23rd Oct, 2018

Charity seeks to help 3,000 Coventrians conquer isolation in time for City of Culture 2021

Felix Nobes 9th Aug, 2018 Updated: 9th Aug, 2018

AN INSPIRING charity initiative aims to eventually conquer loneliness and isolation for more than 3,000 people in Coventry.

The ‘Connecting for Good Walk & Talk’ scheme was launched yesterday to throw a lifeline to the city’s more vulnerable residents.

Coventry charity Grapevine offers support to the elderly, the disabled and those seeking jobs.

And its newest scheme aims to support all those ‘united by a common feeling of isolation’.

The project staged a number of events yesterday including a walk and talk tour of the city’s historic sites, a tea party and performances from several guest speakers.

It has been backed by the Big Lottery Fund to the tune of £500,000 over the next three years.

The charity hopes its ‘Connecting for Good’ movement can help at least 3,000 residents interact with others more easily.

A charity spokesperson said: “We aim to bring together individuals who are or have been isolated from society as well as services which tackle the effects of isolation, such as public health.

“We had over 60 people show up which demonstrates how widespread experiences of isolation and loneliness are in Coventry and it’s a cause which is clearly close to many hearts.

“The event could herald a new chapter for people in Coventry – including those with disabilities, job seekers, recent arrivals, new parents, young people and older people.

“The movement is based on evidence isolation makes people more vulnerable to abuse, cruelty and loneliness.

“It can also be linked to ill health.”

The charity also hopes the scheme can help bring together some of the city’s more marginalised people to become part of the UK City of Culture 2021 celebrations.

The spokesperson added: “Connecting for Good seeks to bring people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to the celebrations through their new found networks and friendships – changing lives now and sustaining those changes well beyond 2021.

“From this event and many other planned activities, a movement will grow.”

The first event started from a bench on the bridge across the city’s ring road between Greyfriars Green and Coventry train station at 12 noon.

The charity says participants followed a mapped out route into the city, and saw thought-provoking story tellers and artistic performances about experiences of isolation on the way.

The Walk & Talk travelled past the Council House, through the cathedral ruins and culminated in coffee and cake at local eatery Drapers before the event concluded at 2pm.

For future events and further information go to www.grapevinecovandwarks.org.

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