Bid to combat loneliness
Loneliness, especially in rural areas such as ours, has been shown to have major health and well being impacts.
More than nine million people in the UK say they are always or often lonely - from young mums to the elderly to the recently retired.
The problem can be even more acute in rural areas where social isolation is also a factor.
Recognising this a special task and finish inquiry has set up a group to address rural isolation and community engagement by working with parish councils and other partners and agencies.
Research has already started and information is being gathered about organisations and groups in the parishes. More details about parish organisations are welcomed so please bring these to the group's attention by contacting Sharon Warner on 01205 314266 The group also wants to hear about success stories shown to combat the effects of social isolation.
The group will aim to improve the following:-
Increasing channels of communication for residents
More involvement of residents in local matters in the community
Increase in take up at community events
Increased accessibility to Boston Borough Council for parish residents
Increasing the democratic engagement of the public with the Borough and the Parish Councils, including young people and schools.
Raise awareness in the community of the services available to them from local government and voluntary sectors such as transport.
The group has already held very positive meetings with parish councils and other agencies and started to assist with communication in areas such as social media to get messages out to residents and listen to their concerns.
Red Cross scheme for only the lonely
A British Red Cross scheme is already up and running in Boston to lend a helping hand to people who feel alone.
The British Red Cross Connecting Communities project offers a period of 12 weeks' support via dedicated volunteers and Community Connector, with no charge to the individual.
The support is tailored to the wishes of the individual, built around enabling people to realise the things they want to achieve. Together they will develop a specially-tailored plan of activities.
The aim is to help by rediscovering interests, rebuilding independence, finding new friends and enjoying staying involved.
British Red Cross say they want to enable those involved to develop the confidence to continue with the activities of their choice, unaided at the end of the 12-week period.
Referrals can be made by individuals themselves, family members, health professionals, other charities and organisations by telephone to 0345 054 7171 option 1. Please ask for a Connecting Communities referral.