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Building Better Lives

The Building Better Lives programme at Age UK provided information, advice and support to people experiencing significant life events, to help them build financial resilience and get the most out of later life.

What was Building Better Lives?

Our Building Better Lives programme was delivered through holistic, person-centred advice sessions with older people over the age of 50. The programme specifically targeted people who were experiencing a significant life event, such as a change in financial circumstances, a bereavement, separation, or a change in health or care needs. Our skilled advisers provided one-to-one sessions aimed at supporting people to address their situation and achieve what mattered most to them.

Our knowledgeable advisers also offered everyone free benefit entitlement checks, to help older people claim what they're entitled to and build financial resilience. With the ongoing cost of living crisis, this has never been more important.

Where did the programme run?

Building Better Lives was delivered by six local Age UKs and one Age Cymru:

Age Scotland also delivered free group information sessions on benefits for people over State Pension age and on Attendance Allowance.

What impact did Building Better Lives have on older people?

Between April 2021 and May 2023, the Building Better Lives programme supported 4,639 older people who were experiencing a significant life event.

Through this work, 3,639 benefit claims were made and £8.2 million was identified in unclaimed benefits – which worked out as an average of £1,764.68 for each older person supported through the project.

The project was focused on providing positive financial outcomes for older people. 60% of people supported through the project had a financial focus, whether that was because:

  • they were on a low income (less than £16,190 per year)
  • their finances had been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic
  • their significant life event had led to changes in their financial situation.

The programme supported people to access their entitlements at a time when they really needed it.

Fantastic support and follow-up, it improved my quality of life.

Blackburn Client

Results from the information and advice service

The results from our follow-up surveys suggest that holistic information and advice programmes like this can improve people's sense of wellbeing and reduce anxiety. We asked people how they felt about their situation since speaking to Age UK about it. Of the people surveyed, we found:

  • 83% had a positive change to their situation 
  • 87% felt happier about their situation 
  • 81% felt less worried about their situation.

Benefit awareness raising sessions

716 people attended Age Scotland's workshops, providing information on the benefit entitlements for older people in Scotland.

  • 41% of people who attended were older people attending for themselves
  • 59% of people who attended were family members with older relatives, carers or professionals working with older people.


said they knew knew more about the benefits that are available to older people after the sessions


said they would feel more comfortable claiming a benefit they were entitled to after the sessions

Our partner

Age UK is extremely grateful to Yorkshire Building Society for funding the Building Better Lives programme.

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Last updated: Oct 06 2023

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