Yorkshire Building Society and its charity partner Age UK have said thanks a million to the Society’s colleagues and customers for helping to raise over £1 million to help Age UK be there for older people who are struggling most right now.

The two-and-a-half-year partnership generated £1,013,577 towards Age UK’s Building Better Lives programme, which helps older people to become more financially resilient. Colleagues walked, cycled and ran over 18,000 miles to help Age UK during incredibly challenging times, including the Covid-19 pandemic and the current cost-of-living crisis.

Donations from customers and members of the public, combined with the launch of an innovative savings account and contributions from the mutual, also helped the partnership reach the milestone.

Age UK’s Building Better Lives programme supports older people through life events such as a health diagnosis, the death of a partner or a change in needs, with the funds raised enabling one-to-one support sessions with trained advisors. Over 4,600 older people were supported during the partnership and with more than 3,600 benefit claims made, Age UK unlocked £8.1 million worth of benefits for older people who were unaware they were entitled to claim.

Yorkshire Building Society also donated over £210,000 to Age UK’s national Advice Line, which is a free and confidential phone service that provides expert advice and impartial information for older people, their families, friends, carers and professionals. The funds raised could allow Age UK to answer more than 43,000 calls from older people during their time of need, and many who had no one else to turn to for help.

Through the partnership the Society also upskilled colleagues from its branch network to take part in Age UK’s Digital Buddies initiative to help them provide better support to older customers who wish to improve their digital skills.

Susan Allen, chief executive at Yorkshire Building Society, said: “With more than two million older people in the UK living in poverty[i], our partnership with Age UK raised funds to help some of the most vulnerable in our communities. I can’t thank enough, anyone who supported the partnership to help us reach the million-pound milestone.

“The projects our support funded made a meaningful difference where it was needed most. Whether it was helping older people access unclaimed benefits, answering thousands of calls from people who wouldn’t otherwise know where to turn or using Digital Buddies to ensure older people don't fall through the digital gap, our colleagues and customers supported the partnership with enthusiasm to improve the lives of older people in our communities.” 

Paul Farmer, chief executive at Age UK, said: “We want to say a huge thank you to every Yorkshire Building Society colleague and customer for helping to raise over £1 million to allow Age UK to be there for older people. The cost-of-living crisis is impacting everyone, but it is unbelievably challenging for older people who have to make it week to week on such a fixed income. This is why partnerships like this are so vital for Age UK.

“The funds raised during this partnership have enabled Age UK to be there for older people during the pandemic and running through the current cost-of-living crisis, times when many older people didn’t know where to turn to for support. Thanks to Yorkshire Building Society’s support, Age UK has been able to provide vital support, advice and friendship to older people in communities across the UK. Thank you to every Yorkshire Building Society employee and customer who has helped us to raise a fantastic amount to help older people in their communities.”