A charity operating across the nation and that focuses on older people is Friends of the Elderly. The organisation offers several different services to those individuals that are struggling and that have a low income, however one of the main programmes is the grants they provide. As part of this financial aid, there are different schemes provided, such as Winter Comforts Fund for paying heating bills, ongoing allowances, help for obtaining mobility aids, and more.
The charity partners with many other organisations, such as Citizens Advice as well as social workers from local councils. Anyone that wants to apply for a grant needs to be referred to Friends of the Elderly, and to get this referral they should contact one of their partner organisations indicated.
Information and support is provided from the Central Management Team, and they focus on assisting elderly and trying to help them obtain the items they need in order to live worry free. Many people struggle with paying for food and other needs. With the reductions in benefits and flat pensions that the elderly are facing, the problems faced continue to grow. So the grants from the charity can assist with those needs.
Other programmes are also available, and they include Home Support, Day Clubs as well Dementia Care. The charity provides those and many other forms of assistance to the elderly, with a focus on England and Wales.
What can the elderly use the grants for?
There are two types, and there are both one off grants available as well as a regular allowance, which can be used a couple times per year. Both of them can help the elderly pay for different types of bills and/or household items.
One scheme from Friends of the Elderly is the Winter Comforts Fund. This is part of the regular allowance, and it can help an elderly person and the individuals in their household pay for gas and heating bills. The charity may also be able to help the client enter into payment plan with their fuel provider. So this is one example of an allowance, and there may be other needs addressed too from it.
One off grants can be provided for essential items. This includes furniture, mobility aids, bedding, appliances, fridges, and the like. Some people, whether elderly or those with a physical disability, may need help with adaptions for their home or repairs to it to make it safe, and Friends of the Elderly can help with that need too.
Application process for a one off grant or allowance
To apply for a grant, the applicant needs to be referred from an agency. Self-referrals are not available. Call upon organisations such as Age UK, a local Tenancy Support Worker or CAB centre. They will need to verify eligibility, answer questions on the application process, and provide other support as needed.
Each application is reviewed by the charity’s team. Since the grants is for exceptional circumstances, most people seeking help have savings under £3,000. They also need to be on a low income or facing poverty, as well as over the age of 60, as the goal is to help the vulnerable with their needs.
If the award or grant is not successful, then the team at Friends of the Elderly will signpost the individual to other charity programmes or government benefits local to them. If the applicant has been approved, the a cheque will be issued to the service provider. The applicant will not receive any money directly.