What does Age Concern Exmouth do?

PUBLISHED: 08:00 01 February 2019

Exmouth Age Concern's Gill Smith. Ref exe 04 19TI 8696. Picture: Terry Ife

Exmouth Age Concern's Gill Smith. Ref exe 04 19TI 8696. Picture: Terry Ife

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How much do you know about what Age Concern Exmouth does?

Many people just think of the independent charity as a place for elderly folk to get a hot drink and a biscuit when in reality they do much more than that.

Now chief officer Gill Smith is out to bust myths about what they do.

Speaking at a town council meeting, she told community leaders their clients can get a drink and a biscuit when they come in but that’s not where it ends.

She said: “We have scrabble, whist drives, we also have friendship Friday coffee mornings.

“We also have seated gentle yoga twice a week. We started with one session, it was so busy, we went to two sessions and we are currently on three sessions.

“It does make a real impact on the people who do it.

“So, lots of lovely activities for our community to drop in when they are able to.

“We also have the information, advice and advocacy service.”

Gill told councillors they also have a range of leaflets which point people to the services they need and Age Concern helps elderly residents with benefits checks and other form filling.

She added: “Older people do not tend to be computer literate. If you want to switch utilities these days you have to go on to these comparison websites.

“We offer that as a service free of charge for people to come in if they want to and we will switch their utilities for them.

“We are finding a lot now that we able to get pension credit, get people the attendance allowance – that’s one I do like to sing about.

“It’s not means tested – no one is interested in what you have got in your bank so if you know someone who is of pensionable age, who has got a long term health condition and they have had it for more than six months please send them our way and we will help them to get that benefit.

“It is £55 a week at the lower rate and £83 a week at the higher rate so it can make a real difference to people and their standard of living.”

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