A SOUTH Lakes charity for the elderly has urged residents to check allowance entitlements to offset the effects of the free TV licence ending.

A representative from the charity said the ending of the licence was causing 'increased worry and distress' for those affected in the area.

The BBC have been sending letters this week to the millions of over-75s impacted by the licence's scrapping.

As of this month, the licence is to be means-tested, the broadcaster said earlier this year.

Commenting on the impact the move has had on residents in the area, Hannah Kitching, Client Services Manager at Age UK South Lakeland, said: "Television is the main form of company for many older people within South Lakeland. It is a constant companion and often central to the lives of those who, for various reasons, do not have much human contact, especially during this period of increased isolation caused by the Lockdown.

"We are therefore bitterly disappointed that, despite widespread petitioning, it has been announced the free TV licence for over 75s is being removed.

"With nearly a third of over 75s living in poverty or just above the poverty line, paying an extra hefty bill would simply be impossible for them when they’re barely scraping by as it is.

"We are urging those who are worried about paying for their TV licence to check their entitlement to Pension Credit, or indeed any other allowances, to ensure they are not missing out on financial support available which would prevent unnecessary, and often unsafe sacrifices being made.”