New group to beat isolation

A leading charity and one of the region’s largest housing associations have come together to launch a new group aimed at tackling isolation.

County Durham Housing Group has provided £3,500 of funding to Journey Enterprises to establish a new weekly friendship group for older people in Coundon. The funding is part of the group’s community investment programme.

Journey Enterprises is an established charity, which provides opportunities for people with learning disabilities. The new project, based at Mickle Grove Community Hub, will improve both physical and mental health for older people in the village.

Regular social events are planned for the new friendship group, alongside days away, walks and meals. The group will also have the opportunity to pick up new skills such as first aid and food hygiene.

The group will run every Wednesday from 10am to 2pm, with Journey Enterprises staff, volunteers and clients providing support for those attending.

County Durham Housing Group Community Investment Officer, Deborah Woods, said: “Isolation is a real issue for so many older people. This project should make a significant impact in Coundon. The activities planned will provide a great opportunity to break down barriers to an active social life while helping to establish new friendships and support networks.

“By working with an established organisation like Journey Enterprises, we hope that the community will be able to benefit from their significant expertise.”

Emma Boyle from Journey Enterprises said: “We are encouraging residents to be involved every week, we’ve got activities and trips organised, and a light lunch for everyone. We’ve got an action plan for the first six-weeks but moving forward we want to involve everyone taking part in planning the activities and days out. We were over the moon with the funding and are looking forward to meeting lots of local people.”

Coundon has been identified as a priority area by County Durham Housing Group, which means that extra support and funding is being provided to assist residents with training, education and employability.

More information on County Durham Housing Group’s community funding programmes is available here.

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