Age Concern launch new initative in Lancashire

Publish Date: 12/10/2007

The project titled 'Friends of Dorothy Project' is the result of a £131,000 grant aiming to tackle and reduce the isolation felt by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) residents over the age of 55 as well as raising awareness of the social anxieties many older people experienced and experience today.

This grant, from the National Lottery's Reaching Communities programme, follows a research report published by Age Concern Preston and South Ribble in April 2006, which found that there was often reluctance on the part of older people to get involved with what they saw as 'the authorities' together with forming and maintaining friendships.

A part time project officer has now been appointed in post and two key objectives have been developed for the scheme. The first is to develop a befriending service for older LGBT people in the local community with the support of a group of volunteers by engaging them in social activities and setting up a helpline.

The project also aims to promote and co-ordinate the Navajo Charter Mark Scheme that formally recognises organisations as being LGBT friendly across Lancashire. Almost 100 organisations have now signed up and include Lancashire Constabulary, Lancashire Care NHS Trust and Blackpool Borough Council.

For more details telephone 01772 552867 or visit www.55plus.org.uk/friendsofdorothy