Money Matters: a new Age Scotland project

Age Scotland has received funding from the Money Advice Service for a new project: until February 2018 we are offering older peoples’ groups a choice of Money Matters roadshows.

We have four new people in the team: Jessica Shields our Evaluation officer, Fiona Scott our Project assistant, Cheryl Fowler who will be delivering most of our roadshows and Sam Longden who will support helpline advisers and improve our information about money matters.

We can deliver roadshows on a choice of subjects:

Benefit entitlements – did you know that 1/3 of people who are entitled don’t claim Pension Credit? Could you be missing out? Do you know how many ways there are to get help with your council tax bill? Might you be entitled to Attendance Allowance?

Care costs and funding – what does care cost? If you qualify for free personal and nursing care what is actually free? Is it true that most people have to sell their house?

Power of Attorney – what types are there? How do you choose your attorney? What are your responsibilities if you are an attorney and where can you get advice?

Wills and funeral costs – why should you write a will? Do you know what a funeral costs? How much help is available from the government? How can you save money on costs?

Planning for and managing financial changes – does your group support people who face particular challenges with money because of caring responsibilities, health issues or bereavement? We can look at how best you can manage financial issues which affect you, and learn from you too.

After the roadshows, people can call the Age Scotland helpline, 0800 12 44 222 for a confidential conversation with an adviser.

The aim of the project is to find out “what works”. So we will be working with you to find out what you know before and after roadshows, seeing how many people make follow-up calls to our helpline and, if you agree, contacting you afterwards to find out if you did take steps to claim a benefit, take out a Power of Attorney or plan for funeral costs. We really need the feedback about what worked and what didn’t work, and we will adapt our roadshows and information in response to what we learn from you.

We are looking for some groups to help us to develop our training and information, and we will also be asking professionals who work with older people what money issues they are raising, what they know about money concerns for older people and what would support them to guide older people to find advice and help.

For more information or to book a roadshow call the Age Scotland switchboard on 0333 323 2400 or email the team

Cutting the cost of your energy bills

While winter lasts there’s still time to cut fuel bills while staying warm, says guest blogger Dagmara Opilka of Home Energy Scotland.

EST House2

In 2012 over a quarter of households in Scotland spent more than 10% of their income on heating their homes.  We’ve all felt the massive price rises over the past few years, not just from the power companies but the overall costs of living have increased dramatically. Whether it’s due to a house that doesn’t keep the heat in, living on a low or fixed income, cold weather or often a combination of all three, the most common outcomes tend to be the same – falling into debt, deteriorating health, extreme stress and an overall decrease in well-being.

There are more and more people that want to or simply need to know what they can do to save money and be comfortable in winter time without compromising their lifestyles. And the support is there, through our free phone line.

The Home Energy Scotland Helpline, funded by the Scottish Government and managed by the Energy Saving Trust, offers free and impartial advice to anyone looking to find out more about saving energy, government grants and living sustainably. Our friendly, local advisors will explore all avenues of government and local schemes to make sure that you can get the support you’re entitled to.

They will discuss and advise on a wide range of topics, such as energy efficiency of your house, ways to reduce your gas and electricity bills, reducing transport costs, reducing waste and up-to-date information on renewable technologies. It’s all about making it relevant and useful to your own circumstances.

If you would like to read more about Home Energy Scotland and find out about other people’s experiences of getting in touch with the helpline, vist our online case studies bank.  Or simply call 0800 512 012. It doesn’t cost a penny but it might be most useful call you make this winter.