A £1 million fund will provide a range of projects to tackle lonliness and isolation across North Yorkshire.

The projects, which include visual and performing arts workshops, pop-up community cafes, counselling services, volunteers schemes to help elderly people stay warm during winter months and physical fitness workshops, will all be funded by the cash being made available by North Yorkshire County Council.

The aim of the Innovation Fund, which has been set up by the authority, is to support the transformation of health and adult social care in North Yorkshire.

Around 41 projects across the county will be delivered by voluntary and community partners including Rural Action Yorkshire, Age UK, Live Music Now, National Energy Action, Relate, Wellspring Therapy and Training and Purple Patch Arts. The projects have been chosen to address three main themes: reducing loneliness and isolation; prevention of falls and supporting people to remain in their own homes.

County Councillor Don MacKenzie, North Yorkshire’s executive member for Public Health and Prevention, said: “The Council is using this investment as a key part of its wider drive to help people to maintain their independence, and to encourage local communities to care for their residents.

“North Yorkshire is home to an increasingly elderly population, for whom isolation is becoming a reality. “As an authority we are all too aware of the effects of loneliness on health and social care, and that overcoming isolation represents a major challenge across a rural county with sparse populations.”