Vegetarian for Life (VfL) is an advocacy and educational charity working on behalf of older vegetarians and vegans throughout the UK. In 2009 we commissioned a survey of care homes, which found that vegetarians and vegans make up only 1.25% of residents - compared to the latest FSA figure of 3% for the population as a whole. This may be because older vegetarians and vegans, typically, are healthier, but it also may be that they are more independently-minded and stay in their own homes for longer.
'Independent Living' is generally accepted to be better, with older people living in their own homes - in general housing or in retirement or sheltered schemes - for as long as possible. Sometimes this can become increasingly difficult due to arthritis or reduced mobility, for example, but problems like these can often be alleviated with minor adaptations or aids. Financial assistance is available, but can be difficult to access due to limited funds and big demand.
This is where two new charitable funds can help: The Vegan Fund and The Vegetarian Fund. They offer one-off grants to older vegans and vegetarians, respectively, who are in financial need. Grants will normally be made to assist individual independent living, for example to provide ramps, grab handles, minor kitchen/bathroom adaptations, stair lifts, or perhaps respite care (a short stay in a care home for a person being cared for at home, to provide a break for the carer). But applications for other uses will also be considered - as long as the grant will benefit one or more older vegetarians or vegans.
The Vegan Fund originates from donations made by Vegan Society members, and held in safe-keeping by VfL's sister organisation, Vegetarian Housing Association. The Vegetarian Fund is coming directly from VHA's own assets, which originated from donations and loan stock from members of the Vegetarian Society. Both funds will be administered on a day-to-day basis by VfL, and applications will be assessed on their individual merits by the Trustees of Vegetarian Housing Association.
Peter Lakey, Chair of VfL and VHA commented: "We aim to make life easier and more enjoyable for older vegetarians and vegans, and the launch of these charitable funds adds an important new dimension to our work. We hope that the wider vegetarian and vegan community, and the social care community, will welcome them and encourage older vegetarians and vegans to apply for grants if they are in need."
For further information and for grant application details please contact Tina Fox:
0151 608 1595 or firstname.lastname@example.org
22 July 2009