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County Council commits £2.4m to help ensure No Lonely Day in Norfolk

10 April 2018

Norfolk County Council has stepped up its In Good Company campaign to combat loneliness in the county by announcing £2.4m of new funding to help ensure no one spends a lonely day in Norfolk if they don’t want to.

Community Action Norfolk, The Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk and Voluntary Norfolk will use the funding to develop new and innovative ways to address the health and wellbeing of people affected by loneliness and social isolation over the next three years.

Speaking about the new initiative, Bill Borrett, Chairman of the County Council’s adult social care committee said:  “In Good Company is our county-wide campaign to tackle loneliness.  It's important because of the way loneliness and social isolation negatively affects the health and wellbeing of our residents.  Estimates show that over 40,000 people in Norfolk are lonely*.

“These are people who are more likely to have poor health, to become victims of scams and fraud and more likely to become reliant on public services sooner.

"We are committed to doing all we can to help Norfolk’s residents stay independent, resilient and well for as long as possible.  So, investing in new ways of preventing loneliness is an important way of achieving this and I am very excited about the prospect of working with our partners on projects that are directly designed to do this over the next three years.”

Andy Nazer, campaigns manager for the Campaign to End Loneliness, who was key note speaker at Norfolk’s first Summit to combat loneliness in February added:  “We are delighted to see Norfolk County Council is once again leading the way in tackling loneliness.  Building resilience and robust, connected communities are key to improving the lives of so many of Norfolk’s residents.  We all need friendship and support, no matter what age we are.  The In Good Company campaign supported by the County Council will help enable this to happen.”

The three organisations, which were selected through a formal process, will now work closely with local authorities, health and voluntary and community organisations to:

  • Identify community groups and assets, including the untapped skills and talents of isolated people
  • Develop community activities, groups and projects at a local level
  • Create and support existing volunteering opportunities for friendship and to help people develop a sense of purpose
  • Run outreach projects which will include people living in rural areas
  • Provide one-to-one and peer support for people who need a bit of help to enable them to overcome life challenges and to build personal confidence and resilience

Community Action Norfolk will be awarded a contract to provide a comprehensive range of support in North Norfolk.

Jonathan Clemo, chief executive of Community Action Norfolk said:  “Community Action Norfolk and our partners are delighted to be working with Norfolk County Council to address social isolation.”

“Building the strength of our communities is key to ensuring people have the support around them and that no-none is left isolated.  This new initiative is an exciting part of how we as a county can work together to prevent ill-health and ensure no-one in Norfolk faces a lonely day.”

The Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk (BCKLWN), is working with many local voluntary and community organisations through the LILY initiative, and will be awarded a contract to provide a comprehensive range of support in West Norfolk. 

Their current initiative is designed to help older people continue to live safely and independently at home.  With the award of this contract, LILY will be expanded to meet the needs of lonely and isolated adults of all ages.

Cllr Elizabeth Nockolds, Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Cabinet Member for Culture, Heritage and Health, said:  “We are delighted to have been awarded funding for the next three years to continue to deliver and further develop our Ask LILY partnership project.  These funds will enable us to extend our service to residents of all ages to ensure those experiencing loneliness are able to access appropriate help.  Our network of providers have a vast array of knowledge and skills, and understand the needs of our local community.  They offer telephone, online, home and community based support.”

Voluntary Norfolk will be awarded contracts to provide a comprehensive range of support in Great Yarmouth, Norwich and South Norfolk.

The charity already supports 1,700 voluntary organisations and has over 200 local voluntary and community sector members.

Alan Hopley, chief executive of Voluntary Norfolk said: “The Voluntary Norfolk Partnership is delighted to be given the opportunity to build upon our existing work with Norfolk’s communities to find new and innovative ways to combat and tackle loneliness and social isolation. Working with a broad range of partners and local stakeholders, we seek to embed a solutions-focused approach which places the voices of local people and communities at the heart of our work. We look forward to working together to build resilient and inclusive communities which help to improve the health and wellbeing of local people.”

In Good Company #NoLonelyDay

To make a personal pledge, find out more about events, activities and services that are designed to help combat loneliness in your area, find volunteering opportunities – or to promote all of these things, please visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/ingoodcompany

People can also share their pledges and their support for In Good Company on Twitter – @NorfolkCC using #NoLonelyDay.

Since Autumn 2017, thirty businesses and community organisations have been recognised for their work to combat loneliness in Norfolk by being awarded an In Good Company Quality Mark.  To apply for a Quality Mark please also visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/ingoodcompany for further information.

  • Loneliness is as harmful to health as obesity or smoking 15 cigarettes a day
  • Research by the Local Government Association shows being lonely can increase your risk of premature death by 30%

Public Health Norfolk has identified:

  • 38,000 people aged 65+ are lonely in Norfolk
  • Over half of people surveyed by Norfolk County Council who receive a service in the county said they don’t get the amount of social contact they would like, with a quarter saying they never leave their home
  • Three in 10 of those aged 80 or over reported being lonely

*Intelligence and Analytics, ONS dataset, 2015 population estimates

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