More than £500,000 will be available for charity and community projects that help to reduce loneliness in the over 50s within Manchester.
North, Central and South Manchester Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are funding the £550,000 work as a way of improving both the mental and physical health of older residents who may be feeling isolated.
Voluntary, community groups will be able to bid from January (2014) for small grants between £500 – £10,000 or main grants of £10,000 – £50,000 for services or support which can prevent loneliness and improve quality of life.
Applications will be judged by a panel comprising staff from the three Manchester CCGs (north, central and south); The Valuing Older People team at Manchester City Council, Manchester Older People’s Reference Group and the charity Macc which works with voluntary and community groups in Manchester.
Dr Bill Tamkin, chair of South Manchester CCG, said: “Loneliness can have a crippling effect on people – it makes them withdrawn, under-confident and far more prone to depression and physical illness like heart disease and high blood pressure.
“Projects that offer the hand of friendship and way into social activities can have a life-changing effect on people who have been bereaved, for example, or who live on their own.”
A recent national survey carried out by lobbying group Campaign to End Loneliness found that three quarters of family doctors reported that one in five patients a day attend their surgery primarily because they are lonely. And, three million people over 65 say they are lonely.
Further information about funding applications for the Manchester CCG project contact Anna Tate at Macc on 0161 834 9823 or email email@example.com
For more information please contact NHS Greater Manchester Commissioning Support Unit on 0161 212 4885 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are NHS organisations led by local GPs and other health care professionals who are responsible for deciding how the local health budget is spent.
There are three CCGs in Manchester: North Manchester CCG, Central Manchester CCG and South Manchester CCG.
All GP practices in the city are members of one of these groups. They are responsible for planning and paying for services within each area. This includes planned hospital care such as operations, rehabilitation services, urgent and emergency care and most community services such as district nursing or physiotherapist, mental health services and learning disability services.