Tackling Social Isolation and Alcohol Use in LS7

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By Sian Johnson, Royal Voluntary Service

Resilient not Reliant

RVS LogoResilient not Reliant is a new pilot service aimed at people aged 60 and over in the LS7 area of Leeds who are drinking potentially harmful amounts of alcohol. Bridging a gap in current services the project will engage participants in community activities as a healthier alternative to alcohol.

Based within the Royal Voluntary Service, the project is open to referrals from statutory and third sector organisations alike.

Project Officer Sian Johnson explains that:

This is a new low level project aimed at plugging a gap in services. We are looking to target those who are at risk of becoming alcohol dependant rather than those already identified as being dependent or are already linked in with statutory services. So it is essentially for people over 60 who are aging well but drinking harmfully

Project Aims

The project, which is funded by North CCG until March 2017, aims to help participants to rediscover dormant hobbies, explore new ones, engage in social activities and become volunteers in their local community.

Drink Wise, Age Well programme

Modelled on the successful national pilot of the Drink Wise, Age Well programme, participants will experience a growth in confidence, resilience and be empowered to create a stronger social network.

Sian Johnson said:

“While alcohol use is a socially acceptable it is also a highly sensitive issue, particularly among older people, but given the increase in use and the more serious effects of alcohol on the body as we age, we have an opportunity with R n R to be creative in supporting people to make healthier choices.”


Preventing alcohol related disease and encouraging people to manage their own health better are key priorities for Leeds North CCG.

The Office for National Statistics has noted that middle aged people are “three times more likely to drink every day than younger people”.

In July 2015 in the British Medical Journal Open noted that harmful drinking is “a hidden middle class phenomenon”.

The study, concludes that “harmful drinking in later life is more prevalent among people who exhibit a lifestyle associated with affluence and with a ‘successful’ ageing process. Harmful drinking may then be a hidden health and social problem in otherwise successful older people.” (3)

Evidence from the Drink Wise, Age Well project indicates that older people who have concerns about their levels of drinking are much more comfortable being referred to a project like R n R than they are with being put in touch with statutory agencies working in this field.

How to refer?

Please contact Sian on

07876 585 931

01138 863 598



By |Health & Care, Older People
2017-02-06T13:33:05+00:00 18th August 2016|Comments Off on Tackling Social Isolation and Alcohol Use in LS7

About the Author:

Sean Tunnicliffe
Sean is the communications Officer at Leeds Older People’s Forum (LOPF) and also deals with admin and office management. He enjoys the wide variety of his role which covers things like designing reports and documents, organising meetings, putting together ebulletins, writing blogs, updating the LOPF website and social media and making sure that the office never runs out of milk. He has worked in the third sector since 2001 first with Volition and then LOPF and is the longest serving member of the Forum Central team. Previous to this Sean had mainly worked in horticulture and also had a spell managing a newsagent shop.