The older people’s charity Age UK has launched a £10m emergency appeal to support the additional work it wants to carry out because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The charity is asking for donations to help it reach out to the millions of older people who will need extra support through the crisis.
The charity wants to be able to provide additional financial support to roughly 150 charities that form the Age UK network as they are forced to find new ways to work with their service users.
This could include measures such as delivering meals or essential supplies to older people, who have been told by the government to stay at home to protect them from the virus.
Age UK also wants to be able to put extra resources into its telephone advice line, which has reported a 30 per cent increase in demand in recent days, and The Silver Line helpline, which has experienced a 40 per cent increase in calls from older people.
“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,” an Age UK statement said.
“They are on the front line 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.”
The charity is also calling on people to be good neighbours by providing help to older people around them who are staying at home because of the virus.
The charity has created a short online training video that gives people guidance on ways to offer help to their older neighbours.
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.
“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.”
To donate to the appeal, click here.