New support for lonely and isolate in Dales and North York Moors

There are more than 91,000 lonely people in Yorkshire and the Humber.''Picture : A Photo/thinkstockphotos
There are more than 91,000 lonely people in Yorkshire and the Humber.''Picture : A Photo/thinkstockphotos
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LONELY, VULNERABLE and isolated people facing crisis in remote areas of the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors will now be able to get the support they need.

The new Yorkshire Dales and Moors Community Connect service will provide emotional and practical support to around 1,000 people after the British Red Cross gained funding from Land Rover UK for the five-year scheme,

Starting next month, it will focus on helping those who are lonely or socially isolated, and who would benefit from short term support and help in reconnecting their communities.

Service coordinator Pauline Broadwith, who along with colleague Rebecca Sirrell will be providing the service, said it would benefit a range of people.

Mrs Broadwith said: “Every crisis is a personal one.

“It could be the new mother who is on an isolated farm and stuck in the house because she has no transport, or someone that has been recently bereaved and their wife used to take care of the shopping and cooking and they aren’t sure what to do. Or they could have simply lost the confidence to go out on their own.

“We’ll be in the position to provide emotional support, but also the transport to take them to local services like a baby club or coffee morning.”

The Red Cross worked with the farming community, Yorkshire Agricultural Society and the Farming Community Network to find out what problems people face in these particular parts of the region.

Volunteers will help people to access services that are already established in the community, such as social groups, fitness classes, community transport, and local community groups which they can accompany them to.

Rachel Souter, British Red Cross senior service manager in Yorkshire, said: “Through companionship and conversation, we will also help to build people’s confidence, reduce social isolation and loneliness which helps to improve overall health and wellbeing.

“This can involve home visits, telephone support, help with shopping and preparing light refreshments, as well as organising the delivery of prepared meals, assistance with paper work and signposting to benefit help as well as other Red Cross services like mobility aids, transport support, and hand, arm and shoulder massage.

“We can also teach people some basic first aid skills, which can be life-saving in rurally isolated places.”

One of the aims of the service is to help the viability of community groups, which may suffer in lack of numbers as people can’t get to them. The project is part of a nationwide partnership, which will see Land Rover UK provide £2m worth of support to 11 Red Cross projects in rural locations.

GPs, health professionals and other members of the community can refer people to this service, and people can also get in touch themselves if they could benefit from support. Volunteers are also needed. Contact 01609 772186.