Central fund to tackle loneliness and isolation announced by Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil
A new Scottish Government fund of £300,000 has been established to help local projects to tackle loneliness and isolation, Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil has announced.
The Social Isolation and Loneliness Fund is designed to have a preventative impact on people from vulnerable groups who are isolated and lonely.
Also, a further £248,000 has also be allocated to existing projects like Age Scotland Community Grants Programme, Befriending Networks and Meal Makers, which encourages people to make an extra meal for a local older person who may need company while they eat.
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Neil said: “Loneliness and isolation is widespread, across all levels and ages of society, and there are no easy answers. We know there is a link between loneliness and poor physical and mental health, and impacts on everyday life.
“However, it is clear there is much positive work going on, and this funding will not only enable this to continue, but the new fund will allow further work to be done.”
Over the last few years voluntary and third sector organisations have competed for shrinking funding from local authorities as their budgets have been squeezed.
The Scottish Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Committee recently published a report into experiences of lonely and isolated people, after figures showed loneliness can double the impact of obesity, and extreme loneliness can increase an older person’s chances of premature death by 14 per cent.