Mental health charity FDAMH wins Lottery backing for loneliness project

FDAMH staff, volunteers and service users Jim Farqhuar, Jacqui Needham, Morag Fullard, Neil Sower, Maggs Storrie and Julie Law.'' Picture: Alan Murray
FDAMH staff, volunteers and service users Jim Farqhuar, Jacqui Needham, Morag Fullard, Neil Sower, Maggs Storrie and Julie Law.'' Picture: Alan Murray

A mental health charity is celebrating a landmark funding award that will allow one of its key services to continue for years to come.

Falkirk District Association for Mental Health (FDAMH) secured the almost quarter-of-a-million pounds grant from The Big Lottery Fund last week.

This funding will mean we can continue to support and encourage a significant number of older people in the Falkirk district who find themselves isolated or lonely

Julie Law, FDAMH project co-ordinator

The cash will allow the Victoria Road-based charity, which supports people from across central Scotland, to continue its successful Third Age Befriending project for another three years.

The free service helps older people make friends at an age when many have difficulty meeting new people. It also organises social groups that build lost confidence and encourage people to reconnect with their communities and interests.

“This funding will mean we can continue to support and encourage a significant number of older people in the Falkirk district who find themselves isolated or lonely,” said project co-ordinator Julie Law.

“We also provide small, friendly social groups that meet regularly, again with a trained volunteer, to have lunch together in local cafés and restaurants where they can chat, exchange news and eat good food together as well as short trips to places of mutual interest.”

It is estimated that 51 per cent of people in the UK aged 75 and over live alone.

Research by the Campaign to End Loneliness revealed that more than a million people feel trapped in their homes and around five million older people consider television their main form of company.

Big Lottery Fund Scotland chairwoman Maureen McGinn said: “I’m delighted that Falkirk Association for Mental Health is one of the latest groups to receive an award from our Investing in Communities fund.

“This is life-changing money that will benefit those people and communities most in need. This grant will make a big difference where it is needed most and I wish Falkirk Association for Mental Health every success as it goes on to develop and expand its project.”

The £240,132 award will also allow FDAMH to recruit a new support worker for the project. Anyone interested in the role should visit

www.fdamh.org.uk/news/jobs-and-opportunities.