In the bustle of a busy Louth day, it may be hard to contemplate the idea that anyone locally is lonely - but according to a chart by Age UK, residents in certain areas of the town are placed in a high risk category.
Compiled in 2016, and using 2011 Census data, the charity’s Risk of Loneliness in England map shows that streets around St Bernard’s Avenue, Monks Dyke Road, Newbridge Hill, and Fulmar Drive, for example, are ‘very high risk’ areas for isolated people over the age of 65.
The heat map was created using marital status, self-reported health status, age and household size - and remains a tool not only used by Age UK but also organisations bringing groups of people together who would otherwise be confined to their homes.
One such organisation is Age UK Lindsey, a brand partner of the national charity covering East Lindsey, West Lindsey, and North Lincolnshire. Active in Louth, Age UK Lindsey is teaming up with the White Horse Inn in Kenwick Road, to offer a new-style pub lunch club for people over 50.
Sue White, Age UK Lindsey Service Manager (Core Charity Services), said: “The closure of so many banks and post offices has meant that older people are going unnoticed.
“They would, in the past, regularly collect their pensions, or be out and about paying bills, and if someone didn’t show up, a member of staff would have noticed. Nowadays, with everything being online, people are becoming more isolated and communities are no longer noticing when someone isn’t where they should be.”
With that in mind, the new pub lunch clubs opening through Age UK Lindsey across the region are bringing friends together, and some have found that their meetings are no longer restricted to once a week, or fortnight.
New pals are catching up with far more frequency, in the warmth of a cosy pub, where the long opening hours make it easier to plan a catch up.
The new lunch club will start today (Wednesday, February 5), from 12 noon until 1.30pm, and will offer a main meal and a tea or a coffee, all for just £6.
Sue added: “We are hoping to reach out to people that don’t socialise to help them make new friends and interact with the local community. The new lunch clubs are proving to be very popular and 26 people attended our most recent club – pop down and give it a try!”
For more about Age UK Lindsey or to book a space at the lunch club – you don’t have to book but it will be easier for staff numbers if you do – call 01507 524242.
You can also find more information by visiting: www.ageuk.org.uk/lindsey.