Our work so far
Asking supermarkets to take action
Since January, we've been calling on 7 major supermarkets to temporarily suspend delivery fees and minimum spends for people who are following government guidance and staying at home. We've heard from so many people that these charges are having a negative effect on their finances. So far, nearly 5,000 campaigners supported our open letter and over 2,500 people have written to supermarket CEOs asking them to waive these fees.
Thousands of campaigners have supported our call for supermarkets to waive delivery fees and minimum spends, and we’ve seen some campaign wins.
Asking our campaigners
In August, we ran another COVID-19 survey which over 5,000 people responded to. We will be using the experiences shared in this survey to continue to inform our work around COVID-19 and will raise the difficulties people are facing directly with the Government.
Evidence in verse
Working with some of our brilliant campaigners, we gave evidence to the House of Lords Coronavirus Committee who were looking at ‘Life Beyond COVID-19.’ This inquiry encouraged organisations to be creative so we submitted a voice recording from Maggie and a poem from Sarah, alongside our written evidence.
Focussing on bereavement
We estimated that up to 98,000 older people were bereaved of a partner during the COVID-19 lockdown. This includes deaths caused by COVID-19 but also due to other reasons. We shared this in an evidence session of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus and the figure was reported in The Guardian, The Daily Mirror, The Daily Telegraph, iNews and The Daily Mail.
Sharing some Home Truths
Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we have been working with our campaigners to share their experiences through our content series Home Truths. We’ve featured blogs on access to food, receiving social care, loneliness, bereavement and the importance of saying goodbye, and so much more.
Raising your concerns
Alongside other charities, we wrote to the Government and supermarket leaders raising your stories and calling for urgent improvements to the way people can access food during the pandemic. Since this letter, we’ve been attending regular meetings with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have successfully called for several key initiatives that ensure that those most in need can access food at this time.
Meeting with Ministers
We met with the Government Minister responsible for food access and highlighted that many people in later life, and their carers, have been struggling to get the food they need. The Government has now taken steps to address this by widening the number of people entitled to more help, and has published guidance on accessing food and essential supplies.
A focus on supermarkets
With other charities, we put pressure on the Government to collate information on the regulations in place for different supermarkets. This means charities like us can now more easily advise people on accessing food during the pandemic. We have also been reviewing Government guidance for supermarkets and local authorities to ensure the key challenges facing people in later life at this time are considered.
Standing up for social care
Working with other charities, we wrote to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to call for more support for the social care system during the pandemic. We were pleased to see the Government announce a social care strategy but COVID-19 has made the case for social care reform even more clear and we will continue to campaign for this after the pandemic.
Raising your concerns in Parliament
Using the stories and concerns raised in our coronavirus survey, we have shared the experiences of people in later life directly with decision makers, through briefings to MPs and evidence submissions to parliamentary committees.
Clearing up COVID-19 guidance
An Independent Age poll of people over 65 found that 43% incorrectly believed that the Government had instructed over-70s without any underlying health conditions to shield themselves by not leaving the house at all. We asked our campaigners to use our briefing to challenge people using unclear or incorrect language about what people should or shouldn’t be doing during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Calling for better communication
Over 500 of our campaigners wrote to their MP to call for clearer COVID-19 guidance for everyone the Government had put in the clinically vulnerable group. Clear explanations of what the guidance means and the evidence behind it would allow people to make informed decisions to protect their health during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Hearing from our campaigners
At the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, we surveyed our campaigners and over 2,500 people responded. The experiences shared in this survey helped inform our work and told us what we should be focussing on. Nearly 2,000 people responded to our second survey on access to food and the responses have allowed us to raise the difficulties people are facing directly with the Government.
Our COVID-19 FAQs
Our FAQs go through a range of issues you might be facing during COVID-19 and offer information and advice that might help.