Blue Monday? Don't forget you can find year-round support

20 Jan 2020 10:06
Published by: Kian French

This 'Blue Monday' (20th January), The National Lottery Community Fund is shining a light on the dedicated community groups in the North West that are helping to combat loneliness and social isolation throughout the year.

Often claimed to be the most depressing day of the year due to factors such as miserable weather, failed New Year's resolutions and financial issues following Christmas, the feelings of loneliness and social isolation can often be amplified around 'Blue Monday' - the third Monday in January.

However, many people experience chronic loneliness and social isolation in our communities all through the year, with research showing that  9 million people in the UK often or always feel lonely, and the number of over-50s experiencing loneliness set to reach 2 million by 2025*.

People in the North West understand this is an issue affecting their community. According to research conducted by The National Lottery, 61% of people in the region believe that reducing loneliness and isolation is a priority for the positive wellbeing of their local community. 53% believe that loneliness and isolation have increased in the past year, with 43% saying that meeting people they have things in common with would help to combat loneliness.

Thankfully, National Lottery-funded community projects across the region are on hand to help and are working hard to bring people together. Many of them offer opportunities to meet like-minded folk, engage in new activities and help others by volunteering - with the added benefit of reducing loneliness in the community.

One such project is The Winsford Community and Youth Forum in Winsford, which received more than £250,000 for much needed maintenance work on the community centre which has been an integral part of the community for 40 years. The community centre has become a hub for young and old in the area to come together and socialise. The project has given people the opportunity to get involved in a variety of activities. From MMA classes for kids to art sessions for older generations, the centre has played an important role in limiting feelings of isolation and loneliness in the area.

Duncan Nicholson, head of funding for the North West at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: "Most of us have felt lonely at some point and being part of a community can really help. Thanks to National Lottery players we are able to support fantastic local projects that are helping people to feel less lonely and isolated. Groups like The Winsford Community and Youth Forum are doing a wonderful job in bringing people and communities together, helping them to find new interests, make friends and thrive. With their ideas, knowledge and passion, this money brightens and changes lives."

The National Lottery Community Fund this year launched its latest insight paper: Bringing people together - how community action can tackle loneliness and social isolationThis paper shares key learnings gathered from some of the thousands of projects funded across the UK that bring people together.

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