Housing association granted funding to prevent social isolation in older people

  • One housing association has been awarded a £6m grant to provide support to Sheffield's most socially isolated residents.

    The funding from the Big Lottery Fund will enable South Yorkshire Housing Association to lead a partnership of 11 organisations which will support and engage people over the age of 50 who are at a high risk of loneliness, reports 24dash. 

    The focus for the funding will include older people on low incomes, carers, BME groups and people experiencing poor mental health.

    The partnership aims to address issues such as poor physical and mental health for people at risk of becoming socially isolated.

    There are 177,000 people who are over 50 in Sheffield. Of these, 12,213 who suffer loneliness often will benefit

    Juliann Hall, SYHA's Care Health and Wellbeing Director, said: "The £6m investment by the Big Lottery Fund is great news for Sheffield. It will help South Yorkshire Housing Association to make a real difference to the lives of older people in the city, creating vital new projects that prevent and reduce loneliness. In developing our vision for Ageing Better in Sheffield, we spoke to more than 500 older people, using creative techniques such as ‘20s themed cocktail parties, selfie-booths, on-the-buses interviews and spoken-word events. These imaginative and non-traditional methods sparked revealing conversations about the causes of loneliness, while challenging perceptions of what it means to grow older in our city. We know that loneliness has a terrible effect: doubling the risk of dementia, tripling the risk of heart conditions and having an effect on mortality equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Over the course of this six-year project, we aim to empower over 12,000 older people in Sheffield to co-design and co-deliver lasting solutions to this problem."

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    Image source: http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/103653

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