Plans for a new loneliness hub in Perth have been unveiled after a local charity found four out of five people were worried about social isolation.
The centre would identify services and groups working in the community and provide a safe space for people to gather and talk about their concerns.
Connect Perth held an awareness day at St John’s Shopping Centre on Saturday after a survey of city residents carried out this summer revealed 80% identified loneliness as an issue.
Around 35% of people said they had experienced loneliness themselves and almost a quarter said they suffered from a lack of social interaction.
The charity’s committee got money from the NHS Tayside Community Innovation Fund to pay for a feasibility study into setting up a city centre hub.
The charity has held focus groups at Perth Prison and sheltered housing complexes and with mental health professionals.
It has now enlisted the backing of the Perth and Kinross Health and Social Care Partnership and is searching for premises for the scheme.
The project will be run independently of the local authority or health board and will be open to people of all ages.
Research shows the idea has the backing of 92% of the population and 100% of professionals.
The charity also has the support of groups such as Andy’s Man Club, as well as Perth and Kinross councillors and the Health and Social Care Partnership.
Connect Perth’s Diane Walker said: “There are over 9 million people in the UK, a fifth of whom say they are often or always lonely.
“In Scotland nearly half of the population say they are often or sometimes lonely. 178 local people were surveyed and 80% of the respondents felt isolation and loneliness was an issue.
“The idea we’ve had is for a city centre hub that people can come into. We’re looking for a premises and we’re looking for volunteers young and old to help out as well.”