Minister launches pledge scheme for Age UK Colchester

Amanda Arnold from Age UK Colchester, Sir Bob Russell MP, Colchester Mayor John Elliot, Norman Lamb

Amanda Arnold from Age UK Colchester, Sir Bob Russell MP, Colchester Mayor John Elliot, Norman Lamb MP, Edward Pentley, from Age UK Colchester and Patricia Al-Salih, from Age UK Colchester gathered at Colchester Town Hall to launch the Pound Age fundraising initiative for Age UK Colchester. - Credit: Su Anderson

A new scheme to encourage people to donate funds to a Colchester charity was launched by a government minister.

Care minister Norman Lamb launched the Pound-Age initiative in support of Age UK Colchester.

Accompanied by town MP Sir Bob Russell and mayor John Elliott, Mr Lamb officially kick-started the scheme at Colchester Town Hall.

Pound-Age is looking for 1,000 people to pledge just £1 per week to the local charity, raising £52,000 a year, to support its welfare rights and advice bureau service which has lost its grant funding.

The service is estimated to generate around £1million for the local economy by ensuring people claim all the benefits they are entitled to.

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Pledges can be made through your payroll or via a standing order.

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Sir Bob, who devised the scheme along with Age UK Colchester whose chairman of the trustees Robert Needham came up with the name, signed personal pledges during the event.

The MP said: “Last year Age UK Colchester came to see me with serious concerns whether they could continue to run the service. They have kept it going this year by drawing on reserves, but that is not sustainable long-term.

“The money generated by the service is spent by senior citizens in local services and shops, which is an investment into the local economy.

“I am very grateful that Mr Lamb came, and to have a minister launch the scheme is quite an accolade.

“We hope people, churches, organisations and even businesses take on pledges, and if there are those who get old age benefits but don’t need them perhaps they could use the money on pledges.”

• To make a pledge contact Edward Pentney at Age UK Colchester, Globe House, 6 George Street, Colchester, CO1 1TP, or call 01026 368420.

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