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New project to help reach the lonely and isolated in Melksham

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A NEW project to help reach lonely and isolated people in Melksham will be launched later this year.
The project has been funded by Melksham Area Board’s health and wellbeing group and is being led by Carer Support Wiltshire who want to reach all Melksham residents who may be lonely, and connect them with local organisations and groups who can support them or offer social inclusion.
Partnerships and development officer for Carer Support Wiltshire, Lizzie Rapley said, “This will be a service not just for carers, but for anyone in the community who might not be accessing services and support, and are lonely and isolated as a result. We know that loneliness can lead to other health problems, so we hope that this will benefit the health of those people.
“We believe that this service will help strengthen the whole community as not only will it help individuals, but it will also boost numbers for local groups.
“When the service is launched, there will be a flyer sent to thousands of homes in the area, inviting them to call a number for more information. When people call, they will be taken through a questionnaire that will help us identify their needs and help match them up with a local group or activity that we can refer them to.
“We want to make this service as easy to use as possible, so people can find friendship and connection. So rather than overwhelming the caller with telephone numbers, we will be making the referral and the local group will contact them to discuss how they can help.
“We’ll also be working in partnership with a number of other charities and organisations to help deliver the service and maybe offer help with transport too.”
In the build-up to the project’s expected launch in September, Carer Support Wiltshire want to hear from any local organisation or activity group who want to be involved.
“We are wanting to collect as much information about groups and activities in the community as possible,” said Lizzie. “We will need their details so we can signpost to them and there must also be a willingness on their part to be proactive and make the phonecall to the person in need, once the referral has been made.”
Any local groups wanting more information about how they can get involved with the project should call 01380 871690 and ask to speak to Lizzie or Jon Berridge, the partnerships and development manager. Enquiries can also be sent to Lizzie at: lizzie@ carersupportwiltshire.co.uk

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