Live updates

Project to reduce isolation for older people in Cumbria

The scheme aims to help older people feel less isolated. Credit: PA

A new project to reduce loneliness among older people in west Cumbria starts today.

Copeland Council is working with Age UK to identify those affected and provide support and activities that help stop them feeling isolated.

Addressing loneliness in a rural borough like ours is a priority for us and essential for the health and wellbeing of our most isolated and vulnerable residents. Two thirds of over 65s in Copeland live in rural areas where they are at greater risk of isolation. More than 55 per cent of these live alone.

Age UK have also identified loneliness as a local priority and I am delighted we are working together on this. Through more public awareness campaigns, volunteer-led activities and ‘community agents,’ we hope communities will become more resilient to loneliness, and the wellbeing of isolated people will improve.

– Copeland Mayor Mike Starkie

Cash boost for Carlisle's elderly in need

Benefits worth almost £58,000 have been secured to help older people in Carlisle who faced falling into debt and losing their homes.

Norma McCrone is one of Riverside Housing Association's tenants who has been helped over the past year by a scheme where volunteers visit people who potentially qualify for help.

Norma, who has trouble walking and cannot get out often, received an attendance allowance on top of her pension to help pay for support with things like cooking and cleaning.


Neighbours tried to save house fire woman

Police have launched an investigation following a fatal house fire Credit: ITV Border

A neighbour of an elderly woman who's died following a house fire in Gretna has told how she tried to save her.

The woman died following the fire at a house in Union Road in Gretna.

Her friend and neighbour Denise Smith reported the fire.

Neighbour Denise Smith tried to save the elderly woman Credit: ITV Border

She said: "It was my dog that first noticed the fire and started barking. I looked outside and couldn't believe the flames.

"I ran to neighbours houses trying to get help but I couldn't find anyone in. It seemed to take an eternity for the fire engines to arrive.

"I tried to get in and save her but I couldn't get past the heat. She was a lovely lady, we always had achat over the garden fence.

"She will be a terrible miss. I wish I could have saved her."


Fatal house fire investigation

Fatal house fire Credit: ITV Border

Police and fire officers are still investigating the cause of a fatal fire in Gretna which has claimed the life of an elderly woman.

Fire crews were called to the house in Union Road last night.

Det Cons Euan Cowan, Dumfries and Galloway Police Credit: ITV Border

Detective Constable Euan Cowan from Dumfries and Galloway Police said: "Fire and Rescue received a call at around 10.15 last night.

"They found an elderly woman in the premises and managed to resuscitate her at the scene. She was taken to the Cumberland infirmary in Carlisle where she later died.

"An investigation by police and fire officers is now taking place."