Winter Fuel Fund use to rise, says Age Concern says

AGE Concern is preparing for the use of its Winter Fuel Fund to increase this year, will be looking at putting the amount available up, and a new home maintenance scheme is also being looked at.

Dave Inglis, chairman of Age Concern. (30029458)
Dave Inglis, chairman of Age Concern. (30029458)

Chairman Dave Inglis said that the charity is the guardian of the fund, which offers grants to eligible islanders over the age of 65 who want assistance with electricity, gas and solid fuel bills.

‘There were over 100 applicants to this fund between 2020 and 2021,’ he said.

‘There were also a few households who applied for and received two grants in the same season. So we know the demand is there and the benefits of the money are making a real difference to people who need to keep their homes at a liveable temperature during the colder months.’

Last year the grant was £195 which was paid directly to the fuel supplier once approved.

Mr Inglis said that through the fund the group knows well that a lot of older islanders are proud and reluctant to admit that they need financial help, so applications from family members and friends are also accepted.

‘Due to rising fuel prices we are looking at increasing the value of the grant again this year and as always, we will write to previous applicants making it as easy as possible for them to get the grant again if they want it.

‘We definitely expect the use of the fund to increase in the future and we are planning for that.’

He said Age Concern is also hoping to bring in a home maintenance scheme to be run along similar lines to the fuel fund.

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