NEW funding will help people combat elderly isolation in Dorset.

Telecare monitoring firm CarelineUK has won a grant of £320,000 and will lead a consortium including local government and housing organisations to tackle the issue.

The Community Channel, South West project, run in partnership with Dorset County Council, Bournemouth Housing Society for the Elderly (BHSE) and TV production company, RPPtv was chosen as one of four regional pilot projects being part-funded by UK innovation foundation Nesta and the Technology Strategy Board.

The pilot project was chosen as part of the ‘Destination Local Demonstrators’ competition, which invited companies and organisations to submit proposals using technology to provide digital news and content services for people to connect more easily with their local communities.

CarelineUK and its partners will use existing community services and ICT systems to host a media channel and new social network to provide local news and information for vulnerable and lonely people. With CarelineUK matching its funding from the competition, the project will have a budget of more than £1million.

Managing director of CarelineUK Andrew Gardner said: “The competition funding and our own investment will ensure we can apply our experience in using technology-based solutions to make a real difference for vulnerable people.”

The project will be piloted next year, delivered through social housing services in Dorset and the South West, before being rolled out across the UK.