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More Friends of the Elderly grants awarded thanks to partnership

In April 2018, Friends of the Elderly began a partnership with The ACT Foundation, who are matching the annual £100,000 grant fund for the next five years, taking the total fund to £1million.

The funding will be available for the next five years and will be open to all older people living in poverty in the UK. It is now the end of the second quarter of the partnership and they have awarded 420 grants. This is 74% more grants than last year.

Lois Walters, Engagement Hub Team Leader, said: “The first six months of this partnership has been amazing. Thank you so much to The ACT Foundation, which has allowed us to give away such a fantastic number of grants. It’s sad to see that there are so many older people living in financial difficulty but it’s wonderful the difference we are making to their lives through these grants.”

One beneficiary of a grant was a gentleman in his seventies who is a full-time carer for a loved one who is reliant on him in every way. This includes lifting them in and out of bed, from the bed to their wheelchair, and in and out of the bath. He found out about the grants programme while he was seeking a respite break. The Health Case Manager at his local NHS trust suggested that he apply for a grant to pay for a basic gym membership, so he could stay fit and healthy. His application was successful and he received £289 to cover a year’s membership.

The grant has helped relieve the worry of whether he could go to the gym and stay fit. It means a lot to him that he can look after his loved one in this way. He also said that the gym gives him a chance for some respite and that there is a group of other older members who he has built a relationship with:

“Being a full time carer leaves you little time for yourself, so going to the gym helps to alleviate that isolation feeling one gets. With the gym membership I retain that communication and am often made aware of things by other gym members that can easily pass you by. So the gym membership is more beneficial than just keeping fit.”

“I’m really grateful. I didn’t realise this support was available. It helped me out of a bit of anguish. It is very comforting to know there are people and organisations that we can turn to for such assistance.”

Source: Friends of the Elderly