Arts, radio and libraries to help ease the strain of Covid restrictions on isolated people

A volunteer phone call service for older and vulnerable social housing residents and a homemade Christmas food delivery service are among a number of initiatives being singled out for praise as the government announces a £7.5m fund to tackle the epidemic of loneliness in England.

With millions now living under tier 4 restrictions in England, ministers said on Tuesday that the package would help counter loneliness over the winter period, and support sectors well known for bringing people and communities together, such as the arts, libraries, charities and radio.

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