Scarborough MP, Robert Goodwill, visited Social Enterprise, Esk Moors Caring Ltd in Castleton, Whitby on Friday 9 September 2011 to find out how its Big Lottery funded ‘Activities and Outreach programme’ is improving the lives of older people in the community.

The MP joined staff, residents and community members at The Bradbury Centre in Castleton to celebrate the success of this project, which covers over 60 square miles of some of the most rural communities in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park.

In December 2010, Big Lottery Fund (BIG) awarded £127,102 to Esk Moors Caring Limited for the organisation to deliver its Esk Moors Community Activities and Outreach Programme for five years through BIG’s Reaching Communities programme. Activities will include arts, crafts, exercise and well-being classes, IT and language, local history, archaeology and cultural evenings. BIG has invested £4.2 million funding into Scarborough since its launch in 2004.

Big Lottery Fund is committed to providing funding for projects that work to create healthier and more active people and communities and this year BIG published year two of the five year ‘Well-being programme National Evaluation'

Findings from the evaluation show that 10% more people over the age of 65 feel happier after participating in well-being activities and life satisfaction scores have increased substantially amongst participants and volunteers.

Robert Goodwill MP said: “I am delighted that Big Lottery Fund is committed to improving the well-being of my constituents. Projects such as Esk Moors Caring Ltd are a fantastic example of how a community can come together and deliver a project that not only benefits their own community but is delivered further afield.”

Esk Moors Caring manager, John Burns said: ‘The scheme tremendously benefits people who live in the Upper Esk Valley, where a long journey is necessary to reach facilities anywhere else. We can now bring the activities to them or bring them to us, helping to reduce isolation in a very rural area.