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National Friendly tackles loneliness through Bristol arts initiative

Matinee Mingle encourages over-60s to get together and enjoy themselves

Health and protection provider National Friendly is backing an arts project in Bristol that aims to combat loneliness among people in the local community.

It comes after a report by Age UK found the number of over 50s experiencing loneliness is set to reach two million by 2025-2026, compared to around 1.4 million in 2016-2017.

Another survey by the charity suggests half a million older people go at least five or six days a week without seeing or speaking to anyone at all.

National Friendly is backing the Bristol Hippodrome, which recently launched the Matinee Mingle in collaboration with local charity LinkAge Network.

The Matinee Mingle is free to attend and takes place an hour before selected mid-week matinee performances in The Bristol Hippodrome’s Piano Bar.

Jonathan Long, chief executive at National Friendly, said the initiative encourages people aged 60 and above to get together and enjoy themselves and meet likeminded people.