Age UK launches £10m emergency coronavirus appeal

The Charity is urgently asking for donations to fund its vital services and so it can be there for the older people of this country at their time of greatest need

Evidence from around the world shows clearly that it is older people, especially from the age of 70 upwards, who are most likely to become very seriously ill and even die if they contract the coronavirus.

Some older people are fortunate and have family and friends to help, but Age UK is worried for the millions of older people who are on their own and are unable to connect virtually with the world beyond their own four walls.

A spokesman for Age UK said the telephone and community support it offers will be utterly crucial for those people in the deeply challenging months to come.

The spokesman said the charity’s telephone advice line has seen a 30% increase in demand, while The Silver Line has experienced a 40% increase in calls from older people who are deeply anxious, depressed and in desperate need of reassurance and friendship.

Meanwhile, local Age UKs up and down the country are racing to put the systems and processes in place with other local Age UKs so they can provide practical and emotional support to their older populations in the weeks and months to come.

The spokesman said they are on the frontline of helping older people to pull through this incredibly difficult time and they know that as time goes on the numbers who will be crying out for their support are certain to rise.

Laurie Boult, fundraising director at Age UK said: ‘As a country we are all facing a terrible, invisible threat and it is older people who are at the greatest risk.

‘We understand and support the need for our older population to stay safe by remaining at home – but this has huge implications for everyone, especially those who are already struggling to cope and who are very much on their own.

‘The reality is that in the weeks and months ahead older people are going to need Age UK in huge numbers, and to an extent we have never seen before.

‘We are determined to rise to the challenge and be there – to provide comfort, hope and practical support. But we can only do it if we have the funds that it will take.

‘This is why we are reaching out today and launching this appeal. My message to everyone is please help us to help our older people through donating to this appeal,  together we can make a big difference and help them pull through.’

As well as appealing for vital funds, Age UK is encouraging everyone who can to be a good neighbour to those around them by providing simple, immediate assistance for older people who are staying at home due to the coronavirus outbreak.

To donate to Age UK’s Emergency Coronavirus Appeal click here.

To find out how you can be a good neighbour to older people click here.

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