On Friday 25 January, MP for Eastbourne and Willingdon, Stephen Lloyd, met local representatives from Independent Age, the charity which provides befriending and an information and advice service for older people, their families and carers. Last year alone, Independent Age helped over 11,000 older people with its range of advice, information, befriending and social activity services.

Friday’s meeting was the perfect opportunity for Stephen Lloyd MP to get to know some of the local Independent Age volunteers and learn more about its local services from two people who receive support from the charity. Independent Age currently supports 44 older people in Eastbourne and the surrounding villages, where, at the moment, we have 10 volunteers who visit an average of three older people each.

Stephen Lloyd MP said, "I know Independent Age well, they are a well established charity. In Eastbourne they are a really vibrant group. The service and support that Independent Age provides plays a really useful role in the local community. Many elderly people just need that little bit of extra support or help, and Independent Age is ideally placed to provide that. I can't recommend them highly enough." Independent Age Area Manager for East Sussex, Amanda Jupp, said, “Befriending and support is one of the most important aspects of Independent Age, so I am delighted that Stephen Lloyd MP was able to learn firsthand from people who are benefitting from the charity’s work, about the difference these services are making to their lives.”

Stephen Lloyd MP also met two local older people, Mrs Shirley McCall and Miss Paula Wise, who have been supported by Independent Age for several years and who talked about the help they have received. Mrs McCall said “It’s the most marvellous feeling to know that people are there for you if you need them.”

For further information regarding our local befriending and volunteering scheme, please contact our East Sussex Area Manager, Amanda Jupp, on amanda.jupp@independentage.org .

There are currently 6 older people in Eastbourne and the surrounding villages who are in need of a volunteer to visit them.

Notes to editor

For media enquiries, contact Rebecca Law on 020 7605 4291 or 07545 209 589, or email Rebecca.Law@independentage.org

About Independent Age

Independent Age is a unique and growing charity, providing information, advice and support for thousands of older people across the UK and the Republic of Ireland. In 2011, it merged with two other older people’s charities, Counsel and Care and the Universal Beneficent Society, to provide a broader range of services than any of the charities could provide separately. For more information, visit our website www.independentage.org

Speak to one of our advisers for free and confidential advice and information on home care, care homes, going into hospital and other related issues. Lines are open Monday to Friday between 10am - 4pm. Call 0845 262 1863 or email advice@independentage.org

About Stephen Lloyd MP

Stephen Lloyd was elected MP for Eastbourne and Willingdon in 2010, having previously contested the seat in 2005. Immediately after the election Stephen was named by the Observer newspaper as one of the 'new MPs to watch'.

Prior to becoming an MP Stephen worked in business for over 20 years, latterly as a business development consultant for the FSB (Federation for Small Business). Prior to that he was a business development director at the highly successful, global performance improvement company, The Grass Roots Group, and before that ran his own small business.

In parliament Stephen has quickly become active across a range of areas: These include being elected to the powerful Work and Pensions Select Committee; becoming Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Citizens Advice Bureau, and Co-Chair for the APPG on Apprenticeships, Vice Chair of the APPG on Deafness, Mental Health, Ageing and Older People, Town Centre Management, MS, Trading Standards, Microfinance, Pharmacy and Justice for Equitable Life Policyholders. Soon after the election, the FSB invited him to be their business champion in parliament.

In the summer of 2011, Stephen was appointed as the Co-Chair of the Lib Dem Northern Ireland Committee.

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