Independence | Viva! - The Vegan Charity


This section gives practical advice on helping people stay in their own homes for as long as possible and maintain independence.

Most surveys show that as people grow older they usually prefer to maintain their independence and live in their own homes for as long as possible.

The charity Vegetarian for Life (VfL) was founded in 2008. One of its major goals is to try make independent living easier for older vegetarians and vegans.

VfL supports people through information and advice and also through grants.


VfL publishes a wide range of booklets and guides. These address practical issues such as the nutritional needs of older vegetarians and vegans and provide many useful cooking and recipe tips.

Additionally, topical publications such as vegetarian and vegan meal suggestions for special events such as Valentine’s Day or Diwali can help prevent the usual choice of meals becoming a dull routine.

Their most popular publication is Cooking on a Budget, a 32-page guide for older adults who are adjusting to living to a pension… or who are just money-saving scrimpers! Packed with practical tips for smart shopping and cooking on a budget, it explains how to make real savings by planning, savvy shopping and cooking, and sensible storage. It features recipes throughout.

All of VfL publications can be downloaded from their website. Alternatively, you may request copies by phone (0161 257 0887) or by writing to the charity at 83 Ducie Street, Manchester M1 2JQ.


Vegetarian for Life administers two charitable funds, The Vegan Fund and The Vegetarian Fund. The Funds were launched in 2010, and we were pleased to award the first grant in May 2010 – for a stair lift to enable a vegetarian lady to move out of care, back to her own home, to resume independent living.

Since then we have awarded a number of further grants, including assistance with relocation, a bath aid, vegetarian/vegan cookery courses for older people in Wales, a mobility scooter, a cooker, and for fitting a downstairs shower room.

To be eligible for a grant from either fund you must be aged 60 or over and in financial need i.e. with a small regular income and low savings. (We follow the income and savings limits used for eligibility for Council Tax Benefit.)

To be eligible for a grant from The Vegan Fund you must also be a practising vegan. For a grant from The Vegetarian Fund you must be a practising vegetarian.

Further guidance

Grants are awarded on a one-off basis. They are not suitable for ongoing expenditure.

  • Grants are normally made to assist 'independent living'. For example: to provide ramps, grab handles, minor kitchen/bathroom adaptations, stair lifts, a mobility scooter, 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).
  • Applications for other uses will be considered – as long as the grant will benefit one or more older vegetarians or vegans.
  • Individual grants are normally subject to an upper limit of £3,000, but this may vary if the grant would benefit more than one eligible person or, at the Trustees' discretion, if there are other extenuating circumstances.
  • Each application will be judged on its individual merit by the Trustees of Vegetarian for Life, whose decision is final.

How to apply?

Application forms for grants can be downloaded from the Vegetarian for Life website. Alternatively you may request a copy by phone (0161 257 0887) or write to the charity at 83 Ducie Street, Manchester M1 2JQ.