Are you an older person who finds it hard to make ends meet? Do you know an older person who might welcome some help with day to day living costs? If so, national charity Friends of the Elderly can offer one-off grants to older people living in England and Wales, to help relieve the stress and worry often experienced by those people living on a low income.
These grants are towards utility bills, household repairs and adaptations; the purchase of mobility aids and the replacement of essential items that support daily living, such as basic furniture, flooring, and household appliances; and the cost of equipment such as tablets and broadband to help people get and stay online. They are available to older people who are over state retirement age who are not care home residents, and who are living on a low income.
Lois Walters Engagement Hub Team Leader at Friends of the Elderly said: “Our grants are part of Friends of the Elderly’s vision of a society where all older people have the opportunity to live fulfilled lives, and its mission to support older people, especially those in need due to isolation or poverty. The grants go some way to relieving the stress and worry older people may face”.
There are one-off grants to replace essential items such as basic furniture, flooring, and household appliances. The charity can also help with utility bills, household repairs and adaptations and mobility aids. However, they do not offer grants for items already purchased, or for council tax payments, rent arrears or care home fees.
The regular allowances are paid monthly or twice a year to support older people whose income does not meet their basic cost of living. Their Winter Comforts Fund helps towards the cost of keeping warm in the winter. They also keep in touch with their regular beneficiaries by telephone and letter, hand-made birthday cards plus cards at Christmas.
Wherever possible, the charity signposts unsuccessful applicants towards other potential sources of funding.
Applications on behalf of individuals are made by referring organisations working in local communities, such as Home Improvement Agencies, Tenancy Support Workers, Social Services, Citizens Advice or Age UK. The role of the referring organisation is to assist the application process, verifying the applicant’s circumstances and supporting the applicant with purchasing the item or service they need.
When an application is successful, a cheque for a one-off grant will usually be made payable to the company providing the equipment or service. Payment of regular allowances will be arranged to suit the older person.
Where an applicant may be eligible for help from a benevolent charity connected with a particular trade or occupation, they will suggest an application to that charity in the first instance. However, contributions may be made towards expensive items jointly with other charities.
Please note, in order for an application to be successful, it must meet set criteria. Please download the guidance notes before applying.