Next stage in bid for up to £6m to help Wyre’s elderly

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The next stage of a bid for a multi-million pound grant to help transform the lives of older people in Fleetwood and Wyre is set to get under way.

Wyre has been short-listed for a grant of up to £6m to use to tackle social isolation among vulnerable older people.

The size of the problem in Wyre, which has a growing elderly population, was highlighted in the bidding process.

Earlier this year, Wyre Council and its partners bid for a share of the Big Lottery money.

The Fulfilling Lives: Ageing Better scheme offers groups between £2m and £6m – from a total pot of £70m – to help keep the older generation socially active.

Now Wyre Council is looking for an organisation with experience of project management to mastermind the next stage of the bidding process.

The borough’s application was among 32 to make it on to the shortlist.

Coun Patsy Ormrod, lead member for older people at Wyre Council, said: “We’ve done really well to get this far in the process.

“The Big Lottery Fund said our application was selected as one of those that potentially demonstrated the strongest need, ambition and potential for lasting change.

“When you consider that 46 per cent of our population is over 50 and that Wyre has the highest density of people aged 85 plus in Lancashire, it becomes even more important that we get funding to support them to live independently and with dignity.

“Our plans will focus on four key groups at risk of social isolation – older men who live alone, older people living in rural communities, older carers and older people with dementia.”

Fleetwood councillor Ruth Duffy welcomed the bid.

She said: “There is very much a need for this throughout Wyre, including Fleetwood, because we have an older population in our area.

“We know there are older people who are isolated, including those with dementia and also older carers, and this would certainly help.

“What we need to do is engage with the more vulnerable older people and find out what they want.”

Wyre Council is looking for a group from the voluntary sector with a track record in delivering large partnership projects and supporting older people.

If successful, Wyre could be looking at anything from a £2m to £6m award with projects starting in 2015.

Interested groups have until September 27 to make an application, with interviews taking place on the week commencing September 30.

For more details call Mark Broadhurst on (01253) 877433 or Mark.Broadhurst@wyre.gov.uk