Cash boost to step up loneliness fight across North Yorkshire

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New funding will be used to “turbo charge” action on tackling loneliness in North Yorkshire.

Community First Yorkshire has been awarded £99,555 from the National Lottery Community Fund’s Building Connections Fun for a project aimed at bringing people together by connecting them with activities organised by voluntary and community groups across the region.

The funding was secured from the Government and National Lottery players, through a competitive bidding process at the end of last year.

Leah Swain, chief executive at Community First Yorkshire, said: “Loneliness can come in many forms and we want to use this fund to work with partners to make sure support is reaching as many people across North Yorkshire as possible.

“Our aim is to get people thinking about loneliness and the easy things we can all do to help ourselves and each other connect with someone.”

She said she was keen for “social” pension planning to be established alongside the other plans people making for their retirement, adding: “We have financial plans for retirement but how many of us have considered our future social health?

“Meeting people through volunteering and learning can play a vital part in securing our mental and emotional resilience as we grow older.

“The same approach can also be taken for young people moving from one education setting to another, moving home or moving into work.

“We’re excited to have been awarded this grant and I believe we’ll be able to make a positive difference to the lives of lonely people in North Yorkshire.”

Community First Yorkshire is working with voluntary, NHS, local authority partners and private businesses to develop a North Yorkshire-wide, all ages, strategy for tackling loneliness, as well as a series of awareness campaigns.

The Yorkshire Post is continuing its award-winning Loneliness: The Hidden Epidemic campaign to highlight the issue. First launched in 2014, it was praised by the Duchess of Cornwall earlier this month.