New Fund to tackle social isolation and loneliness
A new fund has been set up to tackle loneliness and isolation, Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil announced today.
Voluntary Action Fund will manage a new £300k fund aimed at preventing vulnerable young and older people becoming lonely or isolated. Meanwhile an extra £248k will be given to well-established projects currently working to curb isolation.
Ten per cent of older people are often or always lonely, and these feelings of loneliness are linked to poor health, including depression, high blood pressure and weakened immune system, and an increased risk of developing dementia.
Alex Neil MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners' Rights, said:
“Social isolation can damage a person’s sense of belonging, empowerment and contribution to society. We are committed to tackling this, and I’m delighted today to be announcing more than half a million pounds in funding in order to help do this.
“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."