Volunteer your friendship this winter: Join TV Licensing and Volunteering Matters for a weekly telly appointment

As winter approaches, TV Licensing and Volunteering Matters are encouraging people to volunteer their time by joining a social group, mentor programme, or sparing an hour each week to form a friendship over a shared interest.

Jason Hill, spokesperson for TV Licensing said:

Over 75s consume more TV each day than any other age group1, so the weekly TV schedule can provide a great opportunity for volunteers to share their favourite regular programme in the company of an older person, particularly as winter draws in and great TV seasons begin. Volunteering Matters can help by matching up people wanting to help another person tackle loneliness and social isolation.

Anyone aged 75 can claim a free TV Licence for their main address and over 4 million people across the UK, already enjoy the benefits of the concession.

Oonagh Aitken, Volunteering Matters Chief Executive said:

There are many different types of befriending, from group activities to chatting over the phone. In many cases volunteers tell us that television can be a great conversation starter and a way of finding common interests between generations.

The fact that TV Licences are free for people over 75 is a great help to many. Applying for one is easy to do and TV Licensing can help you apply over the phone, cutting down on paperwork.

Throughout the UK, increasing numbers of older people are facing loneliness but this isn't inevitable. Volunteering your time and befriending really can improve the quality of life for older people and strengthen our communities.

TV Licensing works with around 500 organisations across the UK to ensure those entitled to a concession know how to apply for it. Anyone 75 or older can apply for a TV Licence online or call 0300 790 6073 for help with the application.

The free licence is not granted automatically so anybody who becomes eligible needs to make sure they apply. If you live with someone aged over 75, their free licence will cover all viewing in the property, meaning family and live-in carers could also benefit from the concession2.

References

1 Over 75 viewing hours: BARB UK Television Landscape Report 2017

2 Note that if two people who were over 75 were sharing a household, only one licence would be needed.

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