A local charity is helping to tackle Truro’s loneliness epidemic thanks to new funding.

Truro-based charity, iSight Cornwall has been awarded funding by local water supplier, South West Water to help tackle the loneliness epidemic amongst those in the county who are blind or visually impaired.

The Neighbourhood Fund contribution will be put towards the charity’s growing My Friend and Living Needs services.

The funding comes as part of South West Water’s assigned fund of £100,000 to support community groups and initiatives to improve the lives of residents in Devon, Cornwall and Dorset

iSight Cornwall has felt a big hit during the pandemic with elderly citizens who have been left alone without carers or family relying on the support of iSight.

This includes the organisation’s commitment to running 14 activity centres or providing face-to-face contact where needed since September.

This work is clearly needed as nearly two-thirds of disabled people have experienced chronic loneliness during lockdown.

The charity’s virtual befriending has been needed by all age groups in a bid to combat the worrying trend of loneliness during the pandemic. The overwhelming support of volunteers has meant often they have been able to match volunteers and the recipients based on hobbies and interests for everyone to get the most out of the service.

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The extent of South West Water’s role in keeping this the service going includes self-funding PPE and use of the flexi-furlough scheme, meaning they have been more reliant than ever on their volunteers, the admin of which will be paid for by this significant donation.

As a South West Water customer, Carole Theobald of iSight Cornwall spotted the scheme in her newsletter.

Carole said: "South West Water’s Neighbourhood Fund is simply fantastic and it is commendable by such a large organisation.

"They are playing a vital role in local communities and I thought the structure of the application process was very good.

"We can’t imagine fundraising will happen for a while, so this very much came at the right time.

"This money will be used to aid over 200 volunteers, thank you!"

Jo Ecroyd, Customer Service Director of South West Water, said: "We are thrilled to help such a fundamental organisation in Cornwall.

"They are a pillar to the county’s community and provide an invaluable service.

"The My Friend and Living Needs programmes are great initiatives which South West Water is proud to be aiding.”

To find out more about the South West Water Neighbourhood Fund, visit southwestwater.co.uk/community/support/neighbourhood-fund.