Knightstone supports older residents through the winter

14 February 2014

We've launched our 2014 ‘Surviving Winter grants scheme’ for older residents. The scheme offers grants of between £100 and £150 to our residents who are aged 70 and over.

The aim of the grants is to help older residents get through the winter with a reasonable level of comfort and dignity. The money will be directed towards those residents who particularly struggle with the cost of heating their home and keeping warm.

We secured £20,000 for the scheme from its partners Quartet and Somerset Community Foundations and matched this funding with a further £20,000. The grants have been given out since January, and will continue to be given out until the end of March 2014.

Residents can use the money in a variety of different ways. It can be put towards the payment of a fuel bill, or the purchase of winter clothes, shoes and blankets. It can also be used for things like taxi fare to the shops, to avoid walking, or home delivery of hot meals. 

Cara MacMahon, Strategic Fund Manager at Knightstone, said ‘We have over 550 residents living in our general rented homes who are aged 70 and over. It’s vitally important that we support our older and more vulnerable residents during the winter months.

Our Housing Officers have been directly contacting those who are aged 70 and over and may need support. This approach allows us to actively reach out to our more vulnerable residents and make sure we help those most in need. We’ve already supported 97 households since January, and are hoping we can reach out to many more over the next few weeks.’

AgeUK also offer lots of advice and services to help older people cope with the winter. They can distribute essential items like clothes and heaters to keep people warm, as well as energy services including fitting draft excluders, shopping support and befriending services.  www.ageuk.org.uk/health-wellbeing/keeping-your-body-healthy/winter-wrapped-up

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