Members of a community scheme say the programs are a “lifeline” for some members and are thrilled to know further funding will allow the scheme to continue.
MHA Communities North and South Staffordshire are the beneficiaries of a grant of £79,136 over the course of two years to allow their Loneliness Outreach Program, which is designed to decrease isolation in the community with a range of activities and events to continue.
The funding has been allocated by the University Hospitals of North Midlands Charity (UHNM)
NHS Charities Together (NHSCT) has awarded the grant to the UHNM Charity as part of its Community Partnerships Grants programme.
Alan Rigby, one of the members of the scheme said:
“The service is a lifeline for so many of the members.
“The social element of the service is probably the only interaction some of the members have with other humans and they are very grateful.
“The members are like a family and the sense of satisfaction you get when you help out one another can’t be bought.”
Liz Daley, Scheme Manager for MHA Communities North Staffordshire said:
“The height of the pandemic was very tough for a lot of our members and caused some of them to lose their confidence, which had an effect on their physical and mental health.
“We had more than 175 referrals during the pandemic to support some of the most vulnerable members of the public.
“This funding will enable us to reach more people, make our scheme sustainable and grow, which is something we are looking forward to.”
Lisa Thomson, Director of Communications and Charity at University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) said:
“Data shows that almost half of all adults experience some degree of loneliness in their lifetime and this has been made worse by the pandemic.
“It’s thanks to the hundreds of thousands of people that got behind NHS Charities Together’s Covid-19 appeal and of course the incredible fundraising efforts of Captain Sir Tom Moore that we are able to work in partnership with community and voluntary groups to tackle loneliness and isolation in our region.