Yorkshire Building Society teams up with Age Scotland to help lift older people out of poverty
Scotland’s charity for older people Age Scotland has joined forces with Yorkshire Building Society to help make a “life-changing” difference to vulnerable older people’s finances.
The building society is funding the nationwide two-year project with Age Scotland called ‘Building Better Lives’ that aims to raise awareness of the social security that is available and provide financial support at times of crisis by offering training for hundreds of older people throughout Scotland.
Scottish Government figures show around 150,000 older people are living in poverty, a figure that has remained relatively unchanged in recent years. It is estimated that well over 120,000 pensioners in Scotland are not claiming the important social security they are entitled to, such as Pension Credit and Council Tax Reduction, collectively missing out on more than £420 million a year.
The training, run by Age Scotland for up to 600 older people, will focus on a range of benefits and social security, and help them access their entitlements should they encounter key life events that can have a significant impact on their financial situation, such as the loss of a partner, a care diagnosis or having to move to a new house.
The project, which aims to strengthen older people’s financial resilience, is funded through money raised by Yorkshire Building Society’s colleagues, customers and the public through its charity partnership with Age Scotland.
Michelle Supple, director of charity services at Age Scotland, said: “We are delighted to be able to launch the Building Better Lives project thanks to the money raised by Yorkshire Building Society. We hope to make a life-changing difference to 600 older people in Scotland helping them to be better prepared, more financially resilient and to look to the future with hope.”
The charity partnership between Yorkshire Building Society, Age Scotland and Age UK aims to raise £1m to fund a Building Better Lives project across the whole of the UK, to provide support to more than 4,700 older people in the UK to effectively manage their finances.
Mike Regnier, chief executive of Yorkshire Building Society, added: “Now more than ever, older people need a trusted place they can turn to for advice and support. The coronavirus pandemic has intensified what was already a dire situation for thousands of vulnerable older people. This is why we are so proud to be working with Age Scotland and Age UK to ensure that older people facing challenges have someone to turn to in a time of crisis.”