Reducing money worries for older people in Norfolk

Reducing money worries for older people in Norfolk

Dr Roy Bivon, a retired university lecturer, has been a money matters volunteer for Age UK Norfolk for over three years. Money matters volunteers help older people to sort out their finances. Roy explains what he does and why.

Dr Roy Bivon, a retired university lecturer, has been a money matters volunteer for Age UK Norfolk for over three years. Money matters volunteers help older people to sort out their finances. Roy explains what he does and why.

Money matters volunteers help older people who have no experience of dealing with their finances themselves, who may find dealing with financial things very difficult or who may be in debt. Many older people have relied on their partner to deal with their finances and after the partner’s death they have struggled with the responsibility and have turned to Age UK Norfolk for help. Some older people have a very limited income so find it difficult to manage and have got into debt.

“My approach is something between being a friend and a professional. I explain to the older person what they can and cannot do and what their options are. I don’t make decisions for the older person but I do tell them they need to make a choice. I may give them the options and leave it to them to think about until my next visit. I might need to put them in touch with other organisations who can help them. I arrange appointments with my clients myself and so I can fit it in at a time that suits me. I volunteer for two to three hours a week plus travel time.

“Older people I have helped include: a couple with enormous debts who cannot really afford to heat their cottage in winter; a wonderful lady who I help deal with correspondence, writing out cheques when needed and a lady whose husband had dealt with the finances, he had died and she needed help to set up direct debits and carry out a check that she had enough money to cover expenses.

“I was a university lecturer lecturing on the Russian language. I am not entirely retired but I have enough time to do something else and I wanted to give something back to society, if I can help people I will happily do that. I am not a financial expert but I understand bank accounts and spreadsheets. I still do some work for an organisation that arranges placements for students who are studying Russian at degree level, arranging their placements in Russia and dealing with the students and the universities there. I also volunteer for the National Trust; helping at one of their properties.”

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Age UK Norfolk is looking for money matters volunteers in the Heacham and Hunstanton area, where we are particularly short of volunteers. The hours are flexible and full training and support is provided as well as reimbursement of travel expenses. For further information about being a money matters volunteer please contact the volunteer coordinator on (01603) 785210, volunteering@ageuknorfolk.org.uk or see www. ageuknorfolk.org.uk.

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