§ Lord Ashbourne
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they give to either Age Concern or Help the Aged, and if so how much.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Cumberlege)
The Department of Health has made grants to Age Concern (England) over a number of years under Section 64 of the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968 towards their central costs. In the current financial year the amount of grant is £252,000. In addition a number of grants for specific projects are made from time to time. For example, a national project grant of £15,000 per annum is currently in payment to assist with the Age Well health promotion initiative; in 1990–91 an additional £14,175 was made available for a special project to encourage healthy eating, and in 1989–90 a grant of £200,000 was made towards the development of a new headquarters building. Funding is also provided for activities in support of government programmes, including through the Training and Enterprise Councils and the Department of Health's Opportunities for Volunteering Scheme, for which £1.3 million is to be allocated in 1992–93.
The Department of Health and the Department of Social Security are also giving funds to Age Concern (England) to enable them to provide a secretariat service for the European Year of Elderly People and Solidarity between the Generations 1993. A total of £65,000 has so far been allocated for this purpose in 1992–93. The Welsh Office supports Age Concern (Wales) through core funding, amounting to £153,849 in 1992–93. Also this year Age Concern (Scotland) is to receive core funding of £8,100, and a grant of £53,778 under the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968; and Age Concern (Northern Ireland) will receive £104,520, together with £15,000 for a specific project.
Help the Aged do not receive grant aid from the Government, except by way of reimbursement by the Department of Health, with assistance from the Department of Social Security, of the costs of providing the annual "Winter Warmth" Freephone telephone line to give advice to elderly people about keeping warm in winter. The cost of running the line varies each year and is reimbursed in full. The Government work closely with both organisations in promoting the interests of elderly people.