An historic charity founded by an Elizabethan benefactor has given a six-figure funding boost to London’s vulnerable older people struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.
The Emanuel Hospital charity, set up in 1600 and administered by the City of London Corporation, has awarded a grant of £655,154 to Age UK to support thousands of older people across the capital.
The funding will go to 22 local Age UKs across London, who will use it to offer information and advice sessions on topics including claiming benefits, saving energy, eating well on a budget and avoiding scams.
It has been made available in acknowledgement of the increased demand on Age UK’s services caused by the cost-of-living crisis. The charity’s services provide a lifeline to vulnerable older people struggling to make ends meet amid rising costs.
Research shows that even before this year’s sharp increase in inflation, 15% of pensioners in the UK were in poverty, the equivalent of 1.7 million people[i].
Chairman of the City of London Corporation Emanuel Hospital Management Sub Committee Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli said:
“Rising prices, not least in the cost of fuel and basic food staples, are having an impact on everyone, but many older people are particularly vulnerable as winter begins to bite.
“The advice and support Age UK provides can have a profound effect on enabling older people to access financial support they may otherwise be missing out on, and valuable practical and emotional support in their area.”
Last year, the Emanuel Hospital charity gave £325,188 to Age UK to fund its Telephone Friendship Service and other support services to help older Londoners impacted by the pandemic.
Paul Farmer, Age UK CEO, said: “We are extremely grateful for the latest grant from Emanuel Hospital, which comes at a really critical time for many older Londoners. Too many of them are already struggling to cope with rising prices for everyday items and are dreading the colder weather arriving and the challenge of heating their home on a low fixed income.
“The funding will help local Age UKs across London to provide vital frontline services to older people who risk being overwhelmed by high inflation. It will enable these local charities to offer advice and practical support, for example, with claiming the benefits that older people are due but which many miss out on, and staying warm and well when winter really takes hold.”
Details of Age UK services in London are at www.ageuk.org.uk/services/in-your-area/
Case study: ‘I will never forget the support they gave me’
Age UK Westminster, one of 22 Age UKs across London, helped 79-year-old Mr Smith, who was still working full-time for a cleaning company, but finding work increasingly difficult due to health issues.
Advisers learned he had deferred his state pension in 2007, wrongly believing he couldn’t claim it while still working, and advocated on his behalf with the Pensions Service, negotiating him a £130,021 lump sum in backdated pension payments.
He said: “I cannot thank Age UK Westminster enough. I will never forget the support they gave me. My life is going to change for the better.”
About the Emanuel Hospital charity
The Emanuel Hospital charity was founded in 1600 from a bequest by Lady Anne Dacre (nee Sackville), daughter of Sir Richard Sackville, treasurer of the exchequer to Elizabeth I.
Her will made provision for the building of an almshouse – Emanuel Hospital – at Tothill Fields, Westminster, ‘for the relief of 20 aged people and for the bringing up of 20 children in virtue and good and laudable arts’, to be supported by revenue from Brandesburton Manor, in the East Riding of Yorkshire.
The almshouse, which first came under the control and management of the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of the City of London in 1623, was later rebuilt and extended, and the number of children catered for increased.
The educational branch was separated from the hospital branch in 1873 and the almshouse site was sold in 1892 and replaced by a system of pensions paid to older people in need, known as Lady Dacre Pensioners.
Today, the charity still supports 20 pensioners while, following a recent review, more funding is now also available to be distributed to organisations which help older people in need across the capital.
Notes to editors
The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK – www.cityoflondon.gov.uk
Tim Fletcher | Media officer – public services
City of London Corporation
07738 862229 | email@example.com
[i] Department for Work and Pensions, Households below average income (HBAI) statistics: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/households-below-average-income-for-financial-years-ending-1995-to-2021