Council project aims to tackle loneliness in the Royal Borough

Council project aims to tackle loneliness in the Royal Borough

Tara O'Connor

A project to combat loneliness in the Royal Borough will collaborate with charities, businesses and voluntary services to reach out to those likely to be lonely.

The Loneliness Project released a ‘heat map’ which identifies the areas with the highest concentration of groups likely to be lonely.

The top four wards were Eton Wick, Clewer South, Clewer North and Oldfield.

Leader of the project, the council’s partnerships manager Harjit Hunjan, said: “The whole thing about this is that we don’t want it to be completely council-led. We want to involve other services.

“We are addressing loneliness for all people but the biggest problem is with older residents.

“That’s where we are starting. We are still in the early stage looking at the numbers of lonely people.

“It is quite subjective though and a lot of people who are lonely wouldn’t say they are.”

The project has enlisted the help of voluntary organisation WAM Get Involved.

Eileen Denny, WAM Get Involved coordinator and event organiser, said: “We’ve already had a couple of workshops and one of the things we’re doing is a coffee and cake event at Gigneys.

“People from different services who work with the elderly will be there on the day.

“It will be nice for people to find out what is on offer and we can find out what people want us to offer.”

Gigneys is a community interest company staffed by apprentices from East Berkshire College.

The event will be in the same week as Silver Sunday – an annual day to celebrate older people.

The coffee and cake morning will take place at the restaurant in Peascod Street between 10am and noon on Thursday, October 1.

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