Worcester’s new Mayor, Cllr Allah Ditta, will be raising funds over the next twelve months to tackle the growing issue of social isolation in the city.
According to central Government’s most recent Community Survey (2016-17), one in 20 adults nationally reports feeling lonely “often or always.” And according to Age UK, 35,000 older people across Worcestershire are likely to suffer from loneliness.
The mayor’s nominated charities, Worcester Wheels, Headway, St. Richard’s Hospice and Worcester Cathedral, all work to reconnect vulnerable residents with their communities.
“We are all leading increasingly busier lives and the result is an increased number of older and vulnerable residents who say they are experiencing loneliness and isolation,” says the Mayor.
“I have decided to work this year with a range of charities which all act in different ways to enrich people’s lives by reconnecting them to friends, services and social groups. This is a particular priority as Worcester has a higher than average proportion of older people. Please support these great charities – one day you too may need their help.”
Worcester Wheels (http://worcesterwheels.org.uk/) provides door-to-door transport for older people and/or people with a disability who are unable to use or have no access to public transport. The service is a lifeline for many helping residents to get to shops, health appointments, leisure activities and visit friends and relatives.
All the drivers are volunteers, and the charity will use mayoral funding to provide specialist training for them.
Headway Worcestershire (www.headway.org.uk) provides support, services and information to brain injury survivors, their families and carers. It offers befriending and buddying services, a Day Centre and runs outings and holidays as well as counselling and support to return to work.
St Richard’s Hospice (www.strichards.org.uk) cares for adults with a serious progressive illness, improving their quality of life from diagnosis, during treatment and to their last days. They also support loved ones.
In addition the Mayor will be raising funds this year for Worcester Cathedral (www.worcestercathedral.co.uk). The Cathedral will be putting mayoral funds towards the transformation of the Cathedral’s medieval undercroft into a new Centre for Learning where schools, community groups and visitors can engage with the history of the building. The Cathedral recently received a £1m National Lottery Heritage Fund grant to support the work.