The Somerset Guardian, 17th June 2020

This week (15th-19th June) is Loneliness Awareness Week. The campaign is a poignant reminder of all those dealing with loneliness, whether it is because they live alone, are in ill health or are carers and seldom see others.

Feelings of destitution and sadness are especially acute at the moment as we enter week thirteen of lockdown and whilst the Prime Minister's recent easing of the measures has enabled more individuals to meet we must not forget those who are not in the position to enjoy these new freedoms.

Recently, the Director for The National Lottery Community Fund for England, Elly de Decker, contacted me to let me know that since lockdown almost £6 million of National Lottery funding has been awarded to more than 400 projects tackling loneliness and social isolation across England 'supporting individuals to connect, reducing feelings of isolation and helping communities to thrive'.

I was delighted to read that last month, The National Lottery Community Fund gave £10,000 to the B&NES Third Sector Group CIO (3SG). The funding will be used towards employing a new co-ordinator after demand for the service increased owing to COVID-19. The project offers several important services to the vulnerable such as food and medicine deliveries and help with housing, mental health and wellbeing and money management.

More than ever, we need to work together to ensure that those in need are being cared for. It is invaluable projects such as 3SG that are the underpinning of our communities and help people through difficult times. This grant is, therefore, especially well-deserved and will benefit so many in the constituency.

Please do not hesitate to contact me: jacob.reesmogg.mp@parliament.uk