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Your January Update

Welcome to your January Update. We hope you had a lovely festive period and are enjoying the start of the new decade. Since the last newsletter, we've been working on two new campaigns to improve life for older people, and had an exciting partnership involving chocolate.

How your support is helping people like Colin move forward

You might remember reading about Colin in our recent Christmas appeal. His wife died very suddenly after 25 years of marriage. He said she was the love of his life and that nothing could prepare him for the feeling of emptiness that followed.

Colin called the Age UK Advice Line to ask a question about his finances. After chatting for a while, our adviser realised Colin was at a low ebb, so asked if he’d like to try our telephone befriending service. That’s how he met Pooja. "We’ve been talking for 18 months now and she’s like a daughter to me," says Colin.

Colin's asked us to share an update with you, as he wanted to thank Age UK's supporters for the help he received. He told us that things are really looking up – in light of his own experiences, he's recently completed a counselling course so he can "help others by giving them someone to talk to."

The difference your support made

As we start a new year and look forward to new possibilities, we wanted to show you some of the amazing achievements made possible in the last financial year with the help of our supporters.

Together with national and local Age UKs, we helped more than 7 million people with advice, services and support. But life is getting tougher for many older people. Millions are living in poverty, while others struggle without the care they need or have no one to talk to.

It’s thanks to the continued generosity and dedication of you and other supporters that we’re able to help the older people who need us the most. Thank you so much for the care you show.

Over 2.5 million older people say they have no one to turn to for help and support.

Our advice line responded to over 200,000 enquiries from older people, their families and carers, while our website gave information to 5.2 million people.

We're working to reach more of the older people who need us most, when they need us most.

One in seven older people aren't getting the care they need to manage everyday tasks such as washing, dressing or using the toilet.

We kept up pressure on the Government to address the social care crisis, hitting the headlines 873 times to make sure this vital issue was never far from people's minds.

We'll press for urgent reform of the social care system, so that more older people can live the dignified, independent lives they deserve.

Over 5 million older people say their television or pets are their main form of company.

With the support of more than 634,000 people who signed our petition, we campaigned for TV licences to remain free for the over 75s.

If the new Government fails to save free TV licences, we'll keep fighting for the millions of lonely older people who can't afford a licence.

A sweeter way to tackle loneliness

Cadbury have recently removed the words from their Dairy Milk bars to highlight the shocking prevalence of loneliness in the UK. 225,000 older people can go a week without speaking to anyone – which is why we were proud to partner with Cadbury to raise awareness of this issue. If you bought one of the wordless bars, thank you – Cadbury have donated 30p from every bar sold!

Where there's a will, there's a way

Having a will is the best way to make sure your wishes are respected, it makes life easier for the people you love, and it's a great way to help your favourite causes. Find out more about leaving a gift in your will to Age UK.

Looking after your thinking skills

We've spoken to experts to understand more about how our brains and thinking skills change as we age, and whether there are things we can do to protect them.

Our Love Later Life Hero

This edition our Love Later Hero is Bill, a local hero in Devon. "He makes the world a better place for so many," says his daughter Beverley. Read more about Bill.

No Age Limit: our domestic abuse campaign

It's shocking to think about, but domestic abuse can happen at any age – and older people aren't currently getting the support they need. That's why we're calling on the Government to take action.

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