A PROJECT to tackle loneliness in Tenbury Wells is a step closer to coming to fruition. 

After being put up on the Spacehive crowdfunding platform last November, 73 backers have already pledged a total of £3,622 to go towards Kyrebrook Daycare Centre's yet-to-launch 'food, fun and friendship' lunch club.

In recognition of this, Malvern Hills District Council have stated they will make a conditional pledge of £18,617 showing their support for their project and confidence in Kyrebrook’s ability to deliver it. To guarantee these funds the centre needs to reach at least 15 per cent of their fundraising target.

The project will also support Tenbury Transport Trust, with the twice-weekly hire of a minibus, providing free return door-to-door transport within three miles of the centre.

A number of other avenues are being explored as possible sources of funding, with Kyrebrook currently awaiting the outcome of three grant applications totalling £5,700. An online auction on their Facebook page has already raised over £200, and they are holding a Bring and Buy sale at 1 Church Walk, Tenbury Wells from 9 to 12 on February 3.

Other fundraising activities include a lunch and live music performance at the end of February. Tenbury Agricultural Society are also supporting the project with a raffle at their Big Breakfast and Sandra Allen will be hosting a quiz at Brimfield Sports Club in March.

Local businesses and groups are being approached in the hope that they will support the cause, with Carole Collier of Smarty Pants offering to hold their spring fashion show to support the project

Ria Baxter, Manager of Kyrebrook, said: “You cannot underestimate the devastating affect that isolation and loneliness can have on people’s mental health.

"This is a project that is wholly for the benefit of those in our community who need to regain their confidence to leave the house and socialise, and I hope Tenbury residents and businesses will support it wholeheartedly.”

"Kyrebrook will offer the chance to socialise, make friends, have fun, and enjoy a delicious two course lunch in a warm and inviting venue," a spokesperson said.

"The project will run for a minimum of one year and will give 30 vulnerable, lonely and isolated people the chance to participate each week."