An open letter has been written to pensioners, asking those who can afford to, to help those who are struggling during the lockdown.
John Copeland, on behalf of the Guernsey Welfare Service, has asked those pensioners who are financially comfortable, to contribute up to a quarter of their pension to support its services, which includes the Guernsey Foodbank, based at Trinity Church.
Mr Copeland's letter is below in full:
"I write as a pensioner and also on behalf of Guernsey Welfare Service Limited as one of its directors.
In some ways current pensioners have been a fortunate generation, particularly those born after the Second World War: we haven’t had an involvement in a major conflict and we’ve seen a consistent increase in our standard of living (there’s some big generalisations in that statement of course).
Perhaps Covid-19 is our biggest challenge: we are amongst the most vulnerable to the disease....but we do not have to face job losses, furloughs or reduction in income as our pensions continue to be paid.
Most pensioners will receive an Old Age Pension (“OAP”) from the States of Guernsey and we recognise that for many in our community this is their only or major source of income – what follows is not aimed at those people. Others however will have been members of generous work related pension schemes. The OAP arrives every Friday in our account and while welcome, and paid for through our social insurance contributions, at the moment we have few things to spend it on. We feel that many pensioners want to help at this time and one way to do this is financially.
We are suggesting that those who can afford it might consider making a contribution of 25% of their Old Age Pension, for 13 weeks, as a donation to Guernsey Welfare Service Ltd. It’s in line with pay cuts that those in work are being asked to take but if you can’t afford 25%, please pay what you can.
GWS is delivering food parcels to the community and so far has delivered about 80 parcels per week during the lock-down period. However our store of food has been depleted and we now have to buy almost all of the food we distribute. Some local companies and individuals have already made generous donations to GWS but an increased need for our service is going to be there for many months to come.
Any funds received will be used to buy food and basic necessities that will be delivered to those who need it.
The OAP is a maximum of £222 per week and the actual amount each person receives is linked to the number of years for which contributions have been paid. As an example let’s assume a pension of £200 per week resulting in a contribution of £50 per week.
If just 100 pensioners sign up we will raise £5,000 per week, enough to pay for a week’s worth of goods delivered under the current arrangements.
We hope many more people will commit and if we are more successful we will look to ramp up our distribution of goods.
At the end of the period if there is a surplus, we will consider the options for its use but there will be transparency in what we do. GWS is 125 years old next year and has been serving the local community over that time.
We are all in this together and this is one way that pensioners can show we care about those in our community who have been most affected economically by Covid-19."
Director – Guernsey Welfare Service Ltd.
One way of paying would be to set up a standing order for the next 13 weeks to the following account:
Or just make a single payment to cover the period.
Cheques can be sent to GWS Ltd at the following address, but we would ask that a single cheque is sent (rather than 13) to save admin.Guernsey Welfare Service Ltd
Or donations can be made simply and easily via Paypal by logging in to our web-site guernseywelfare.com.
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