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Caithness Voluntary Group Success With Loneliness Funding Award

21st July 2023

Caithness Voluntary Group is one of 53 projects awarded a share of £3.2 million fund set up to tackle loneliness by Scottish Government.

Activities delivered by the organisations include community choirs, walking football, Men's Sheds and volunteering opportunities.

Equalities Minister Emma Roddick visited Inverness Foodstuff, one of the successful projects, to see the impact of their work and hear how support through the Social Isolation and Loneliness Fund will benefit the local community.

Ms Roddick said, "Social isolation and loneliness can affect anyone, but especially those most affected by the cost of living crisis such as disabled people, younger people, and those who live alone.

"The Social Isolation and Loneliness Fund is providing support to a range of projects across Scotland which deliver vital services in their communities. Inverness Foodstuff is a great example of how this Scottish Government funding will help to bring more people together, creating stronger social connections and improving public health.

"We are determined to tackle the harm caused by this hidden problem and this Fund is just one of the actions we are taking to help tackle social isolation and loneliness through our plan, Recovering our Connections."

Inverness Foodstuff has been awarded a grant of £72,000 to deliver their lunch club twice a week in the Hilton area of Inverness. The lunch club will benefit an estimated 2,400 homeless and vulnerable people in the area over the duration of the Fund.

Chair of Inverness Foodstuff Stuart Black said, "Inverness Foodstuff has operated from Ness Bank Church since 2015 offering hot food three times a week, utilising surplus food. But, it's more than just a meal. We offer access to clothing, debt relief, IT support, mental health support, housing and homelessness support and access to hairdressing. Inverness Foodstuff also provides 75 volunteering opportunities.

"Over the past year we have served 8,500 meals in our city centre premises, an increase of 58% compared to 2021-22. This reflects the cost of living crisis and the extent of poverty in our city. We are delighted to gain Scottish Government funding to expand our service into Hilton, a recognised area of need, in partnership with Highlife Highland."

The full awards list HERE


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