Times backs campaign to help tackle pensioner poverty

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The Newtownabbey Times/Age NI campaign is encouraging older people throughout the borough, or their family or friends, to check out if there are unclaimed benefits that could be put to good use.

Over the next few weeks we will be highlighting how easy it is to take that first step and how some older people have already been enjoying valuable additional cash in their pocket as a result.

If you or someone you know would like to have a free benefits check, ring the Age NI advice service on freephone 0808 808 7575 and speak to a trained advisor in confidence.

Age NI is the charity combining Age Concern and Help the Aged in Northern Ireland and was formed in April 2009.

For almost four years, Age NI has worked to improve later life for 350,000 older people in Northern Ireland by delivering high impact services and support that promote independence, wellbeing and increase participation.

The charity delivers a range of services and support that impacts positively on the lives of for older people, their families and carers including advice, care, services, First Connect, policy, Age Sector support and products and services.

The charity’s advice and advocacy team receives 16,000 calls per year about a range of issues from housing to benefit uptake, and itsdedicated care services teams provide over 786,000 hours of care in domiciliary, residential and day care facilities across Northern Ireland. The First Connect team provides emotional and practical support at difficult times to over 1,000 vulnerable older people.

Age NI continues to work in partnership with statutory and voluntary organisations to develop 11 strong older people’s networks consisting of 2,000 groups representing 70,000 individuals.

These networks increase skills, participation and create opportunities for people in later life to lead full and active lives. The charity also has a policy and influencing team that challenges government to tackle poverty, ageism and improve health and social care for older people now and into the future.