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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Cast your vote this week and combat loneliness

This news post is about 7 years old

​Edinburgh group needs your vote to help tackle loneliness and isolation

As election fever grips the nation, a small Scottish charity is asking the public to cast a vote of a different kind in order to change the lives of lonely and isolated older people living in Edinburgh.

Health in Mind’s Community Connecting project is in the running to receive funding from the Aviva Community Fund - but only if it receives enough votes.

If successful, the project team will be able to recruit, train and support fifty new volunteers to support over one hundred people.

The project supports people over the age of 65 who are feeling lonely and isolated matching them with a volunteer who helps rebuild their confidence and connections within their local community, develop friendships and rediscover who they are.

Feeling lonely is as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes a day

Wendy Bates, the project’s service manager, said that feeling lonely is as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

“Older people face many changes in their lives which may include the death of a life-partner or a change to their physical health.

“They often find themselves facing this alone, not knowing where to turn or who to ask for help.

“The importance of Community Connecting is shown by research that indicates that isolation in later life can increase the likelihood of an early death by up to fifty per cent with the risk of dementia almost doubling for those who are lonely.

“The reasons for older people becoming isolated from their communities are complex, but whether through loss of confidence, mental health difficulties, bereavement or illness, Community Connecting can offer support to establish new connections and help people reintegrate into their communities.”

Register at to cast a vote.



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