A Good Life - helping end loneliness in later life

Posted on Tuesday 10 September 2019

Bournemouth and Poole Council for Voluntary Service celebrates receiving over £187,000 in National Lottery funding to help end loneliness and social isolation amongst older people in Poole. The first phase of the project will focus on Poole with the learning then being rolled out to other priority areas across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

A partnership led by the CVS, is today celebrating after being awarded over £187,000 of National Lottery funding to develop a project to help end loneliness and social isolation amongst older people in Poole. Some older people can go for days, weeks or even a month without seeing a friend or family member, and there is evidence showing loneliness can be as bad for health as obesity or smoking.

The CVS and the former Borough of Poole (now BCP Council) brought together a partnership, which includes BCP Council, Prama Life, Faithworks Wessex and Public Health Dorset. Together they will use the funding to engage with existing community groups and businesses, enabling them to provide support for older people within their own community. They will also recruit volunteers to act as ‘Community Connectors’, who will work on a one-to-one basis to help older people feel more connected with their communities through attending local groups and events.

Cllr Lesley Dedman Portfolio Holder for Adults and Health 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”

The new funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, which distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes and is the largest community funder in the UK, will see volunteering expanded and a more joined up approach from local community groups and businesses to tackle what the government are calling one of the greatest public health challenges of our time. The partnership will also build links and work with other agencies across the conurbation and beyond.

James Harcourt, England Director at The National Lottery Community Fund, 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.”

Hazel Walker Chair of the CVS says ‘We’re delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund has recognised our work in this way. Now, thanks to National Lottery players we will be able to work with our partners to ensure there is a coordinated approach to ending loneliness’