In its efforts to end loneliness and social isolation amongst older people locally, Bournemouth and Poole Council for Voluntary Service has received over £187,000 in National Lottery funding.
The project will begin to focus on combating loneliness and social isolation in Poole.
This is before being rolled out to other priority areas across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.
Loneliness is a huge problem in today’s society, especially with the older generation.
Older folk are more likely to have lost partners and be living alone and therefore be more prone to loneliness.
The Council for Voluntary Service along with the local Council have brought together a partnership including BCP Council, Prama Life, Faithworks Wessex and Public Health Dorset.
This partnership will use the funding to support older people within the community by engaging existing groups and businesses.
The partnership will also recruit volunteers to act as ‘Community Connectors’ who work on a one-to-one basis to help older people feel more connected within their communities by attending local groups and events.
The partnership will also build links and work with other agencies across the conurbation and beyond
Councillor Lesley Dedman is the Portfolio Holder for Adults and Health.
She said: “Anything which makes life better for our residents is to be applauded.
“I know that there are problems for many folk with loneliness and isolation, and we must work to end this.”
Relating back to our previous article in the first edition of BH Living, loneliness is as damaging to your health as obesity or smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
Some of the people affected by loneliness can go without seeing or speaking to anyone for at least five or six days.
If they are experiencing health problems as well it can make it even harder for them to get out and about.
The new funding will see a more joined up approach from local community groups and businesses.
This is hoped to tackle what the government are calling one of the greatest public health challenges of our time.
The funding comes from the National Lottery Community Fund.
This is the largest community funder in the UK and distributes money raised by National Lottery players to good causes.
Loneliness is an ongoing issue in Bournemouth due to the local demographic
James Harcourt is the England Director at The National Lottery Community Fund.
He said: “It’s fantastic to see community projects like Bournemouth and Poole Council for Voluntary Service bringing people together.
“Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, people will have the opportunity to socialise and meet new friends, reducing loneliness and isolation.”
There are several charities and organisations fighting this issue.
These include Silver Line, Age UK, Campaign to End Loneliness and many more.
To read our previous article about loneliness click here.
If you have been affected by any issues in the article then please remember you are not alone.
Help is available at:
Silver Line: 0800 4 70 80 90 lines are open 24/7
Age UK Bournemouth: 01202 530530