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FirstStop gets £1m to support elderly independence

The Government has announced £1m funding for 15 local support services to help up to 10,000 older people stay independent for longer.

FirstStop works with partners like Age UK, local councils and home improvement agencies to provide tailored advice and practical support for older people. The organisation offers support with adaptations to homes, a handypersons scheme for simple home repairs, financial advice, help with housework and shopping, befriending services, and organising social meetings between friends.

Housing minister Kris Hopkins said: “It’s natural that older people want to remain independent in their own homes, which they have worked hard for and built so many memories in. This government is determined to enable more people to do just that.

“As we get older we not only need to change the way we live, we need to change we the homes we live in. This can be a daunting task, so the free advice and practical support provided by FirstStop is invaluable.”

Opening the new FirstStop service in York, Hopkins said: “It will be run with support from the government, and is one of 15 new local services that will help up to 10,000 older people remain independent and continue to live in their own homes.”

John Galvin, chief executive of Elderly Accommodation Counsel (EAC), the charity behind the FirstStop initiative, said: “I am delighted to see this new local service open its doors, and very much welcome the government’s support for it. Helping older people ensure that their homes suit their changing needs can improve their lives enormously as well as reduce the risks of illness and accidents and all the costs these incur.”

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