Tackling Loneliness

Merton Community Transport (MCT) is very excited to have the opportunity to take part in the Department for Transport’s Tackling Loneliness scheme, thanks to the Community Transport Association UK (CTA-UK) sharing their grant with us.

Millions of people across the country struggle with feelings of loneliness, a problem greatly worsened by the pandemic. We hope our contributions to the DfT scheme can help other transport organisations to find better and better ways to combat the issue.

Our plan is to work with Merton Connected to enable many different organisations to work together and empower their members most impacted by loneliness and isolation. Merton Community Transport will focus on helping people to overcome the fears that prevent them from going back out into society – which is especially suited to the task at hand.

By partnering with them and many other organisations in Merton, we can make our minibuses more accessible to those struggling with loneliness, and enable them to engage in fun activities with their peers.

We don’t just want to restrict this to the short term – we hope to reduce loss of social contact over time by developing a friendly and supportive service that can be used easily by anyone who needs it.

As well as MCT, the CTA-UK has also shared their grant with other member organisations up and down the country. Each will make their own contribution into finding out the most effective ways to help people who are feeling lonely and isolated.

Minister Baroness Vere said:

“Loneliness affects millions of people across the UK. Transport can help us solve this problem by connecting us to people, places and experiences.”

It’s not just community transport either – Age UK and the National Autistic Society are also among charities awarded funding. With everyone bringing a different perspective into the fold, hopefully we can come up with some workable solutions together.

We’re excited to see the results that will come from this funding, and can’t wait to see what other charities do with their share of the grant.