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Dunfermline retirees’ social group awarded £2,000 grant to combat loneliness

Funding for Hanover residents.

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A social group made up of residents from a Hanover Scotland housing development for older people in Dunfermline has been awarded £2,000 by Lintel Trust to support an exciting programme of events aimed at combating social isolation and loneliness.

The Hanover Court Social Group was formed last year by 20 of the sheltered housing development’s residents. The group’s aim is to improve social mobility and therefore help to prevent social isolation and loneliness, which affects around 100,000 older people living in Scotland today. The members are all aged between 65 and 99 and some have complex health needs, including dementia, depression, and sensory and mobility issues.

The grant from Lintel Trust will support the social group’s planned programme of in-house events which will take place throughout the year and aim to involve all 43 residents living at Hanover Court. With help from Hanover Scotland’s Volunteer Co-ordinator, volunteers from the local community have been recruited to help encourage and support participation from any socially excluded residents who, either through mobility issues or lack of confidence, rarely leave their homes.

Loneliness has a profound impact on quality of life, with serious implications for physical and mental health. Along with their families and friends in the local community, the residents will have the opportunity to attend various exciting events, including bingo and quiz nights, arts and crafts sessions, and games and activity afternoons. The Lintel Trust grant will go towards buying equipment and materials and will help to encourage participation by making every event free to attend.

Kate Christie, Senior Business Development Officer at Lintel Trust, visited Hanover Court today last week to present the cheque to the residents and find out more about the events and initiatives they have planned over the coming year. She said:

“Lintel Trust has been supporting housing related community projects for 40 years now, through some very challenging financial times. We are a small charity supporting grassroots community projects that make big differences to the people involved. This tenant led project is exactly the kind of thing that we like to get behind, particularly as it encourages social inclusion on more than one level - the involvement of the Hanover Court Social Group and the inclusive nature of what they want to achieve through their activities."

Evelyn Jarret, Chairperson of Hanover Court’s Social Group, said:

“Everyone in the social group is over the moon that Lintel Trust decided to support our programme of events. At Hanover Court there is a great sense of community, however loneliness is a problem for so many people our age, so it was important for us to be able to make these events as accessible as possible, while also engaging more widely with residents’ families and friends.”

Hanover Scotland Volunteer Co-ordinator James Brown said:

“The residents of Hanover Court have put in a lot of work organising a constituted social group, planning the various events and putting in their application for funding. It has been great to work with them on this project, which has the full support of Hanover Scotland.

 “Imagine not speaking to another human being for a whole month. Most of us would agree that this would be pretty tough yet, sadly, loneliness and isolation are a stark reality for so many older people living in Scotland today. At Hanover, we believe all of our residents should have the opportunity to make and maintain friends and connections so they can stay healthy and enjoy life as much as possible. That is why we hope to use this as a pilot project for Hanover Scotland social groups across the country, because no-one should have no-one.”

The cheque handover took place on Friday 23 February 2018 at Hanover Court in Dunfermline.