Centre is so vital to fight social isolation

GIVE: Russell and Liz

THE Leeds Jewish Welfare Board is asking for support to alleviate social isolation in the community.

Chief executive Liz Bradbury said: “Never has society been more fractured and community more important, than today.

“Throughout LJWB’s 140 years of existence, social isolation has been a common thread and, no matter how far technology and communication has come, people still suffer from loneliness and depression.

“With social isolation on the rise, the community centre is a unique hub which, more than ever, is making a significant difference to people’s lives.

“Social isolation is a growing problem and can apply to every family in the community — it is not ageist, it can knock on your door, at any point in your life, from young adults struggling with major transitions in their lives to young mums left at home with a new baby.”

Studies have shown that one-in-three adults at any given time are struggling with a spectrum of mental health difficulties and feel excluded from society,

Ms Bradbury continued: “Last year, LJWB supported 698 people to reduce social isolation — that is 698 people and their families who benefited from the positive impact of our company, classes, kosher food and support — offered by the community centre all year round including weekends, festivals and other critical times when loneliness can kick in.”

The community centre provides 52 different activities and classes on a weekly basis.

The youngest participant is two-months-old, while the oldest is almost 100.

Reduced-cost kosher meals are served at lunchtime, making sure that a hot kosher meal is accessible to everyone, every weekday.

The state-of-the-art all-age, all-ability community centre provides a unique offer for a unique community.

Ms Bradbury added: “Last year, LJWB provided more than 3,703 hours of one-to-one support.

“We might never have met you, but we have probably had an impact on your social circle.

“In addition, we provided more than 2,400 hours of Listening Line and Helpline support calls, with our dedicated volunteers reaching out to socially isolated and frail members of our community, to help them through their day and access any support they might need.”

LJWB chairman, Russell Manning urged the community to continue supporting the work of LJWB so it can continue providing a lifeline for every family in the community.

He said: “We welcomed an average of 5,000 visits per month to the centre.

“In a community of 8,000 people, we are the second and, at times, the first home to so many.

“LJWB’s bond with our community is second-to-none.

“We are very grateful for having this special relationship.”

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