A SOCIAL group which was formed last year in a bid to combat loneliness has raised more than £1,000 for local causes.

The group – formed in December – meets every Monday at Belmont Working Men’s Club in Hoyland, with the aim of improving people’s mental health and wellbeing and giving members a safe space to talk about their worries.

Simon Davies – who came up with the idea of weekly meetings following a battle with his mental health – organised a sponsored walk, which took place on Saturday, February 25, raising funds for The Community Fridge at The Cabin in Hoyland and using the rest to pay for T-shirts for the group.

Simon said: “We only walked three miles because we had the elderly community involved as well as young children.

“We started in Hoyland, walked to Elsecar and then finished back in Hoyland.

“We managed to raise £1,100, giving £550 to the community fridge and using the rest for things such as t-shirts and buns which Staniforths will give out to customers, paid for by us.

“We are hoping with these small gestures people know that they aren’t alone and we care for them – even if it just improves one hour out of their day.”

Simon and team have also recently announced the launch of an all men’s group – which will commence from Monday, April 3 and will continue every Monday from 6pm until 7pm, with the aim of bringing men together and breaking the stigma surrounding men’s mental health.