Older people’s views on the ongoing impact of Covid on the delivery of Age UK Services 

Highlights of the conversations Age UK has had with older people on their Services Sounding Board about their feelings on face-to-face services.

In recent months, the data and feedback we have collected from local Age UKs has indicated that there remains some reluctance on the part of older people to engage in face-to-face interaction, either in their home or at another venue. In light of this, we spoke to the Age UK Services Sounding Board about this issue to gather their views and help inform our next steps. You can view the highlights of this conversation below.

The Services Sounding Board is a group of older people, from different locations across England, who represent seldom-heard voices (for example carers, people from a range of ethnic minority groups, people with disabilities, people whose first language is not English).

The conversation at the Sounding Board provided useful insight, a few highlights summarised below: 

  • Many older people have lost confidence and remain concerned about the risks around Covid. One person said “fear can easily become a habit”.
  • People think more carefully before leaving the house. Following Covid, they realise what is possible without needing to go out so, if it isn’t essential, they may choose not to.
  • For some people, there is a reluctance to use public transport and risk being exposed to Covid, but for those who don’t have a car, it is more difficult to get out and about.
  • There was no consensus from the group as to what steps in relation to Covid should or shouldn’t be taken in order to keep people safe. For example, some people stated that use of hand sanitiser is essential, others felt it was useful in general hygiene but has minimal impact on the spread of Covid.
  • Where services are taking steps to keep people safe from Covid, they should ensure this is clear so people know in advance of coming along to any activity.  
  • Messaging could come from the facilitator of the relevant service/activity to demonstrate a personal awareness of the issues.
  • The group felt that there is a lack of clear messaging about how to stay safe. Many people have remained mindful of the “stay at home” message, which has remained one clear way to protect yourself. The mixed messages about other aspects of Covid safety have led to confusion and caution as a result. 

The feedback from the group has been shared with the Age UK Content team and Age UK’s Covid information and messaging will be reviewed as a result. We hope that the feedback above is useful for in considering any steps that can be taken to encourage older people to access services in-person (where this is beneficial for them).  

If you have any additional feedback or comments, or would like to discuss this further, please contact Alison Ingram – alison.ingram@ageuk.org.uk.  

A huge thank you to Warm Homes teams across the country!

A look back at the last 11 years of the Warm Homes Programme, and a huge thank you for the brilliant work carried out by hundreds of staff and volunteers across the Age UK network!

A huge thank you from the Warm Homes team at Age UK for the brilliant work carried out by hundreds of staff and volunteers across the Age UK network! Read on to find out all about the impact the programme has had as it heads into its twelfth year of delivery.

Over the last 11 years the Warm Homes programme, funded by energy companies, has successfully delivered services to enable older people to stay warm and well through the winter months. The delivery of this programme has required an enormous amount of time, effort and expertise from teams across the Age UK network and this is telling in the incredible impact the programme has had. Overall, across benefit checks and home energy checks, together we’ve been able to support 236,614 older people across England and Wales and identified over £413 million in benefits and home energy savings over the past 11 years!

A total of 246,496 benefit checks have been delivered by local teams identifying an average of £2,564.10 in unclaimed benefits for each client. These benefits are likely to be a much needed source of income for older people to alleviate the pressures of the soaring cost of living, which are forcing many to choose between heating and eating.

In addition, home energy checks have seen 249,896 pieces of energy efficiency equipment installed through 46,074 checks, helping to save an average of £37.39 on each household’s fuel bill and 117.69 kg in CO2. The support provided through home energy checks has, and continues to, help older people save energy, stay warm and reduce their rising energy bills.

Building on the success of the previous 11 years, the programme is now approaching its 12th year of delivery and will fund over 75 local Age UKs to deliver support in 2022/23. The deadline to apply for this year’s programme has now passed but we will let you know when the 2023/24 programme opens up again.

A huge thank you from the Warm Homes team at Age UK for the brilliant work carried out by hundreds of staff and volunteers across the Age UK network. We know that you have gone above and beyond to deliver this programme across the past 11 years, and we look forward to continuing to work together with you in future.

Press Release: Age UK responds to OFGEM’s announcement that the price cap will rise by 80%

A statement from Age UK’s Charity Director Caroline Abrahams, following OFGEM’s announcement that the price cap will rise by 80% to £3,549 from 1st October 2022.

Age UK has released a statement this morning, following OFGEM’s announcement that the price cap will rise by 80% to £3,549 from 1st October 2022. You can read the full response, including a statement from Age UK’s Charity Director Caroline Abrahams, below.

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said:

“Although the ballpark figure for the new price cap had been trailed in advance, there will be many older people for whom today’s announcement is completely new and a huge shock. Millions of pensioners will now be coming to terms with the reality of what it means for them: the prospect of trying somehow to get through the autumn and winter with prices soaring and yet with very little flex in their fixed incomes. It’s a truly frightening prospect and one that most could not have prepared for, and never expected to face at this point in their lives. I think a lot of older people will be utterly bewildered that it has come to this and will also feel badly let down, and I can’t say I blame them.

