A ‘GROUND-breaking scheme’ has been launched to help 3,000 vulnerable people overcome loneliness in the county.
Worcestershire County Council and Worcestershire’s three Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have awarded the country’s first Social Impact Bond to Reconnections Ltd.
The new service will start in August and will be delivered by Age UK Herefordshire and Worcestershire, together with local voluntary and community organisations.
Through a Social Impact Bond, social investors cover the upfront costs for social enterprises and charities to deliver new programmes to address the needs of vulnerable groups.
Coun Marcus Hart, cabinet member for health and well being, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for Worcestershire to contribute significantly to the national learning on the benefits of tackling social isolation.
“Social isolation can be triggered at specific life changes as people become older, such as retirement, death of a partner and loss of mobility which can lead to a deterioration in emotional wellbeing and contribute to someone needing increased levels of health and social care support.
“Social Impact Bonds attract investment from the private and socially motivated sector to tackle social problems in new and innovative ways.”
If the Reconnections Social Impact Bond is successful in reducing loneliness among older people, Worcestershire County Council has pledged to inject a £540,000.
Philip Talbot, chief executive officer, Age UK Herefordshire and Worcestershire, said they were looking forward working with partners to help combat loneliness.
“We are very excited to be part of this ground breaking work which addresses loneliness in our communities in a practical way,” he added.