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PCC Funding Supports Older People in Cheshire East

A recipient proudly shows off the packs he received.

Vulnerable older people in Cheshire East are being supported through the pandemic by Age UK thanks to funding from the county’s police and crime commissioner (PCC). 

It follows a report by the charity that reveals that ‘a sizeable minority (of older people) are finding life incredibly tough’ during the pandemic*. 

The Cheshire East branch of Age UK has handed out hundreds of welfare packs to older people who have been impacted by social isolation due to the pandemic.

The packs, which contain essential items, small treats like chocolate or sweets and activities such as jigsaws or quizzes to keep their mind active, have been given to some of the most vulnerable people in the community.

They were funded by PCC David Keane who provided two grants totaling £6,000 from his Safer Communities Fund to ensure these vulnerable people were supported.

The funding has also paid for the development of scam awareness advice leaflets for older people who aren’t online.

PCC David Keane said: “With many older people having to shield or stay indoors to protect themselves from Covid-19, we have unfortunately seen an increase in social isolation in our communities.

“Charities like Age UK do a fantastic job to ensure older people remain connected and have the support they need to help them through this challenging time.

“This funding has not only helped put a smile on the face of an older person, it’s also ensured they are made aware of the latest scams to reduce their risk of becoming a victim of crime.”

Damon Taylor, chief executive of Age UK Cheshire East, added: “This funding has had a positive impact on many hundreds of older people in Cheshire East.

“The welfare packs were targeted at those who we felt were most in need of such a ‘pick up’. They were very well received with one older person saying they were extremely touched by the pack and it has brought tears to their eyes.

“Thanks to the funding, we have also been able to share scams awareness messages with a wider audience and we believe that this has had a positive impact on older people’s confidence, making them less susceptible to becoming victims of crime.

“In terms of the positive impact our project is making, to date, 94 per cent of those attending scams awareness sessions reported an increase in their confidence against scams.”

The PCC’s Safer Communities Fund grants are still available to support communities through the latest national lockdown.

Grants are available for projects which are working alongside Cheshire police and local authorities to support vulnerable people in the community.

For more information about how you can apply for a Safer Communities express grant, please click here.

* Age UK report: The Impact of Covid 19 to date on older people’s mental and physical heath, October 2020.