“The new Prime Minister must make their first act providing additional support for the millions of households in our country whom rising inflation is set to overwhelm, among them many pensioners. We are fast approaching a national emergency which will leave a significant proportion of the population unable to afford even a basic standard of living. Every day older people are telling us how scared they are; they need urgent reassurance from the Government that they will not abandon them.

“It’s later than the Government thinks: we understand that there is essentially a transition underway between one Prime Minister and the next, but every day the economic forecasts seem to worsen and yet there is no clear word from the centre about how they will respond. Unfortunately, this is increasing the sense of insecurity many older people feel.

“That’s why the new Government must act quickly to give older people hope and confidence. In the meantime, it would be extremely helpful if both candidates made it clear that they will stand by those with most to fear from soaring inflation, among them many pensioners, over the difficult months to come.”

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director, Age UK

As a matter of urgency, Age UK is calling on the Government to:

  • Provide a significant new package of financial support which will fully mitigate the impact of these price rises for vulnerable consumers
  • Help those older people who are at greatest risk of missing out on energy support, particularly the around 1 million older households with a pre-payment meter, those living in park homes, those who are ‘off grid’, care home residents and people without access to the internet
  • Reassure older people in Northern Ireland that help will reach them despite the lack of a sitting Assembly
  • Keep their promise to reinstate the triple lock in April 2023
  • Introduce a social tariff into the energy market which discounts bills for those most in need, automatically enrols eligible households, sits alongside existing support and is mandatory for all suppliers
  • Help insulate vulnerable consumers from spiralling energy bills by investing in household energy efficiency for those on the lowest incomes
  • Age UK is urging older people to call its free national advice line on 0800 169 65 65 before turning the heating down or off, to check they are receiving all the financial support available to them, including key benefits such as Pension Credit and Attendance Allowance. In addition, energy suppliers have a duty to offer support if people are struggling with bills or debt, so the Charity is urging people to contact their supplier directly to ask about available support including an affordable repayment plan.

Impact of Covid-19 on Older People – 4th wave research report & fact sheet

Age UK’s Health Influencing Team have shared the report, presentation, and polling data for the fourth wave of their research into the impact of Covid-19 on older people.

The Health Influencing team are pleased to share the fourth wave of research into the impact of Covid-19 on older people. The latest research, conducted in March and April 2022, has shown a slight improvement across many areas of life, but nowhere near as much as we would have expected or liked to see. View the full research report, along with slides and the polling stats, below.

Please note that the results from our research have not been published yet by Age UK, so we request that these are only used for bids and presentations to aide local health and care system influencing, not local media or for open publication. If you have any questions, please contact Healthinfluencing@ageuk.org.uk.

Access the report, the slides, and the polling stats:


View the 1st, 2nd, & 3rd waves of research:


Get in touch!

If you have any questions, please contact Healthinfluencing@ageuk.org.uk.

Press Release: Age UK’s open letter to the candidates for Prime Minister

Age UK has written to both candidates for Prime Minister to share the findings from a recent survey of older people’s priorities. Read the full press release here.

Age UK recently surveyed people aged 65+ to find out their priorities for our next Prime Minister, with the cost of living crisis emerging as their top priority. Age UK’s latest press release includes a letter to both candidates for Prime Minister calling on them to commit to firm action on tackling the worsening shortfalls in funding and personnel undermining both the NHS and social care.

So far, this story has been published in the Daily Mirror and the Daily Express this morning and you can read the full press release on the loop here.

If you have any problems accessing the loop, please email theloop@ageuk.org.uk.

Get Safe Online’s “Safe Online Banking” Campaign

Get Safe Online have provided a social media pack for any organisations interested in spreading the word about their Safe Online Banking campaign.

August sees the launch of Get Safe Online’s “Safe Online Banking” campaign to ensure that we’re all using internet and mobile banking safely and responsibly. They’ve provided a social media pack which you may wish to use to spread the word amongst your networks. You can find out full details below.

Going online – whether via banks’ websites or apps – is the UK’s favourite method of banking, bringing many benefits over in-branch banking, with instant account checking, payments and money transfers. This month’s campaign provides advice on ensuring that we’re all using internet and mobile banking safely and responsibly.  

Get Safe Online have shared a wide range of suggested tweets and posts on different aspects of this month’s awareness campaign, along with some photos and infographics which you can download below:

Upcoming Press Release: Claiming Pension Credit

View the latest press release on Pension Credit from Age UK, which is embargoed until Wednesday 27th July.

Age UK’s Media Team have prepared a press release to encourage older people to claim Pension Credit before 18th August in order to qualify for the Government’s first cost of living payment. This release is embargoed until Wednesday 27th July, but we wanted to share it with you before it is sent to the media tomorrow, so you can view it on the loop here. If you have any problems accessing the loop, please email theloop@ageuk.org.uk.

Loneliness Awareness Week – Resources to tackle loneliness all year round

Following on from Loneliness Awareness Week, here are some resources to help local Age UKs to continue tackling loneliness all year round!

Thank you to everyone who helped to make Loneliness Awareness Week a success! Following on from last week, there are some fantastic resources now available to support your regular work. Find out full details below.

