CAB funding boost will aid older people

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Larne and District Citizens’ Advice Bureau has received funding to reach out to older people who may be missing out on benefits.

The programme is being financed through a new Innovation Fund.

It is one of four projects to be supported in this way.

Michelle Campbell, district manager of Larne and District Citizens’ Advice Bureau, said: “We were delighted to be successful in our bid for the Innovation Fund. The support we have received will enable us to deliver a project to break down some of the existing barriers which may prevent older people coming forward to claim benefits.

“All of the advisors are aged over 60 and are already active in the local community throughout Larne, Ballymena and Carrickfergus. We are therefore uniquely placed to be able to establish and maintain contact with older people, many of whom may be vulnerable, isolated, or living in rural areas. With assistance from the Mid and East Antrim Agewell Partnership, we will use existing luncheon clubs to inform older people about benefits and will ensure that they are fully supported throughout the application process.”

Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland said: “Many people across Northern Ireland may be missing out on vital social security benefits to which they and their families are entitled.

“These people can be difficult to reach and my department is fully committed to exploring all avenues to ensure that vulnerable people are given all the support they need.

“I therefore set up the Innovation Fund which supports local organisations to test new and innovative ways of reaching people who may not be claiming their full benefit entitlement. Four organisations have received funding for 2013/14 and I very much look forward to seeing the outcomes of their new approaches.”