Older people’s charity Independent Age has announced the nine Scottish community organisations that will receive funding through its £2 million emergency cost of living grants fund. The new funding comes amid a worsening cost of living crisis, with 1 in 7 older people in Scotland already living in poverty, and rising bills risk pushing more older people into hardship.
The nine Scotland-based charities to be funded by Independent Age offer a range of support to people in financial hardship, from help with housing issues to advice on cutting energy bills. They include a financial advice centre in Greenock, an older people’s activity hub in East Kilbride, and a voluntary service on the Isle of Harris.
Each of the organisations will receive £40,000 to help them build their capacity to get more money into the pockets of older people in later life. All of the charities work directly with older people to help those struggling with the cost of living and ensure they are not forced to choose between heating their home and eating a meal.
Among these organisations is Glasgow’s Golden Generation. The group runs three day centres across Glasgow which aim to reduce loneliness and social isolation through activities, a three course lunch and entertainment during the week, and offers professional benefits advice through its Careline. Glasgow’s Golden Generation also trains volunteers to visit older adults in their homes, keeping older Glaswegians more active and involved in their communities for longer.
Richard Donald, CEO at Glasgow’s Golden Generation, said:
“GGG is hugely grateful to Independent Age for funding our digital and financial inclusion cafes. The cafes will continue to support older people across Glasgow to navigate one of the most challenging economic crises in recent memory. GGG’s digital and welfare teams will be on hand to provide digital training and benefits & grants advice. At the end of each session, attendees will enjoy a warm bowl of soup and a sandwich. As the cost of everyday food items soar, we are hearing from an increasing number of older people who are sadly having to make the difficult choice between eating and heating. Securing funding from Independent Age has been a lifeline for the charity, and for the older people we support.”
Claire Donaghy, Head of Scotland at Independent Age, said:
“People in later life in Scotland are facing a winter of despair as food and energy prices push even more into financial hardship. Our emergency cost of living grants are designed to help older people across the UK at serious risk of poverty. The community-based charities we have funded through the programme are ideally placed to provide much needed practical support directly to those in need.
“We’re deeply aware that although our emergency grant funding will go some way to lessening the impact of the rising cost of living for some of Scotland’s most at-risk older people, the scale of the challenge ahead is monumental. When we launched the fund we were flooded with requests for support, highlighting the scale of the problem. We were very grateful that Pension Insurance Corporation have match funded the programme, allowing us to reach many more people in need.”
The Cost of living Grants Fund has been match-funded with a £1 million donation from Pension Insurance Corporation (‘PIC’) a specialist insurer of defined benefit pension schemes. Thanks to the additional funding from PIC, Independent Age has been able to double the size of the fund to £2 million meaning the charity is now providing grants to 50 charities and community organisations. PIC has also provided £500,000 to fund six new advisor roles in Independent Age’s National Services Team.