MORE older people will benefit from a Muir project to tackle social isolation as it bids to bring communities closer in 2018.
Muir’s ‘Brighter Days’ project launched in 2017, helping to reduce loneliness in communities in Chester by bringing people together for a series of special events throughout the year.
Based around Muir Group Housing Association’s Tweedsmuir sheltered housing scheme, elderly people in the area were invited to join the scheme’s residents to celebrate Easter, Christmas, and enjoy a host of other fun-filled dates in the diary.
And after playing a huge part in making this initiative become a reality, Tweedsmuir scheme manager, Donna Hufton, expressed her delight at knowing it will now be expanded to cover communities in Ellesmere Port following a £10,000 funding boost.
“We are really excited about expanding the project to make a difference to even more people experiencing social isolation in our communities,” said Donna, who put the idea into action after striking up a partnership with ‘Brightlife’ – a project run by Age UK in Cheshire, who have provided funding to support the events.
“I am extremely proud and inspired by the tenants who volunteer to help make these events a reality and help the project run smoothly.”
Research shows loneliness and social isolation are harmful to our health.
Lacking social connections is a comparable risk factor for early death as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and is worse than issues such as obesity and physical inactivity.
One person who benefited from Muir’s Brighter Days initiative was a former nurse, Maureen.
She said: “I was dreading Christmas, but this year was wonderful, everyone was laughing and singing.
“We all got a card and a little present, and the Christmas Dinner was lovely.
“We pulled crackers, had a sherry and mince pies, and Christmas Cake.
“Everyone was friendly and it was good to meet so many new people too.”
Muir hopes ‘Brighter Days will enjoy similar success for people in the community near association’s Smithy Court sheltered housing scheme in Ellesmere Port.
Anyone hoping to learn more about the events, whether it be to volunteer or just join in the fun, can contact Donna on 01244 343940.