Age UK Lancashire manager speaks at Breathe Easy group meeting
ANN Oliver, Age UK’s community engagement manager for Lancashire, was guest speaker at the latest meeting of the West Lancashire and Southport Breathe Easy group.
She explained what Age UK Lancashire does and how it differs from Age UK at national level, based in London.
Age UK was formed in 2009 following a merger of Help the Aged and Age Concern and the charity’s London base organises major health campaigns and applies for lottery funding.
Age UK Lancashire, meanwhile, is one of 170 local ‘federal’ Age UK areas operating independently and fundraising in its own right, although it does receive support from the London office.
It offers advice and help, including for those applying for available benefits, branches, such as the one in Moorgate, Ormskirk, also organise activities including Line Dancing, computer classes, keep-fit, tea dances, and painting.
There is also a Dementia Community Link Service, a footcare service and home help service.
Other local Age UK offices are based at Cambridge Walks in Southport and the Ecumenical Centre in Skelmersdale, while a variety of free, helpful leaflets are available on a range of subjects and a free Age UK Life-book, a useful personal organiser, can be ordered.
Ann also explained many of the other services and help Age UK can advise on, including how to ensure your name is on the Priority Services Register, run by the utility companies.
This is for people over the age of 65 or with appropriate disabilities, such as breathing problems. When there is any planned disruption or ‘outage’ of electricity or gas services, customers on the register are the first to have their services restored.
The utility companies will also move meters and give free gas checks etc., to those on the register.
The service is also particularly helpful to patients on oxygen as disruptions to electricity supply cause major problems.