Age UK Sunderland are set to raise funds by hosting a Christmas concert at St. John’s Church in Ashbrooke on December 12.
The Christmas Spectacular includes performances from world-renowned opera singer Graeme Danby and Monkwearmouth Salvation Army band.
This is a positive event following a recent report from the charity which stated that over a million pensioners in the UK are living under the poverty line.
Alan Patchett, Director at Age UK Sunderland, said: “Elderly people living under the poverty line is a sizeable issue in the area. There are many pensioners struggling especially with prices going up.”
“We have many services in place to help older people in the area such as helping to prevent social isolation, debt, and allowing them to claim the benefits they need.”
“One of our main priorities is to help people stay warm in the winter. Having financial difficulty can lead to them being scared to turn on their heating, and a lot of the time living under the poverty line can contribute to illness among the elderly. The Christmas concert is a good way to get everyone in the Christmas spirit and raise money at the same time.”
Financial difficulty is an issue in Sunderland which is also being addressed by the council. Coun Barbara McClennan said: “For the elderly, the council provides and arranges dozens of services that help promote their independence. The Adult Social Care budget is expected to be more than £115m in 2014/15.”
Graham Howard from Sunderland Hospital said he believes that living under the poverty line has a direct effect on health among the elderly, saying: “Many pensioners are comparatively wealthy, but in areas such as Sunderland, where heavy industry, mining and shipbuilding have gone, it is much harder to survive in older age. Our society have an absolute obligation to care for the elderly. We are incredibly lucky to have one of the best healthcare systems in the world – but every individual should take responsibility.”
The Christmas Spectacular has been running for three years now, and this year’s event will also feature the Dodici Voce choir from the University of Sunderland.
Doors open at 7pm. Tickets cost £10.Tickets are available from Age UK Sunderland, Bradbury Centre, Stockton Road, Sunderland SR2 7AQ or from Gordon I Quinn on 07718521943 or Carol Mittra at St. John’s Church, Ashbrooke.#####