Charity in appeal for elderly payments

Michelle Carruthers, chief executive of Food TrainMichelle Carruthers, chief executive of Food Train
Michelle Carruthers, chief executive of Food Train
A Borders charity has called on the UK Government to double the Pensioner Cost of Living payment to help over-65s with the burden of rising energy bills.

The call, from Food Train, comes as it was revealed that older people in the region are buying less food so they can save money to pay the spiralling cost of heating their homes. The charity, which makes shopping deliveries to over-65s across the region, have heightened fears that increasing numbers will become malnourished as they try to manage gas and electricity bills.

One Borders resident said: “I take fewer showers and go to bed early to keep warm. Our hands are tied. I’m trying to eat colder meals to save money.”

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Food Train has written to Scottish Secretary Alister Jack to help people cope with the crisis.

Chief executive Michelle Carruthers said: “Our members are very worried about the winter ahead. Many have no idea how they’ll cope. Some will have to juggle between keeping warm and keeping fed.

“This puts people’s lives in danger. Without immediate action, alarming numbers of older people are going to be at greater risk of malnutrition and social isolation this winter, causing further health problems and putting further strain on our already under-pressure NHS.

“The reports we are hearing from our members are heartbreaking, alarming and unacceptable. Their concerns are clear and are growing. Doubling the new Pensioner Cost of Living payment will go at least some way towards keeping the heating on and the cupboards stocked.”

Email [email protected] to find out how the charity can help a loved one.