GRANTS worth thousands of pounds are available for community projects which fight loneliness among older people in the East Riding.

The Connecting Communities Grant Fund offer cash help to schemes that help bring people together and get connected to their communities, and groups in the county are being urged to make use of the money on offer.

A community club in a village near Pocklington is one of the projects which has benefitted from the money.

The Wednesday Club, which meets weekly at Ellerton and Aughton Village Hall, was established 25 years ago and in danger of closing until they too successfully applied for a grant.

Volunteer coordinator Simone Wintringham said: “The Wednesday Club has been a real life saver. One person who attends lost his wife and didn’t leave the house for six months but since coming to the club I now regularly see him out and about in Pocklington.”

The club offers a varied activity programme to around 17 people, many aged 70 or over or with serious mobility problems. In a recent survey 85 per cent of members said they felt less lonely since joining the Wednesday Club, while 100 percent of members said they had learnt new skills.

Simone added: “Without the grant we wouldn’t be up and running. The money covers everything from our transport costs to our activities, trips out and training the 16 volunteers on the rota. It’s been a fantastic boost."

The Martongate Community Cafe, in Bridlington has also benefitted. The cafe, which is open at the North Library on Tuesdays 2-4.15pm, is somewhere for people to socialise in a friendly environment, play table games such as dominoes and scrabble, and do a chair-based exercise class called ‘Exercise4All’.

Project leader, Reverend Gavin McFadyen, said: “The grant money has made a huge difference to the work of the cafe, enabling it to get started and to develop activities which are a real benefit to the community."

The grants are administered by East Riding of Yorkshire Council, and are available for projects that get older people more socially and physically involved in their communities.

Organisations, voluntary groups and community groups working or based within the East Riding of Yorkshire can apply for either a lump sum, or an annual grant for three years.

For more information contact Roger Tomlin at or phone 01482 392226.