Lifeline offered to older people who are lonely and living in poverty

Stock image of an older woman - grants 2024With around one in five pensioners struggling with the burden of financial hardship and loneliness,[i] it is no wonder that our charitable grants programme is inundated with pleas for support.

Every day we receive grant applications from older people who are isolated, and often tell us they go for days without seeing – or even speaking – to anybody,” said Miriam Willmott, Senior Grants Officer at Friends of the Elderly.

All year round, our Charity provides grants for older people for basic household essentials and repairs, mobility aids and disability adaptations.

The Charity helped 72-year-old Grace who in recent years has developed several health problems including lung disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic back pain, which have left her increasingly fragile. Grace’s lack of mobility had made life increasingly tough.

“Often I couldn’t walk very far at all before the pain would start in my back and legs, and then I’d have difficulty breathing,” explains Grace. “It made it very hard to leave home, which was really isolating.”

Friends of the Elderly gave a grant of £400 for a mobility scooter to help give Grace her freedom back.

“It’s made a huge difference: I feel 100% happier! I can get out and go shopping – I love getting out, getting fresh air and seeing life: it makes me feel much more connected to the outside world now, and to other people” Grace told us.

Since receiving a grant, 81% of the older people we support feel less stressed and anxious. It’s wonderful to know that our grants genuinely help people, especially when they’re at their lowest,” Miriam added.

“I received a heartbreaking application from a gentleman in his 70s,” Miriam continued: “He had just been in hospital having cancer treatment, upon returning home he found his flat had been burgled – and his single bed urinated on and completely broken. He couldn’t afford a new bed or bedding, so he was sleeping on the floor under a blanket while recovering from his treatment.

Thanks to the kindness and generosity of the people who donate to our charity, we helped him purchase a new bed and bedding.

We rely on donations to make this possible. We know everyone is being stretched to the limit right now, but any money you can spare, however big or small, really does make a huge difference to the older people who come to us, because they often have nowhere else to turn.”

100% of the grants that Friends of the Elderly award come from fundraised income. You can donate here to help be a lifeline to older people who are struggling.

For more information, please call 020 7780 8263 or email Alternatively, write to Friends of the Elderly, The Bradbury Centre, Smiles Place, Woking, Surrey, GU22 8BJ.

*name changed for confidentiality

[i] Independent Age: The Hidden Two Million June 2023