A charity which provides home care and a volunteer driver scheme across County Durham has received a funding boost of over £7,000 to tackle social isolation.

Supportive has secured £7,000 of funding for a transport scheme through the Bishop Auckland and Shildon Area Action Partnership’s (AAP) older persons social isolation fund.

The fund is allocated to each of the 14 AAPs to support community led initiatives that improve the quality of lives of people over the age of 50 who may be socially isolated. The initiatives encourage participation in activities and projects that provide opportunities for residents to engage with their local communities.

The charity’s volunteer driver scheme has been running for almost 25 years. It has supported thousands of vulnerable people over the age of 50 through promoting independence and providing transport for social activities, supporting carers and the recently bereaved.

John Davison, CEO at Supportive, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Bishop Auckland and Shildon AAP in their focus on social isolation and getting people back out in to their communities. Social isolation and mental health are sometimes the unspoken topics, but we want to help in changing that.

“We want to support by helping people reconnect through visiting groups and services that are able to provide the additional support they need. We are looking forward to seeing what Supportive can achieve with this generous funding.”

Andrew Walker, Bishop Auckland and Shildon AAP coordinator, commented: “The funding we have awarded to the charity Supportive will provide transport for older and isolated residents in the Bishop Auckland and Shildon area, some of whom may struggle to find a way to attend social activities or even to attend appointments.

“We hope that this money will be able to reconnect our isolated residents and improve their overall health.”