Norfolk Age Concern's �1m pensioners' payback
An older person's charity has helped to put more than �1m into the pockets of hard-pressed Norfolk pensioners over the past year.By helping elderly people fill out forms and apply for benefits, Age Concern Norfolk has ensured they get the money to which they are entitled.
An older person's charity has helped to put more than �1m into the pockets of hard-pressed Norfolk pensioners over the past year.
By helping elderly people fill out forms and apply for benefits, Age Concern Norfolk has ensured they get the money to which they are entitled.
The figure, revealed at Age Concern Norfolk's annual general meeting yesterday, is believed to be just a fraction of the financial support received by older people thanks to the charity's work on their behalf.
Hilary McDonald, chief executive of Age Concern Norfolk, which works closely with other branches of Age Concern across the county, said the �1,077,627 handed out only related to attendance allowance and disability living allowance applications.
She said: 'It doesn't take into consideration council tax benefits and the other benefits we help people to access.
'We have wonderful thank you letters coming back and very positive feedback from the people we have helped and I think it is one of our most impressive achievements.'
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The meeting also heard how the charity has seen huge increases in the number of people they have helped in the past year.
Calls to its telephone helpline and visits to its drop-in appointments and legal advice sessions have increase by 16pc.
The number of benefit out-reach visits made to help people fill out forms has risen by 24pc.
The charity has also assisted 98pc more people in reviewing benefits to which they are entitled.
Ms McDonald said: 'Our ability to be able to respond owes a great deal to the dedication, commitment and skills of our staff and volunteers.
'We couldn't provide the raft of services that we do without the support of staff and volunteers - they do a tremendous job.'
More than 100 people from older people's organisations, as well as from social services and the NHS, attended the meeting yesterday.
Tom Wright, chief executive of Age Concern and Help the Aged, spoke about the merger of the two charities on a national level and about the Equality Bill, which MPs are due to vote on this autumn.
He said: 'The new charity Age Concern and Help the Aged has a vision of a world in which all older people flourish.
'We will deliver this through transforming older people's lives through policies, campaigns, products and influencing at every level of society, influencing markets as well as government, and engaging with business, society and people of every age.'