A NEW group is aiming to bring a community closer together in effort to eliminate social isolation.

Arts venue Cwtsh on Stow Hill in Newport is the base for the new group and volunteer organiser David Crowson has been the driving force behind it.

He was inspired by FAN in Cardiff who encourage people meet in a spirit of friendship.

Mr Crowson said: "It's called Friends and Neighbours and we bring together people in the area who are socially isolated in new to area in free, warm and welcoming environment.

"It's more structured than meeting up for a coffee because we sit and listen to each other interrupted.

"We want to reduce social isolation. It's a growing problem and in this area there is a lot of older people and research has found that social isolation is a big problem. It's not just a problem for older people. We are working with the Red Cross and the Sanctuary in Stow Hill."

The free group, which meets at 10.30am on a Thursday in Cwtsh on Stow Hill, is a chance for people to meet up and talk about their daily lives. People who are learning English are also encouraged to attend to help improve their language skills.

Mr Crowson added: "The first meeting went very well, it was a nice friendly open group and we expect to see more people in the coming weeks. Anyone can just turn up and everyone is welcome."

The group will meet every Thursday for eight weeks and more information can be found at facebook.com/cwtsh.org or call Mr Crowson on 0788 908 4990.