Over-60s targeted in small grants programme

Voluntary and community groups in Hull are being encouraged to apply for grants as part of a national programme to keep older people active.

Sums of between 250 and 3,000 are up for grabs to help older people make the most of their later lives. Voluntary and community groups with annual incomes of 50,000 or less can apply.

The money must be used to recruit at least one "Active at 60 Community Agent" who will volunteer their time to help motivate people within their own communities who are approaching retirement, or have just retired, to be more active, physically, socially and mentally.

An information session is being held between 10am and noon next Thursday at The Strand, 75 Beverley Road.

Hull is one of 30 areas in the country selected for a share of a 1m grant provided by the Department of Work and Pensions. The funds – amounting to 33,648 – must be allocated by March 1 and activities carried out during the rest of 2011.

Pensions Minister Steve Webb said: "Older people have never had a more important role in our society but people making the transition into retirement can lose their social network as they move out of employment and settle into a different routine, particularly those who have an illness or disability.

"We hope Active at 60 will make a real difference to the quality of life of those approaching retirement or who have just retired, by helping them get out and about in their communities, improving their wellbeing and preventing the risk of social isolation as they grow older."

Dave Rogers, chief officer of Hull CVS said: "Our experience of managing small grant programmes shows the big difference they can make to people and communities."

Specific details are available from CVS grants officer Jayne Robinson Hull on 01482 595543 or email jrobinson@hull-cvs.co.uk and forms can be downloaded from http://hullcvs.co.uk/active-at-60-small-grants-programme/