INFORMATION & ADVICE FOR OLDER PEOPLE IN GATESHEAD
We need to keep our Information Centre for Older People on Gateshead High Street open. Due to lack of funding we're currently only able to open 2 days per week - & we're not meeting demand. We provide a one stop shop on a wide variety of subjects (eg benefits, pensions, care) in a deprived area.
Age Concern Gateshead
Information & advice is essential to enable people to make decisions and access any help they might need. People tell us it's easier for them if they can come in & have a chat with someone, get help filling in a form, ask someone to make a phone call for them if a matter is complex. (We also provide information via the phone & home visits for people who are housebound.) Often people don't know where to turn or where to start. The very complex benefits & pensions sytems can be confusing.
We will provide a one stop shop for older people on Gateshead High Street which is friendly & welcoming. Our Information Centre (staffed by a worker supported by a small team of volunteers) provides direct help & support with queries (& signposts elsewhere if we can't help). We do benefit checks, fill in forms for people, problem solve, liaise with the Council/utility providers etc on people's behalf, provide information on a wide variety of topics.
To provide quality & accessible information & advice for older people in Gateshead
Activities» Our Information Centre for Older People, based on Gateshead High Street, will provide information & advice on a wide variety of subjects.
Success will be...5,000 older people per year receiving information & advice at our Information Centre to help improve their quality of life, & reduce anxiety & poverty.
Long term changes include ensuring people have access to the full range of benefits & allowances to which they are entitled. We're sometimes able to double someone's weekly income if they've not known they're eligible & this can significantly improve life & reduce anxieties about paying bills. We obtained £900,000 in benfits & allowances for people last year.
The right info at the right time can help with a variety of problems eg where to get practical help if struggling to cope at home.
Too much demand (we already experience this & our volunteers are good at 'queue busting', suggesting normally quieter times to come back etc)
People needing specialised help which we can't provide ourselves (we have a wide knowledge of services & providers throughout Gateshead and can refer where necessary)
As an organisation we have experience of reporting to a variety of donors including The Big Lottery and various charitable trusts. In our Information & Advice service we collect data on the number of clients, types of enquries, outcomes, case histories & any benfits accessed for clients.
Budget - Project Cost: £51,450Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £40,000 Staff 1 fulltime & 1parttime staff inc NI/pension £7,450 Rent/Training/Travel Also utilities/cleaning/repairs to Info Centre, external Quality Mark Review, publicity £4,000 Support costs Phone, postage, photocopying, stationery, admin, management
Current Funding / Pledges
Source Amount Northern Rock Foundation £21,000 Guaranteed
Our Information Centre is on Gateshead High Street in the Town Centre. This is a deprived area which is in the top 10% most deprived wards in the country. Gateshead is a rural/urban mix in Tyne & Wear (North East England) & is 55sq miles. We have a higher than average number of single pensioner households (16.7%) & one of the lowest levels of vehicle ownership in the country. We're very close to public transport links (bus & metro).
Anyone over the age of 50 who lives in Gateshead. We also have carers/family members coming in to ask for information/advice for their loved ones.
Set up in 1972, we provide a wide variety of services & activities across Gateshead. We've been running a formal Information & Advice service since 2000 and have the Communities Legal Services Quality Mark (an external quality mark for Information & Advice services). We've developed very good partnership working with other agencies throughout Gateshead & can make effective referrals when necessary. We helped 3,000 older people in our Information Centre last year.
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Information & Advice Manager. Julie has been with us for 10 years and is very experienced & passionate about providing a quality service.
Information & Advice Volunteers
On average we have about 6 - 8 Information & Advice volunteers. This fantastic team are vital in enabling the smooth running of the Centre.
Will pay for our Centre to be open for a day
"My mother's finding it difficult to cope at home but we don't know what help is available."