Age UK East Sussex – Benefits Advice and Community Resource vehicle

In October Age UK East Sussex were delighted to receive a grant of £6,351 from the Elise Pilkington Charitable Trust to part fund the purchase of a Benefits Advice and Community Resource vehicle.

The aim of this project is to increase access to the Information and Advice service delivered by Age UK East Sussex. At community venues across the county this vehicle will provide a warm, comfortable and safe environment where older people can get support where they live. Through this free and confidential service trained advisors will work with local older people:

• conducting benefits checks and help with making a claim
• ensuring they have enough money to meet basic needs
• providing contact with Age UK East Sussex services and other local support agencies
• being a destination for collecting NHS hearing aid batteries
• distributing publications on issues relevant to older people

Alleviating poverty is an important part of the support that will be provided for older people from the Benefits Advice and Community Resource vehicle. Currently £1.7m in pension credit and £2.2m in council tax are not being claimed by older people despite their entitlement. Often older people are unaware of their entitlements or are either reluctant to make a claim or require assistance with form-filling. Last year Age UK East Sussex collected over £178,000 in unclaimed benefits for older people.

Thanks to the support from the Elise Pilkington Charitable Trust Age UK East Sussex we will be able to support more local older people where they go to as part of their daily lives.