Age NI piloting new drop-in advice service in Banbridge

Ian Meehan, 67, from Banbridge and Age NI advisor Eibhlin Collins celebrate the launch of a new drop-in advice service that is being piloted in the charity's store at 13 Rathfriland Street, every Wednesday from 10am to 1pm.

Ian Meehan, 67, from Banbridge and Age NI advisor Eibhlin Collins celebrate the launch of a new drop-in advice service that is being piloted in the charity's store at 13 Rathfriland Street, every Wednesday from 10am to 1pm.

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Age NI, the leading older people’s charity in Northern Ireland, is piloting a new drop-in advice service in its charity store at 13 Rathfriland Street, Banbridge, every Wednesday from 10am to 1pm.

An Age NI advisor will be available in the Banbridge store to provide independent and confidential support on a range of issues including care, health, housing and money.

Brenda Kearns, Head of Advice, said: “We are delighted to be piloting a drop-in advice service in our charity store in Banbridge once a week. We have a bespoke advice room upstairs where we can talk to people in confidence about any questions they may have about health, care, housing or money.”

“All too often people don’t know who to turn to for that little bit of help. Calls to the Age NI Advice Service vary from a simple query about benefit entitlement, to more complex issues such as age discrimination and problems with health and social care. Age NI is here to listen and support.”

She continued: “One of the services we offer which helps hundreds of people every year is a simple benefits check - it’s free and confidential. Many people don’t know about the financial support they are entitled to. Sometimes they are afraid to ask or are concerned about dealing with complex forms and questions.

“As a result millions of pounds go unclaimed every year in Northern Ireland. Last year alone, Age NI advisors identified £1.2 million in benefits unclaimed by people here.”

She concluded: “Our charity stores are often hubs of activity within local communities. People trust in our work for and on behalf of older people and they know that their worries and concerns will be treated with the utmost respect and confidentiality.

“We would encourage older people, their families or carers to drop into the Age NI Store at 13 Rathfriland Street to talk about any concerns they have.”