A VOLUNTEER project in Tendring has been given more than £450,000 to support residents to live healthier and happier lives.

The Healthier Independent Longer Lives project, run by the Community Voluntary Services Tendring (CVST), has received vital funds from the National Lottery and secured its future for the next three years. 

The project was first launched with lottery funding in 2013 and works with residents in Clacton, Walton, Harwich and Jaywick. 

It was designed to tackle loneliness and isolation while increasing the level of physical activity, and skills and supporting people to get more involved in their communities through volunteering. 

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Team - The Community Voluntary Services Tendring have been running the Healthier Independent Longer

Lisa Andrews, CVST’s deputy chief officer, said: “We launched HILL after identifying local needs in the coastal areas of Tendring with the highest levels of deprivation. 

“Research has shown that persistent and prolonged exposure to feeling lonely is linked to an adverse impact on wellbeing and health. 

“Loneliness increases the likelihood of early mortality and poor physical health and puts individuals at greater risk of poor mental health including depression. 

“We also know that regular physical activity is beneficial for mental wellbeing and reducing the risk of depression. 

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Support - CVST is also running a social prescribing scheme for residents in TendringSupport - CVST is also running a social prescribing scheme for residents in Tendring (Image: CVST)

“Our idea was to work with the community and support them to create new clubs, groups and activities to meet the needs of local residents and to improve their wellbeing.” 

More than 30 activities a week, including craft groups, friendship cafes, walking groups, seated yoga, allotments, men’s shed and more are run by the volunteers. 

Lisa added: “Funding for HILL from the National Lottery when the project started and the local NHS in 2021 has enabled thousands of people to improve their health and wellbeing. 

“With thanks to National Lottery players, this latest funding will enable the team to expand and deliver a bigger, more inclusive project for the next three years. 

“It’s another fantastic achievement in CVST’s 50th anniversary year.” 

A total of £452,080 was granted to the HILL project as part of the £252million given from the National Lottery Community Fund to more than 5,000 charities and community groups in England.