This will be facilitated by a Friendship Officer with experience in engaging and empowering communities. Having a mobile facility and funding to provide activities will give us the opportunity to engage with groups, no matter how small, in any location, and to encourage new groups and friendships to form.

East Lindsey is larger than many counties and 80% of the population live in rural areas. A high proportion of the population is of retirement age, the public transport infrastructure is poor and many villages do not have services. They may have had shops, youth clubs or schools in the past but these have closed down due to economic pressures.

Many children in the county go to a school that is not in their immediate vicinity, which means that maintaining friendships out of school is now done increasingly through social media – a luxury which some county children do not have due to poor connectivity. Where people have their own transport they tend to travel into the local towns for activities. Leaving those more vulnerable even more isolated.

We plan to refresh the idea that friendships can be made on the doorstep and empower communities to develop their own links.

The camper van will enable us to take the service out into the communities and so to reach those living in rural isolation. Delivering a regular session in a community over a longer period will enable us to build relationships and engage volunteers.

We will use an inclusive approach to activities, such that they are all accessible by individuals at their own level.

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