Age Better in Sheffield to make big changes to tackle loneliness across the city

According to Age UK, over two million people aged over 75 live alone in England
According to Age UK, over two million people aged over 75 live alone in England
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A community project helping people with loneliness is set to completely refresh its programme as it hits the halfway point in its six year funding.

Age Better in Sheffield teamed up with people aged 50 and over to tackle loneliness across the city in 2016 after they were given a £6m investment from the Big Lottery Fund.

Studies show there are chronic levels of loneliness among older people with three out of four GPs reporting they see one to five people a day visit because they are lonely.

A report quoted the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness and said: “Loneliness is a subjective, unwelcome feeling of lack or loss of companionship, which happens when we have a mismatch between the quantity and quality of social relationships that we have, and those that we want.

“It is often associated with social isolation, but people can and do feel lonely even when in a relationship or when surrounded by others.”

The project has so far helped 1,952 people across the city and offered a range of support for people who are lonely including peer mentoring, counselling and activities to bring people together. Each of the services offered were designed and developed with older people who had experienced social isolation.

Target areas identified as being particularly in need of support with loneliness were: Beauchief and Greenhill, Burngreave, Firth Park and Woodhouse.

The plan for the next three years of Age Better in Sheffield funding will be reviewed in a meeting at 5pm on Wednesday 18 April at the Town Hall.