The resources available cover a whole range of topics, including:

  • Supporting low-income households to overcome loneliness
  • Social prescribing to tackle loneliness
  • Loneliness in the workplace

Available Resources

1. Webinar – Tackling Loneliness at its Roots

If you missed our webinar, Tackling Loneliness at its Roots: how can we best support low-income households to overcome social isolation?, you can watch it here.

Thanks again to Jenny Paton from Age UK Wirral for an excellent presentation on their work tackling loneliness in conjunction with their local hospital trust, this is definitely worth a watch.

2. Social Prescribing Materials

If you’re working on or interested in social prescribing, you can access some great material from our resource drive here.

We worked with other organisations tackling loneliness through social prescribing to pool resources, and have collated some really helpful Guidance and Top Tips and Research and Evidence material.

3. Workshop – Loneliness in the Workplace

If you missed the workshop on loneliness in the workplace, take this opportunity to look at some of the material presented and think about what you can do to support staff and colleagues who may be experiencing loneliness.

You can access these resources here.

4. Loneliness Minister’s Visit to Age UK Herefordshire & Worcestershire

And if you haven’t already, read more here about the Loneliness Minister’s visit to walking football in his constituency at Age UK Herefordshire and Worcestershire last Friday.

A huge thank you to everyone who worked to make the visit such a success.

If you have any further questions, please contact Rhianon.Steeds@ageuk.org.uk.

“Place Making or Making Place?” – Webinar Recording now Available

“Place Making or Making Place?” was a webinar that took place as part of the Age of Creativity Festival. The recording of this webinar is now available for you to view.

Last month we shared details of “Place Making or Making Place?” a webinar to explore the role of older people, creativity and culture in creating ‘vibrant’ places to live. The recording of this event is now available to view here. Read on to find out more about the event.

This discussion sought to explore how different sectors perceive the role of ‘place’ and ‘making’ in relation to creativity and culture and those who experience the most inequality.

The research event was put together by Age UK Oxfordshire’s Creative Team specifically for the Age of Creativity Festival and it covers topics and case studies exploring:

  • How does creativity/ culture contribute to ‘vibrant’ places for older people beyond local tourism?
  • What constitutes a creative/ cultural ‘asset’ to older communities experiencing inequality?
  • What ‘value’ do we give creativity/culture and older communities experiencing inequalities in rebranding places?
  • What role does place based leadership have in making places both ‘Creative/ Cultural’ and ‘Age Friendly’?
  • How can inequalities be tackled by ‘making’ in place and is this place leadership?

The lineup of speakers included:

  • Professor David Amigoni FEA – Director, Keele Institute for Social Inclusion (KISI), Keele Deal Culture & ArtsKeele (chair)
  • Carola Boehm – Professor of Arts and Higher Education, Staffordshire University
  • Rose Gilroy – Professor of Ageing Planning and Policy, Chair of Future Homes Alliance, School of Architecture Planning and Landscape
  • Steven Millington – Director/ Senior Fellow at The Institute of Place Management and Reader in Place Management at Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Jason Jones-Hall – Director of Development, Five10Twelve
  • Neil Johnson – Engagement Project Lead, Liverpool City Region

Click here to watch the recording of the event.

A Call for Stories to Celebrate the Warm Homes Programme

To celebrate and showcase 11 years of working together on the Warm Homes Programme, Age UK’s Corporate Partnerships Team are looking to record some case studies to demonstrate the impact of the programme.

We have now been working in partnership to deliver the Warm Homes Programme for over 11 years! To celebrate this, we are aiming to showcase stories from across the Age UK Network to demonstrate the impact that the programme has had, and we would be grateful for your help to do so.

Do you know someone who has benefited from the Warm Homes Programme and would be willing to share their story on camera? And are you as a local partner interested in being involved to highlight the incredible work you have done to bring this programme to life?

We want to celebrate not only the impact that the Warm Homes Programme has had on older people but also to highlight our long-standing partnership with e.on. Our aim is to share the stories with our corporate funders to demonstrate the incredible success of the programme and the impact it has on older people. We would also share the footage with you for your own use.

Filming Details:

  • We are hoping to film later this month but this can be flexible based upon your availability.
  • We would like to co-ordinate one day of filming, this can either be at your Age UK/Cymru office or in the older person’s home depending on availability and individual preference.
  • We would like to highlight the story of an older person who has received support either through a Home Energy Check or a Benefits Entitlement Check.    
  • We would also like to film someone from the Age UK/Cymru Partner to understand the impact of the programme in your community.
  • We will of course be more than happy to share the footage with you for your own promotional use.  

Contact Details

If you would like to get involved and showcase the incredible work you all do, please let us know as soon as possible by contacting Tayla Shirley at Tayla.shirley@ageuk.org.uk

Alternatively, if there is someone else in your organisation who would be interested in taking part, please feel free to pass this along and ask them to get in touch.

Applications now open for this year’s Warm Homes Programme

As you may have seen in our post earlier this week, the Warm Homes Programme is set to return this Autumn! Find out more here, including how to apply and details of an upcoming introductory webinar.