Loneliness in the countryside and praise for panto

By Mark Pritchett   |   Editorial manager   |
Thursday 1st February 2018 5:54 am
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Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow. ()

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TAUNTON Deane MP Rebecca Pow has spotlighted the problems of loneliness in rural areas by launching the first ‘Rural Vulnerability Day’ in Parliament.

She said: “Too often urban areas get all the attention and yet many people living in parts of Taunton Deane’s rural hinterland, sweeping around Wiveliscombe, Wellington, across the Blackdown and Quantock Hills, are facing real challenges, particularly as our population ages.

“To highlight these challenges I was pleased last week, as co-chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Rural Services, to launch the first Rural Vulnerability Day in Parliament. It brought together a large audience of organisations to share experiences in this area.

“The first event had a special focus on social care in the countryside with the presentation of a report by independent community research company Rural England.

“The report revealed the stark contrast between our urban and rural areas, with rural areas being home to many more elderly people and often living in isolated places. This sparse population density makes the provision of care more costly as economies of scale are harder to achieve. Loneliness can often be acute as access to transport, services and leisure facilities can be difficult and all of this can impact on general health and wellbeing.

“Talking of the importance of communities, I much enjoyed the lively and amusing production of ‘Hercules’ performed by the Wellington Panto Group – part of Wellington Arts Association – at the Wellesley Theatre in Wellington at the weekend.

“Bringing together more than 50 people of all ages from seven to over 70 in the cast with more in the backstage team this was an excellent demonstration of how joining with others in one endeavour can be so productive.

“Friendships are made, skills learnt and confidence boosted, not to mention the enjoyment brought to those watching. And Ashleigh Payne, the 18 year old director from Rockwell Green, is definitely one to watch.”

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