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Issue Date:-13 January 2009


CALLS to Help the Aged advice lines and services have soared this month with many older people turning to the charity for assistance as they struggle to cope with the financial implications of the ‘big freeze’ and rising fuel and food costs. In response, Help the Aged is launching a fundraising appeal to enable the charity’s services to support more older people this winter.

The majority of calls to the charity’s SeniorLine advice service currently relate to concerns about heating, Cold Weather Payments, Winter Fuel Payments or other questions around benefits in general. Many pensioners and other more vulnerable groups are, for the first time this winter, eligible for Cold Weather Payments, however, many callers to Help the Aged have been left confused about their rights and entitlements.

Help the Aged is offering the following advice to older people:-

· Any pensioner getting either part of Pension Credit will get £25 when the average temperature where they live is recorded as zero degrees Celsius or below over 7 consecutive days during the period from 1 November 2008 to 31 March 2009.

· 76 specified Meteorological Office weather stations are used to obtain this information.

· This means that a friend or relative living in a different area may not receive their payment at the same time, or may not be eligible if their region has not been as badly affected, and vice versa.

· Pensioners who do not get either part of Pension Credit do not get the Cold Weather Payment.

Help the Aged is launching its appeal as the cold kills around 20,000 older people each year. The charity has also warned that the death rate rises by 1-2% for every drop of 1C in the temperature.

Daniel Pearson, Director of Community Services at Help the Aged, says:- “Demand on our advice lines, particularly those that offer benefits advice, is at an all time high. This is mainly attributable to a double whammy of freezing temperatures, and the steep rise in the overall cost of living pensioners are facing this year.”

SeniorLine, the Charity’s free telephone advice service, and other Help the Aged services, urgently need funds to help them meet this extra demand. To donate to Help the Aged please visit or call 0207 239 1982.


HOME-Start Knowsley will be running a new training programme for Volunteers starting on 3 February 2009 and is seeking people from the local community to get involved as Volunteers visiting families in their homes – as well as providing other support to the scheme. We are also seeking appropriately experienced local people to become trustees of the Scheme.

Scheme Manager Gillian McKinnon who leads a team of 5 staff and 27 volunteers at the scheme in Rupert Road, is launching an appeal and says she must recruit many more volunteers to continue to provide help and information to local people. All we ask is for a minimum of 3 hours commitment per week. We provide all out of pocket expenses. There is also a need for at least 3 trustees to join the Management Board, so if you think you have the necessary skills and would like to find out more about becoming a Trustee for Home-Start Knowsley, please give us a call on 0151 480 3910.

“Our work is very important, so we want to get more people involved at Home-Start Knowsley. Since we opened, our staff and volunteers have helped hundreds of families cope with the stresses a young family can bring,” says Gillian McKinnon, Scheme Manager.

Volunteers offer emotional support, information and practical help to all Families with children under the age of 5 in the Knowsley area. Nationally, Home-Start’s local branches in England and Wales offer free and confidential services to around 33,000 families and 70,000 children every year.

Appeal for next of kin - Charles Jones

LIVERPOOL Coroner's Office are appealing for the next of kin of Charles Jones who died on 18 December 2008.

Mr Jones, 77, from Bootle, died at the University Hospital Aintree. There were no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death. It is believed he may have a brother called George Jones, but the Coroner's Office has no further details.

Any next of kin, or anyone who has information about Mr Jones's next of kin, is asked to contact the City of Liverpool Coroner's Office on 0151 233 4703.

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