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People over 50 in the Ellesmere Port area who have been made redundant or had to retire early will benefit from a pilot project awarded £19,700 of Big Lottery money today (Monday 13 November).

The Engaged Motivated Informed project will be set up by MHA’s Ellesmere Port & Neston Live at Home Scheme in February with the money awarded through Brightlife, a partnership led by Age UK Cheshire to improve the lives of older people in Cheshire West and Chester.  The project will aim to bring people in their mid 50s to early 60s together to reduce loneliness and help them move forward.  There will be activities, volunteering opportunities, financial, legal and careers advice and retraining for those who want to get another job.

It will run for at least a year before being analysed and used to develop future services.  Brightlife will also provide business support and training during the project.  Anyone who would like to get involved can call Scheme Manager David Foulds on 0151 3573873 or email david.foulds@mha.org.uk.

David said, “With 400 redundancies at the Vauxhall motor plant in Ellesmere Port, the bulk of whom will be over the age of 55, there will be a great need for the type of innovative support services we are developing.  We are very grateful for the funding we will be receiving from the Brightlife Bright Ideas fund.  This is an exciting opportunity for the Ellesmere Port & Neston Live at Home Scheme, which demonstrates how forward-thinking MHA is.”

Head of Brightlife Chris McClelland said, “We have been impressed with the number and quality of the applications to our Bright Ideas fund.  The difficulty we had in choosing the winning projects is testimony to the fantastic level of innovation that is present in our local communities when it comes to designing new ways to improve the lives of over-50s.”

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