ADVICE ranging from saving energy to how to avoid scams was on offer for the area’s pensioners at a special event organised by an MP.
East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton hosted his third pensioners’ fair on Friday, inviting a record 20 organisations to provide support and advice on a range of topics.
Stalls included energy-saving ideas, disability assistance, pension advice and support for carers, with the Guildbourne Centre in Worthing town centre hosting the event for the first time.
Mr Loughton said: “Lots of people come to my surgery who are older people, asking for all sorts of advice, so I thought, let’s bring all those organisations under one roof.”
Police community support officers took time out to inform visitors of scams which were happening across Adur and Worthing, which have included cold callers posing as police officers and couriers collecting bank cards.
PCSO Clodagh Lynch said: “Today we’re trying to educate and empower people, letting them know that actually, you don’t have to answer the phone, you don’t have to be scared, and if you are scared, we’ll be there for you.”
West Sussex Carers were also on hand to provide advice.
Maxine Slater, from the organisation, said the team helps people get the service they are entitled to.
She added people often do not see themselves as carers because they are looking after their family members.
And for those worried about the rising cost of energy bills, Adur and Worthing councils were in attendance to plug their community energy switch scheme.
The scheme works by signing up as many people as possible, and business is then bid for as a group from the top six energy firms, with the aim of a better price.
Beverley Jones, who helps run the scheme, said: “You can’t lose. It’s not going to cost you anything and we’re finding people are saving about 160 to 200 pounds a year.
“We’ve had a few people sign up today, but we also have a dedicated helpline at the council manned by myself, so people can call that as well.”
Initial feedback on the fair appeared positive, with a steady trickle of pensioners visiting the event throughout the day.
Christine Ruff, 72, of Goring Street, Goring, said: “I got all the details for an elderly neighbour about the call alarm system she’s been talking about.
“It’s a great idea. People need all the information they can get”
For more information on the energy switch initiative, visit www.adur-worthing.gov.uk or call the designated helpline on 01903 221122.