Summer Appeal - Alan's story There are over 350,000 older people living in Northern Ireland. And over the next twenty years that figure is expected to increase by 30%. As the number of older people increases so does the pressure on our services. That’s why we need your help. If you can, please donate to our Summer Appeal today and help us provide emotional support, care and advice to vulnerable older people like Alan. Read his story below. Donate Alan’s Story Pensioner Alan Owens and his wife Heather are now £186 a week better off, but they very nearly didn’t claim the money they are entitled to. Our advice and advocacy team encouraged the couple to have a benefits check. But Alan initially refused three times because he didn’t believe he would be due anything. ‘I didn’t think I would be entitled to anything. My wife and I have both been blind from birth. I had always wanted to hold down a job and contribute to society and not rely on benefits. I worked for 46 years in the Workshops for the Blind in Belfast. After I retired I became a volunteer with Age NI and one of the women I volunteered with suggested I contact the Age NI Advice team for a benefits check. You could have knocked me down with a feather when I was told that my wife and I were entitled to an extra £186 a week. That extra money means we can now save money to replace vital aids, like our scanner which reads our mail and our mobile ‘speech’ phones. I feel very lucky.’ Read Martins story here If you or anyone you know are facing any of these issues please call our Advice and Advocacy service on Freephone 0808 808 7575.