guide and ambassador for Age International, said: "If you're anything like me, you've got clothes you seldom or never wear, taking up valuable space in your wardrobe. Why not start spring-cleaning early by clearing the clutter now. By donating them to Age International you could help to improve the life of an older person overseas, as well as their grandchildren. So have a dig around for clothing, shoes and other donations that could change someone's life".

Age International is the only UK charity focusing on older people in developing countries; it exists because older people in these countries are often ignored and have their needs neglected.



Notes to editors

i, ii Office for National Statistics (2012); "Usual resident population by single year of age, unrounded estimates, local authorities in England and Wales," -

i, iv University of Essex. Institute for Social and Economic Research and National Centre for Social Research, Understanding Society: Waves 1-2, 2009-2011 [computer file]. 4th Edition. Colchester, Essex: UK Data Archive [distributor], December 2012. SN: 6614.

v United States Census Bureau (2012); "International Data base," -

vi United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2011). World Fertility Report 2009 (United Nations publication).


For more detail on the methodology please contact Marcus Green at Age UK Research on 020 3033 1406 or

Age UK

For media enquiries relating to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland please contact the appropriate national office: Age Scotland on 0131 668 8055, Age Cymru on 029 2043 1562 and Age NI on 028 9024 5729. Age UK is the new force combining Age Concern and Help the Aged, dedicated to improving later life. We provide free information, advice and support to over six million people; commercial products and services to over one million customers; and research and campaign on the issues that matter to people in later life. Our work focuses on five key areas: money matters, health and well being, home and care, work and training and leisure and lifestyle. We work with our national partners, Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI (together the Age UK Family), our local Age UK partners in England and local Age Concerns. We also support older people in more than 40 of the world's poorest countries through our subsidiary charity Age International and as a member of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC). Age UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England (registered charity number 1128267 and company number 6825798). Age Concern England and Help the Aged (both registered charities), and their trading and other associated companies merged on the 1st April 2009. Together they have formed the Age UK Group ("we"). Charitable services are offered through Age UK and commercial products are offered by the Charity's trading companies, which donate their net profits to Age UK (the Charity).

Age International

Age International is the only UK charity focusing on older people in developing countries It is a subsidiary charity of Age UK and a member of the HelpAge global network Age International raises funds in the UK to support the relief and development work of HelpAge in over 40 developing countries. We also raise awareness in the UK about the needs of older people in developing countries. And we engage in influencing and campaigning work in the UK to change policies and approaches towards older people. For further info, please visit our website

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Last updated: Oct 06 2017

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