Famous doctor helps launch Mansfield scheme to combat loneliness

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A world-renowned psychologist has helped launch a new pilot scheme to help combat loneliness for older people.

Dr Meredith Belbin visited the Jigsaw Support Scheme in Mansfield for ‘Together We Are Better’, a scheme to pair up mutually compatible older people who can do activities together, go on days out and develop friendships.

Older people who could be lonely will be identified through GP and social care databases and they will be invited to join the scheme. Jigsaw will recruit other older people who live alone who may be interested in the friendship scheme. People will be asked for information such as their interests and hobbies and will be carefully matched to others in their local area.

Diane Davies, programme manager, said: “We were very pleased to be approached by a scientist of Dr Belbin’s calibre to be involved with delivering this project. I think it’s a testament to the valuable work Jigsaw has been doing over the last 13 years to end the kind of loneliness which contributes to such poor outcomes in Mansfield, Ashfield and throughout Nottinghamshire.”

Mansfield and Ashfield Clinical Commissioning Group, and Nottinghamshire County Council, have hinted at helping to fund the scheme and the is also considering funding.