ICMIF member OneFamily (UK), is to provide financial support and volunteer its commercial expertise to the charity Elderly Accommodation Counsel (EAC) to enable the organisation to assist more older people and to sustain its work into the future.
EAC is a national charity in the UK that aims to help older people and their families to live safely and well at home, with any care or support they may need. It provides free, impartial information and advice to help them plan ahead by age proofing their homes, find out about local services they can access or explore options for moving to somewhere more suitable.
EAC says too often older people or family members contact the charity after a crisis – typically a fall that leads to hospital admission. This rings alarm bells about whether an elderly person really should be living where they do. EAC wants to reach them earlier, when a wide range of options can be discussed with them and their families. This will enable them to live safely, well, independently and with dignity in their own homes for as long as they wish.
EAC’s Advice Line service worked with around 20,000 older people and families a year until funding cuts forced it to shrink its capacity to less than 5,000. OneFamily’s support will allow it to rebuild the service whilst exploring new ways to fund it longer term.
Matthew Ellis from OneFamily said, “As a mutual, financial inclusion and supporting people in their time of need is a priority for us. So, we’re looking forward to working with EAC to help the team to continue to do their crucial work just as the service they provide is more important than ever.
“So, as well as providing financial support from our Foundation to support the cost EAC’s telephone advice team, we’re looking at other more practical ways that we can assist. So, we’ve helped them with the recruitment and training of their new telephone advisers, but we’ll also be advising EAC and supporting them as they move towards a self-funding model.
“For example, their website receives 4.4 million visitors each year, which underlines the charity’s importance in the support it provides to the elderly. So, we’ll work with EAC to explore other opportunities for revenue that could be generated by the website.
“We think that by volunteering our time and commercial expertise alongside our financial support we will empower the team at EAC to find a sustainable long-term solution so that it can help many more older people and their families into the future,” Matthew Ellis concluded.
John Galvin, CEO of EAC said, “EAC has learned the hard way how difficult it is to provide a necessary public service relying on charitable funding only. We therefore welcome OneFamily’s support to speed up our journey to greater self-sufficiency.
“Whilst the cost of the backroom work we do to maintain our website and all the information we show on it is now covered by advertising and other revenues, funding a personal telephone advice service staffed by experts has proved much more difficult. We look forward to a journey of exploration with OneFamily that will test out ways of increasing income from and for EAC Advice that will ensure its future survival and expansion.”
To find out more about the work of the Elderly Accommodation Counsel please visit https://housingcare.org/