New £128,000 government boost to fight loneliness in Burnley
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Burnley Library and Mid Pennine Arts have each secured £88,000 and £40,000 respectively to open up more volunteering opportunities which aims to tackle loneliness within the borough.
Recent research has found that those living in more deprived areas are more likely to report feeling lonely and that certain types of volunteering opportunities have been shown to help connect communities and help people develop skills and grow their networks.
The Government is investing up to £30m. into the 27 most disadvantaged areas through the Know Your Neighbourhood Fund to support volunteers and participants to take part in activities such as talking cafes, skills sharing sessions, arts and crafts groups and environmental conservation.
Commenting on the funding which has been secured for Burnley, Antony Higginbotham MP said: “I don’t want anybody within Burnley and Padiham to have the feeling of loneliness and we can go some way to change that with volunteering opportunities.
“It’s great to see that both Burnley Central Library and Mid Pennine Arts have received £128,000 between them to expand volunteering experiences because it will go some way to support those who are experiencing loneliness right now.
“Tackling this issue is exactly what the 'Know Your Neighbourhood Fund' is all about and I’m glad to see our area benefitting from it.”
Over £13m. has been allocated by UK Community Foundations and Arts Council England to create 15,000 high quality volunteering opportunities across the country and support people experiencing, or at risk of, loneliness.
Historic England has also distributed nearly £500,000 to support programmes being delivered on 11 high streets to support volunteers to take part in cultural activities.
Civil Society Minister Stuart Andrew said: “Loneliness is something anyone can experience, at any time. We know that volunteering can help people connect, as well as improving mental wellbeing and helping people develop new skills.
“This funding will mean those in some of the most disadvantaged areas across the country are able to volunteer in an area that interests them. From arts groups to skills development workshops, there are thousands of ways for people to get involved, meet new people, and try new things.”