Great to see our old friends with the coffee caravan amongst a number of other key players benefitting from these additional resources.

A coffee caravan in rural Suffolk, furniture restoration projects for men and organised rambles for the recently bereaved are among more than a hundred initiatives being backed with a £11.5m fund to tackle the epidemic of loneliness.

One hundred and twenty-six projects have been chosen to receive up to £100,000 each in the first ever government-backed fund to tackle a problem that the prime minister, Theresa May, described as “incredibly damaging to our humanity” when she launched a national loneliness strategy in October.

The projects will target a wide range of groups across England from isolated Pakistani women in Bradford to young LGBTQ+ in Bristol and lonely elderly men in Cornwall.

The government believes the health impact of loneliness is on a par with obesity and smoking. It says loneliness is associated with a greater risk of smoking, coronary heart disease and stroke as well as an increased risk of depression, low self-esteem, sleep problems and Alzheimer’s disease.

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