In early 2023 Leeds Older People’s Forum (LOPF) received funding from Leeds City Council to provide over £72,000 in Healthy, Warm and Well grants to third sector organisations in Leeds. The purpose was to help meet immediate pressures and problems older people faced due to the cost of living crisis, including:
- provision of hot meals
- equipment such as slow cookers
- warm space activities
- activities to support physical and mental wellbeing
- opportunities for social engagement, including travel costs.
We had applications from 34 organisations in two weeks. 18 organisations received a Healthy, Warm and Well grant. Together they supported 2,038 people in Spring and Summer 2023.
The Healthy, Warm and Well grants increased each organisation’s ability and capacity to support older people. As a result, the benefits to older people were significant, as Davide’s* story illustrates:
“Davide was signposted by the local postman, who noticed he always sat in the porch in a coat. We visited Davide who informed us the porch is the smallest and warmest room in the house. He hadn’t had the heating on due to worries around high bills.
We supported him by looking into his fuel situation – making a payment for Davide which relieved anxiety about going too high. We looked at energy saving ideas like using a microwave rather than putting the oven on for a ready meal and we purchased a microwave for him. Davide was sleeping fully clothed so we purchased thermal night clothes and fleece bedding & quilt – he said it was the best night sleep he had had for years.
Davide now receives a subsidised hot meal delivery once a week – where a befriender goes in too and they have lunch together.”
*Name has been changed
The grant has helped third sector organisations to really make a difference to the lives of older people who are struggling to make ends meet with the cost of living crisis.
It’s unacceptable, and upsetting, to know that our older people are facing so much poverty, so much need. In the words of one delivery partner:
“Not having sufficient heat and food to live is crushing mentally, not to mention the physical effects which are heightened in older people whose [health] resilience levels are low. Knowing where to turn when things get tough, knowing what support is available without being judged can be – and has been – life-saving for some.”
Monitoring and Evaluation Officer