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Top marks for charity advice service

Published on 02 June 2021 03:22 PM

A local charity has been recognised as the place for older people to go for advice, after receiving a glowing inspection report from an independent quality assessor.

Age UK Sheffield’s Advice Quality Standard accreditation has been renewed after a process that included the inspection of hundreds of documents and “mystery shopper” phone calls.

The charity’s Information and Advice service, which is supported by Westfield Health, provides free, independent support for people aged 50 and over in Sheffield. During 2020/21, the service supported 2,256 people, with a wide range of issues, including advice on benefits income, community care and health conditions. Officers supported people to claim over £900,000 per year of additional benefit income that they were entitled, but had not been claiming.

The inspection and report was commissioned by national charity, Age UK, who said: “It is clear there are many strengths identified in your service, and that the service is very well organised and managed. The assessor was particularly impressed by the organisation’s commitment to a customer centred approach, which was impressive and authentic.”

One mystery shopper, who phoned anonymously to test the service, said: “‘An excellent service, an extremely helpful adviser, very knowledgeable with a wide range of options for help. One of the best calls I have had.” Another added: “I was given comprehensive information and made to feel that further calls would be welcomed.”

Age UK Sheffield Chief Executive, Steve Chu, said: “It is always pleasing to see such amazing feedback about the service we provide to older people in the city. Our staff work tirelessly throughout the year and this is deserved recognition for them.”

Anyone who needs support from Age UK Sheffield can call us during office hours on (0114) 250 2850, email enquiries@ageuksheffield.org.uk or visit www.ageuk.org.uk/sheffield.

Age UK Sheffield Staff members Cody and Sarah proudly smile whilst holding the Information and Advice Quality Programme Certificate