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Age UK axes drop-in sessions for elderly

PUBLISHED: 06:00 20 April 2017

Age UK Somerset IT course

Age UK Somerset IT course

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Drop-in sessions which provided advice and support to elderly people in North Somerset have been stopped.

Age UK Somerset ran monthly sessions in Nailsea and Portishead so people could pop in to speak to advisors about care issues, benefits and money, housing and services provided by the charity. Due to a cut in funding, the charity has had to axe the face-to-face sessions, but people are being encouraged to call its helpline for instead.

Phil Dolan, chief executive of Age UK Somerset, said: “We are desperately disappointed we’ve had to withdraw the drop-in sessions.

“We are encouraging people to ring straight through to our information and advice line instead. It’s going to be the same advice and help but over the phone rather than face-to-face.

“Our funding sources are from lots of different pots. We had some money from local authorities, some from the health sector and also from legacies. All of that has dropped.

“We had to look closely at all our services to make sure we were providing the best value. Unfortunately, the information and advice sessions fall on us as a cost. As much as we’d like to provide face to face support, we’ve got the central number that people can ring, so the service has not been totally lost.

“It’s a service which has been valued by a lot of people. If we can’t help, we can signpost people to an organisation that can.

“We get a lot of queries related to the attendance allowance, which our staff are trained to help people with.”

The charity offers a wide range of support for people over 60 including a befriending service, information and advice, toe nail cutting clinics, social groups and activities such as cooking and computer skills.

People can now access the information and advice service on 01823 345613.

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