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National seal of approval

Published on 07 November 2017 12:00 AM

Sheffield's leading older persons charity is celebrating after a vital information service used by thousands of over-50s was given a national seal of approval.

Age UK Sheffield's information and advice service offers much needed guidance on everything from benefits and money, to health and housing either over the phone or face-to-face.

It's just undergone the Age UK I&A Quality Programme for the first time- a rigorous national inspection which puts every aspect of the potentially life changing service under the microscope.

The charity passed with flying colours, winning praise for the way the service is managed, the contingency arrangements it has in place for staff absences and a range of other important benchmarks.

The assessment even included a perfect 10 score from a 'mystery shopper', who posed as a caller needing advice to test the quality and the detail of the information they were given.

The glowing report also means Age UK Sheffield's service has achieved the Advice Quality Standard- an important mark which is open to any local advice service and gives reassurance to the public about the quality of information offered.

Age UK Sheffield Chief Executive Steve Chu, said: "We are fiercely proud of the information and advice Age UK Sheffield provides, which we know makes thousands of older people in our city feel more confident, less stressed and better off.

"Importantly, this quality mark demonstrates the excellence of the advice our small team of well-trained staff provide.  Unlike other, similar advice services our life changing guidance is entirely reliant on our fundraisers and supporters, including Westfield Health, the Jusaca Trust and the Henry Smith Charity.

"Anyone aged 50 or over who needs advice on issues such as benefits, care, health, housing or consumer issues can contact us for free, independent information and advice."

Last year 2,488 people aged 50 or over in Sheffield accessed the information or advice service.

For more details, ring Age UK Sheffield on 0114 250 2850 during office hours, or go to one of the charity's drop in sessions at its Eyre Street headquarters on Mondays to Thursdays from 10am to 3.30pm.