A CHARITY which supports rural communities in Ryedale and across the county has secured nearly £100,000 from the National Lottery Community Fund’s Building Connections fund.

Community First Yorkshire, based near York, has been given £99,555 which it will use to help support and inspire more local action to “turbo-charge” the county’s response to tackling loneliness.

The charity is working with voluntary, NHS, local authority partners and private businesses to develop a North Yorkshire-wide, all ages, strategy for tackling loneliness and series of campaigns.

The project aims to connect people to activities provided by voluntary and community organisations and help people make new friends. It will use research and examples of what has worked well elsewhere.

Leah Swain, chief executive at Community First Yorkshire, said: “Loneliness can come in many forms and we want to use this fund to work with partners to make sure support is reaching as many people across North Yorkshire as possible.

“We’re excited to have been awarded this grant and I believe we’ll be able to make a positive difference to the lives of lonely people in North Yorkshire.”