Money will help the lonely

Age Uk say loneliness is as bad for health as smoking
Age Uk say loneliness is as bad for health as smoking

A new £500,000 fund to tackle the modern-day epidemic of loneliness has been announced by the Scottish Government for the first time.

The Social Isolation and Loneliness Fund will support different types of activity that will help people who are lonely or at risk of bcoming isolated.

Now the Voluntary Action Fund (VAF), which will distribute the money on the Government’s behalf, is urging community groups and charities to apply for grants of up to £20,000.

Keith Wimbles, VAF’s chief executive said: “The VAF has always believed its role is about more than just money. Increasingly we’ve become aware of the value of developing connections, trust, relationships, shared values and mutually beneficial support, so this fund is very much in line with our core values. Through the Social Isolation and Loneliness Fund, we look forward to supporting some of Scotland’s most vulnerable people through building social capital to make a real difference to their quality of life.”

The deadline for applications is May 20. Visit or contact VAF on 01383 620780.

Thomas Saveall won the Project Spotlight Volunteer award at the Citizens Advice Scotland conference. He was presented with a silver Quaich by HRH Princess Anne. Picture - Stewart Attwood''''All images � Stewart Attwood Photography 2019.  All other rights are reserved. Use in any other context is expressly prohibited without prior permission. No Syndication Permitted.

Taylor Wimpey have confirmed directly with local Councillor Nathan Wilson that the organisation retains its commitment to building a park and ride at Shieldmuir Train Station. In response to recent enquiries made by Councillor Wilson, Taylor Wimpey have advised that engagement is taking place with Network Rail over the latter’s approval procedures and that once this process is complete, work will be able to begin on site. The developer has informed the Motherwell Councillor that during the period of investigation undertaken since the commencement of building work was delayed in January 2018, an unrecorded service chamber has been discovered on site. The project cannot move forward until further clarification is provided on the nature of the service chamber and Taylor Wimpey are in the process of commissioning a contractor to assess the situation. The developer’s initial judgement is that this is likely a redundant service. A senior representative of the organisation has also informed Councillor Wilson that a member of the Taylor Wimpey production team will be sent out to inspect the vacant land following a request he made at the beginning of 2019 for maintenance work to be carried out on site should construction of the park and ride remain some time away. Councillor Nathan Wilson said: “Taylor Wimpey have communicated to me directly that the park and ride facility is a project that the organisation remains committed to delivering. “However, it goes without saying that the lengthy delay is still very disappointing and frustrating. “An unrecorded service chamber has been identified on site and progress is unable to be made until this has been investigated. “Taylor Wimpey have relayed to me that an on-site inspection of the vacant land will take place and I hold to the view that maintenance work should be carried out in the short term to improve it’s current condition. “I will continue to engage with the relevant stakeholders and re-inforce to them the importance of the park and ride project locally. Motherwell and Wishaw CAB takes home 40 per cent of the prizes