Sue Holderness encourages over-65s to seek help amid cost-of-living crisis

Only Fools And Horses actress Sue Holderness is encouraging people over 65 who are “struggling” amid the cost-of-living crisis to find out if they are entitled to financial support.

The 74-year-old British actress has teamed up with Independent Age for a new video which has been inspired by real-life calls to the national charity’s helpline.

Holderness, who is best known for playing Marlene in the hit sitcom, appears as Cathy, who cares for her husband but is struggling financially after he has a stroke.

She explains that life is now “one long dark tunnel” but feels brighter after she speaks to someone at the charity called Kim and finds out she is eligible for carer’s allowance, attendance allowance and pension credit.

“So many older people are currently struggling with the cost of living, and many tell the advisers that it is the first time they have ever reached out for support.

“There can be so much pride in managing as we get older, but no-one should feel ashamed or embarrassed about claiming the money they are entitled to.

“My character’s story is based on real calls and is a typical example of the help that is out there.

“But also of the lack of awareness of the support people can claim.

“I’m urging anyone over the age of 65 who is struggling with money worries at the moment to pick up the phone to Independent Age.

“The support they unlock really can be life-changing.”

Independent Age helps to improve the lives of older people in financial hardship by performing welfare benefit checks, offering free and impartial advice and giving grants to community organisations.

“There is a dangerous misconception that all older people are enjoying their retirement free from money worries but this could not be further from the truth for 2.1 million who are living in poverty, and the millions more who are hovering precariously on the edge.

“We hear from older people who have cut back to eating just one meal a day, or are sitting in damp, cold and dark homes because they fear an unmanageable energy bill.

“Our helpline provides a lifeline for older people in financial hardship – one that takes them from what is often a very dark place.

“Through this video, we want to show the reality of poverty in later life and that support is available that can make a huge difference.”

Independent Age’s free and confidential helpline number is 0800 319 6789 and the team can also be reached at

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