A pilot project designed to reduce loneliness and help people feel included in their communities has started in Luton.
The council is behind the scheme which will initially focus on Biscot and Stospley.
It intends using volunteers to look into the nature and extent of the problem and work with local organisations and communities to identify solutions.
These could range from raising awareness of existing clubs and activities to introducing befriending initiatives.
The council is also evaluating a number of ‘Your Say, Your Way’ projects across the town to ascertain whether they could contribute to reducing loneliness.
Spokesman Cllr Khtija Malik said: “Most people understand the emotional pain that loneliness can cause, but evidence shows it can also harm our physical and mental health too.
“In fact research reveals that the impact of loneliness and social isolation on early death is equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day.” HE added: “We all know that having a good social network – including family, friends and neighbours – improves our lives and this is why we’re committed to reducing loneliness in our communities.”
> If you’d ike to be involved and for more information contact Joe Biskupski on 01582 548774 or email firstname.lastname@example.org