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Reducing social isolation for older people focus of new round of funding

12 February 2019

Residents enjoying socialising at the borough's new dementia hub.

The community and voluntary sector are now able to apply for funding to reduce social isolation for older people.

The Connecting You: Development Fund is offering grants between £2000 and £20,000, with a total of £200,000 being awarded in this round of funding.

The fund, which is managed by Rochdale Borough Council and NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Group, targets specific themes for each round of funding.

This round's theme is reducing social isolation for older people. By 2020 it is estimated there will be 13,500 people over 65 living by themselves in the borough of Rochdale.

Living alone can result in loneliness and isolation which is very harmful to health, with 12 per cent of people over 65 in England reporting feeling persistently or chronically lonely.

Councillor Sara Rowbotham, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing at Rochdale Borough Council, said: "We have an ageing population which means increasing numbers of residents are at risk of loneliness and isolation.

"Being socially active is vital for our wellbeing, and I look forward to seeing this fund supporting initiatives that make a real difference to the lives of older people across the borough."

The purpose of the fund is to provide short term funding to support the development of innovative approaches that improve the health and wellbeing of our residents. The fund will invest in effective projects that work directly with our community and promote sustainability of services.

Dr Chris Duffy, NHS HMR CCG Chair and local GP, said: "Over the years of supporting social funding we have seen some fantastic schemes that have really made a difference to local people's lives, people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures who have all benefitted from these projects.

"We are excited to be joining forces with Rochdale Borough Council on this exciting scheme to give groups the opportunity to have a health impact within our local community. We are keen to support innovative ways to help and support local people to become healthier and have a better future."

Future funding rounds will be available in Summer 2019 and Winter 2019, and the themes will be released at a later date.

More information about the fund and how to apply