County Council's Scarborough challenge to combat loneliness and isolation

North Yorkshire County Council are making a drive to combat loneliness and isolation this month
North Yorkshire County Council are making a drive to combat loneliness and isolation this month

North Yorkshire County Council are aiming to combat loneliness and isolation this month across Scarborough.

Social activities are being held along the North Yorkshire coast during November in the Say Hello Coast campaign, which aims to bring people together to tackle loneliness and isolation.

North Yorkshire County Council’s Stronger Communities and Living Well teams have been working with voluntary and community organisations and Beyond Housing community development organisation on research by the Centre for Better Ageing, a national research centre looking at issues that affect older people, to look at how people aged over 50 contribute to the community.

Castle Ward in Scarborough was one of four locations around the country chosen for the project in which local researchers interviewed people and recorded their stories.

County Councillor David Chance, Executive Member for Stronger Communities, said: “Having heard some inspiring examples of what a sense of community could mean in reducing social isolation, as well as heart-breaking examples of how people could feel isolated and lonely in a busy café where no-one took the trouble to say hello, local organisations came together to try to make a difference.”

The result is the Say Hello Coast campaign, which will run until the end of November. It sets out to emphasise how even the small act of saying hello to someone can make a difference to their day.

A series of community events in the Scarborough area will encourage people to come together, enjoy themselves, try something new and meet people. These range from music with local bands aimed at young people, a volunteering fair showcasing the social benefits of volunteering at Scarborough library, an adult games event, a family fun day by the YMCA and North Yorkshire Youth, and café socials co-ordinated by Yorkshire in Business to encourage people to feel comfortable chatting to new people in a safe, welcoming environment. There will also be events in Filey and Whitby.

The campaign recognises some of the excellent activities that already happen in the area, especially those that have capacity to take on new members, so some of these have been brought under the Say Hello umbrella to make people aware that they can join.

The organising team hopes that the campaign will run each year and more activities and venues will be added across the district.

Among the events are:

Local business owners’ coffee meet-up, Yay! Coffee, Woodend, Scarborough, Monday, 12 November, 10am.

Games event, Scarborough library, Saturday, 17 November, 10am-noon.

Family fun day, YMCA, St Thomas Street, Scarborough, Sunday, 18 November, 11am-2pm.

SWR Mind coffee morning, Falsgrave Community Centre, Sunday, 18 November, 10am-1pm.

Café social, Walkers of Bar Street, Monday, 19 November, 3.30pm.

Scarborough mini music festival with Rocket Smith, Tom Townsend and Circa 15, YMCA Theatre, St Thomas Street, Scarborough, Tuesday, 20 November, 7pm-10pm.

Volunteering fair, Scarborough library, Wednesday, 21 November, 10am-1pm.

Café social, Solange, Scarborough (opposite TK Maxx), Wednesday, 21 November, 10am.

Café social, East Coast Kitchen, Scarborough, Tuesday, 27 November, 1.30pm.

Coffee morning and Christmas crafts, Gallows Close Centre, Endcliff Crescent, Wednesday, 28 November, noon.

Café social and Christmas shopping, Amelia’s, Scarborough, Thursday, 29 November, 5pm-7pm.

Details of all events can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sayhellocoast and Twitter at twitter.com/Sayhellocoast