INDEPENDENT Arts and Newport and Carisbrooke Community Council have teamed up to deliver a 'community connections' service — reaching out to vulnerable residents who are at risk of isolation and loneliness.

Dedicated community connectors will help people access local groups and activities, designed to build confidence and give lifelong tools to improve well-being.

Age UK Isle of Wight said loneliness was a growing problem for older people on the Island, where one in residents aged 65 and above live alone.

A study by The Co-op and British Red Cross revealed more than nine million adults nationwide said they were either always, or often, lonely.

People can be referred to the service by Age UK or Barnardos — or pop into the People’s Pop-up Gallery in Newport High Street to say hello.

Visit the Creative Cafe to try out arts activities, or the Anxiety Cafe which helps people struggling with anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.

Kate Ball, Independent Arts chief executive, said: “We really welcome this opportunity that has been provided by Newport and Carisbrooke Community Council and the Isle of Wight Council to provide a local service to reach out to vulnerable individuals and help them feel less isolated, alone and marginalised.”

Community council chair, Cllr Julie Jones-Evans, said: “Moving into supporting local, vulnerable people in this way is a new development for the council.

“The project will be fully monitored and evaluated throughout its year-long trial. If successful, the council may wish to continue the support.”

For further information, call 822437 or email