Age Scotland Is New National Charity Partner
Fri 22nd October 2021
The Rangers Charity Foundation has named Age Scotland as its new National Charity Partner for season 2021/22, with the aim of working together to tackle high levels of pensioner poverty in Scotland.
Across the country, 150,000 pensioners are living in poverty and the Foundation is supporting Age Scotland’s ‘Check In, Cash Out’ initiative, supporting older people to access the financial support they need.
The Foundation has pledged to raise £25,000 for Age Scotland which will help support the charity’s free national helpline, where experts can help older people and their families identify unclaimed social security, as well as offering more general support and advice.
Last year, Age Scotland’s advisors uncovered more than £600,000 in missing support for callers to their helpline. However, at least £400 million in Pension Credit and other benefits like Council Tax Reduction is still going unclaimed by older people in Scotland each year.
The ‘Check in, Cash Out’ initiative comes as rising living costs and the ongoing energy crisis are putting a strain on older households, with a third already living in fuel poverty. There are fears even more older and vulnerable people will be plunged into poverty this winter without the financial support they are entitled to.
Age Scotland and the Foundation are urging all fans to check if they or an older friend or relative could receive extra support by calling the charity’s helpline for a free benefits check.
Both charities also want to remove the stigma of talking about poverty and low incomes and boost awareness of the financial support that is available and how to claim it. They aim to empower family and friends to help older people in their lives who could be missing out due to a lack of awareness, inaccessibility or pride.
Any older person can call the free Age Scotland helpline for advice and a social security entitlement check on 0800 12 44 222.
Brian Sloan, Chief Executive at Age Scotland, said: “We are absolutely delighted that the Rangers Charity Foundation has selected us as their national charity partner. It’s shocking how many pensioners in Scotland are living in poverty or struggling to get by on a low income.
“Teaming up with us this season shows that the Rangers Charity Foundation cares about tackling this and ending the stigma surrounding poverty. It’s clear that there is nowhere near enough focus on the impact of pensioner poverty, which we are committed to addressing together.
“Rangers FC has such strong connections in Glasgow and communities across Scotland and we want the club’s supporters to help us champion the rights of older people and ensure they are all claiming the financial support they’re entitled to. There’s a strong link between high levels of poverty and falling healthy life expectancy in Glasgow, and we urgently need to work together to get to grips with this.
“I think people will be shocked to hear that hundreds of millions of pounds in financial support for older people on low incomes goes unclaimed in Scotland every year. Many are missing out because they don’t know about it, find the process of claiming it daunting, or feel too proud to accept help. But they’ve paid into the system all their working lives and deserve to enjoy a decent standard of living in retirement.
“We want people to check in with Age Scotland to see if they or older family members are entitled to social security such as Pension Credit by calling our helpline on 0800 12 44 222 and using our free information guides. People have nothing to lose but perhaps a lot to gain. A quick call could mean more pounds in the pockets of older people and make life easier for someone who is struggling.”
Rangers goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin added: “I was delighted to help announce the partnership between the Rangers Charity Foundation and Age Scotland. I know the pandemic was really difficult for so many older people across the country and the current issues with energy costs are a worry for many of them, so hopefully this initiative will make life a little easier. The Foundation already does some great work with older people, but tackling pensioner poverty is a really important goal.”
The Foundation’s emphasis on inclusion and healthy lives makes this partnership a natural fit and the charity already runs a number of programmes for older people including Football Memories and Walking Football.