Big Lottery fund helps Engage with Age

image captionMargy Washbrook from Engage with Age said the money would be a huge boost

A new project tackling social isolation among older people has been given a grant of more than £400,000 by the Big Lottery Fund.

Engage with Age will use the money to fund the Hope Project.

It will be launched at the seniors convention at Belfast City Hall later.

Margy Washbrook, from Engage with Age, said loneliness is one of the main issues affecting the elderly.

She said the money would develop programmes of activities for older people in six neighbourhoods across Belfast.

"It means that we'll have time to try different approaches," she said.

"We're working with the people who are most difficult to reach, people who are very isolated.

"So they may take quite a while to find, they will take also probably quite a long time to persuade to get involved with what's going on.

"So the fact that we've got the money and we're able to employ staff whose sole job is to work on this project is a huge thing for us."