Community and voluntary groups in North Yorkshire are being given hundreds of thousands of pounds in funding through a county-wide strategy to help to tackle social isolation.
We are co-ordinating the project, which is providing funding to charities and community groups to target those most in need, especially across the vast rural areas of England’s largest county.
Grants under the Stay Healthy, Independent and Connected project have been awarded to 25 organisations to help to point residents experiencing loneliness to specialist support and engage more in their communities.
Our executive member for adult social care, Cllr Michael Harrison, said: “So many communities live in deeply rural areas and it is often difficult to reach those most in need.
“But this new co-ordinated approach, which we are leading, will provide life-changing support and help to ensure that we tackle loneliness as effectively as possible.”
The new prevention grants were launched at the same time as the new council at the start of April and a total of £450,000 is being provided through our health and adult services.
The funding is being used to promote activities and events through community organisations, such as luncheon clubs, coffee mornings and gardening clubs to engage with people experiencing loneliness across North Yorkshire.
Work is also under way to support community transport schemes to ensure that those experiencing loneliness are given the ability to travel to events.
The project is building on the close links that were forged with community support organisations, which proved invaluable during the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as existing initiatives, such as our Living Well service.
The free initiative aims to improve the health, well-being and independence of adults, with co-ordinators providing support for people who are often experiencing social isolation.
The executive member for corporate services, Cllr David Chance, said: “We are committed to helping ensure that these strong community links are nurtured and grow to provide support for anyone who feels the effects of social isolation.”
Latest statistics have shown that it is estimated that as many as 30,000 residents aged 16 and over may be experiencing chronic loneliness throughout North Yorkshire – which equates to about six per cent of the county’s population.
We are celebrating the difference that volunteers make by sharing stories from across the county as part of our Team North Yorkshire campaign.
Read more of their stories.