A PROJECT is helping to tackle loneliness among people with learning disabilities across the district.

Mencap’s Gig Buddies initiative supports members to get out and about by matching them with volunteers who have shared interests.

Research by the charity has shown that people who have learning disabilities are seven times more likely than their non-disabled peers to be lonely.

A spokesman said: “Gig Buddies helps to break down the barriers to having a social life that people with a learning disability often face, by bringing people both with and without a disability together."

Among those who have met-up through the Bradford-district project are Richard Barstow, who has a learning disability, and Andy Warren. Both have a passion for Man United, cars, comedy and music.

Richard says: “I now feel a lot more confident about going out and trying new activities, and no longer feel as isolated.”

Andy said he had little experience of learning disability prior to getting involved in the venture. He added: “Richard and I hit it off straight away. We have a lot in common.”

For more details, visit mencap.org.uk.