A PENZANCE community group has been awarded funding of more than £7,000 by People’s Health Trust, using money raised by HealthPerfect through The Health Lottery.
Sundance hosts weekly creative dance sessions for older people in the town so that they can get to know their neighbours, make friends and strengthen their communities.
The investment will help provide creative dance classes to people living in Penzance, Pendeen and St Just in a bid to reduce the negative effects of loneliness.
Caroline Schanche, Sundance’s creative director, said: “Isolation is a big problem in Penzance. It’s one of the top areas in the country for premature deaths.
“Research shows that loneliness has a similar impact on mortality as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, yet many older residents have limited access to transport and become increasingly isolated.
“Our community has been lost to holiday homes, and deprivation here is overlooked because of the beauty of the area, so it’s great to be able to provide this group for people who find it so valuable.
“This funding has been so helpful. We couldn’t run without it, and to be able to reach more and more people as a result is fantastic.”
An attendee of the group, said: “The Sundance project improves my social life and self-confidence. I have participated in other activities that I definitely wouldn’t have seen myself doing before. It gives moments of connection and a focus for the week, as well as much needed exercise for body and brain.”
John Hume, chief executive of People’s Health Trust, said: “Isolation is a big problem for older people in Britain, so it’s fantastic to see great ideas like Sundance’s creative dance classes help bring communities together and create a better place to live.”