LOCAL community group Ilkley and District Good Neighbours is celebrating being awarded almost £1000 in National Lottery funding to support its work with older residents in the area.

The donation will be used to help fund a number of excursions this summer in the Dales for around 70 residents followed by an afternoon tea.

The charity organises a number of special day trips every year for older local individuals, and says that the donation from The National Lottery Community Fund, which distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes and is the largest community funder in the UK, will enable it to continue with its popular annual social outings.

“We’re absolutely delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund has, with its welcome donation of £990, recognised our work in this way,” said charity Trustee Anita Dunford. “Our day trips have always been successful, helping to bring the older community together, and reducing feelings of social isolation and loneliness. It’s an opportunity where individuals who may not get out often can enjoy a pleasant excursion, a nice afternoon tea, and to interact with others.”

Ilkley and District Good Neighbours, established in the 1970s, operates a range of social and practical schemes aimed at helping improve the daily lives of older and vulnerable individuals. The charity provides practical support through its ShopAssist and Home and Garden schemes. Its social support includes one-to-one befriending, as well as the popular ‘Moving On’ scheme, a social group which meets weekly at the Clarke Foley Centre.

“Each of our schemes is supported by a wonderful team of volunteers, doing their best to relieve isolation, promote economic well-being, and help maintain independence and strengthen mental health, “ said Anita. “If anyone would like to become a volunteer or simply get more details of what our charity does, please visit www.goodneighbourtsilkley.org.uk or call 01943 603348. We’re always happy to have a chat.”