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Age UK and Dunelm join forces to launch new initiative to help older people who are feeling lonely

Published on 25 January 2024 12:00 AM

  • Dunelm announces £2m partnership with Age UK
  • New research from Age UK shows that 1.5m older people don’t leave home for social events and 1.6m don’t have someone to talk to about their feelings

Dunelm, the UK’s leading homewares retailer, and Age UK have just announced a new three-year partnership to raise £ 2 million to help create communities that feel like home for older people, by combatting loneliness and providing more practical support over the phone and in local communities. 

The Partnership will help provide practical support, through its free national Advice Line, Telephone Friendship Service and The Silver Line Helpline, as well as local Age UKs across the country which offer a range of services such as day centres, benefits advice and social activity classes and groups.

New research from Age UK found that 3 million older people (a quarter/24% of those aged over 65) say that the TV or radio is their main source of company, and 1.6 million older people saying they don’t have someone to talk to about their feelings.

As the Home of Homes, Dunelm's vision is to create a society in which older people feel at home in a supportive and welcoming community that offers a real respite from the sense of loneliness experienced by so many. Together Age UK and Dunelm hope to build communities that feel like home for older people, and everyone else.

Funds raised from this partnership will be generated through the sales of hot beverages and seasonal menu items from Dunelm’s Pausa instore cafes, as well as carrier bag sales, customer online donations and by charitable enterprises driven by Dunelm stores, depots and office-based colleagues.

Every penny raised will go towards practical Age UK support to help older people in their homes and communities: information, advice and friendship delivered over the phone across the country.

Additional support will be delivered in communities where Dunelm colleagues and customers live, delivered by Age UK’s network of local charities. The £2m raised will enable Age UK to help at least 200,000 older people who are struggling the most.

Paul Farmer, CEO at Age UK, said: “We’re proud to be partnering with Dunelm, raising vital funds to help support Age UK’s ongoing work, nationally and locally, to help older people in their homes and communities. ‘Home’ means so much more than bricks and mortar, it’s a sense of belonging, of feeling safe, welcome and appreciated. Sadly, more and more older people are telling us that this simply isn’t their reality.

“Together with Dunelm, we are on a mission to redefine the concept of home for those who are struggling to find warmth, companionship and practical help to do more than simply survive. Whether that’s through advice and friendship delivered over the phone, or via frontline support, this partnership will prove pivotal in expanding our support network to more older service users up and down the country.”

Nick Wilkins, CEO at Dunelm, said: “It is no surprise to me that so many of our colleagues and customers voted for Age UK to be the new Dunelm national charity.  As the home of homes, we have a natural role to play in creating a community that feels like home for older people.  We have a fantastic opportunity, nationally and locally, to make a real difference in combatting loneliness.”

For more information about the Dunelm partnership visit






Notes to editors:

Age UK

We work with our national partners, Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI and our local Age UK partners in England (together the Age UK Family). We also work internationally for people in later life as a member of the DEC and with our sister charity Help Age International.

Age UK believes that everyone should have the opportunity to make the most of later life, whatever their circumstances. 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.

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).

For more information

Contact the Age UK Media team on 020 3033 1430 during office hours (Mon-Fri 08:30-17:30) or for out-of-hours media support please email

See media contacts

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Last updated: Jul 18 2024

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