Help Age Cymru support older people through the cost-of-living crisis

Help Age Cymru support older people through the cost-of-living crisis 

 

Take our Big Step challenge and raise vital funds  

 

Age Cymru is inviting people of all ages across Wales, to take part in its Big Step challenge this September and raise vital funds for the charity’s advice and its telephone friendship services. 

 

Older people are facing unprecedented challenges right now as they struggle with spiralling fuel and food costs on relatively low fixed incomes and the situation will be worse still for those with disabilities or ill-health who have higher energy needs. 

 

Equally challenging is the need to remove the stigma of applying for support which some older people feel.  An estimated £175m worth of pension credit goes unclaimed each year in Wales – a benefit that can act as a passport to many other benefits and entitlements.   

 

That’s why the Age Cymru advice service can play a vital role in supporting older people through the crisis.  During 2021-22 the service handled more than 31,500 enquiries, a third of which were about money and benefits. The number of enquiries is increasing significantly this year. 

 

For many older people simple pleasures such as meeting family and friends for a cuppa and a chat have had to be curtailed to help balance household budgets.  Which is why our telephone friendship service is so important right now.  During the same period, it made nearly 12,000 telephone calls to more than 550 older people across Wales.  And with 220,000 older people in Wales saying they feel lonely there is a pressing need to reach out to even more lonely older people. 

 

Age Cymru’s chief executive Victoria Lloyd says “I am incredibly proud of the help and support Age Cymru staff and volunteers provide to older people across Wales.   We’re asking you to become part of that broader team by helping us raise funds to make sure our services continue to be there for older people when they need us most. Your support can make a huge difference.”    

 

So, what is the Big Step? 

Big Step is all about people raising money for our services by seeking sponsorship for the number of steps or miles they walk during the month of September.  They can then submit their totals to the charity to help us virtually walk the circumference of Wales.  

   

Supporters are being invited to use sections of the Wales Coast Path and/or the historic Offa’s Dyke Trail for their walks. Or they may simply do their steps closer to home by walking around their garden, taking their dog for a walk, or taking their grandchildren to school.     

   

And if supporters raise at least £50 they will be given a free event t-shirt by the charity.   

   

The Big Step challenge is being supported by Sky Cares and Ogi.  

 

From our supporters 

Claire Du Preez, Communities Programme Manager, Sky says “Sky is proud to sponsor Age Cymru’s Big Step, helping to bring people together to take action and raise vital funds and awareness. Our dedicated Sky Cares programme is committed to tackling loneliness and making positive connections in the communities where we live and work, and we are delighted to be working in partnership with Age Cymru to achieve this goal. We encourage everyone to take on the Big Step challenge towards a more age friendly Wales.”   

   

Lisa Hand, Ogi’s People Experience Director said: “Here at Ogi our communities play a huge part in our work, they are, quite literally at the heart of all we do. As one of our charity partners this year, we couldn’t wait to get behind Age Cymru’s Big Step – taking on the challenge whilst enjoying some of our wonderful Welsh scenery.  “We hope people right across Wales will get involved and raise vital funds to help Age Cymru continue their valuable work.”  

 

For more information on how to join the Big Step challenge for free, and how to join the community group on Facebook, visit: www.agecymru.org.uk/thebigstep    

or call 029 2043 1555.  

 

Notes to editors  

£10 could be used to answer an advice enquiry  

£15 could be used to support two friendship calls  

 

Walking the circumference of Wales   

To walk the circumference of Wales would take two million steps or 1,047 miles, which is roughly the equivalent of walking from: Cardiff to Rome, Swansea to Oslo, Wrexham to Vienna, Newport to Monaco, Caernarfon to Madrid, or Haverfordwest to Prague.   

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