WOKING MP Jonathan Lord has welcomed the Parliamentary Under Secretary at the Department for Work and Pensions, Laura Trott, to Woking to help raise awareness of pension credit.

Joining Mr Lord and Ms Trott to discuss pension credit and issues affecting pensioners were members of Woking organisation Silver Friends, previously Woking Age Concern.

Silver Friends is a not-for-profit charity founded by Sandra Smook in 2022 to serve the older community in the belief that no one should have to suffer loneliness and isolation, especially in their later years. 

With 112 service users, along with 44 volunteers and over 30 events a year, Silver Friends provides a vital service for many people to stay connected with friends of their own age and the wider Woking community.

Ms Trott has been travelling the country to raise awareness of pension credit, which gives people extra money to help with their living costs if they are over state pension age and on a low income. Pension credit can also help with housing costs such as ground rent or service charges.

Mr Lord said: “Lots of people at the discussion and indeed, I’m sure across Woking, may not know that they could be entitled to pension credit. 

“Many may not realise that pension credit is separate from the state pension and that individuals can also be entitled to pension credit if they have other income streams, savings or own their own home.

“With residents still facing the challenges with the cost of living, it is important that we ensure that those who are eligible are aware of all government support available, including pension credit.”

He added: “I was delighted to join the team of volunteers from Silver Friends and these retired residents to discuss all the key issues that are affecting older people. 

“The team at Silver Friends represent the very best of Woking, offering friendship, support and sometimes a real lifeline to those who might otherwise face isolation.”

Sandra Smook, founder of Silver Friends, thanked Mr Lord and Ms Trott for visiting. She said: “It was great to welcome Jonathan and Laura to talk to our volunteers and terrific group of retirees. We had an interesting discussion about pension credit and our local work in helping to reduce loneliness and isolation for those in their later years.

“If any reader would like to know more about Silver Friends, they can reach me at [email protected].”

For more information on pension credit, visit www.gov.uk/pension-credit.