Pioneering campaigner from Market Harborough takes a trip to Number 10

From left, Harborough MP Neil O'Brien and Rohini Corfield outside 10 Downing Street
From left, Harborough MP Neil O'Brien and Rohini Corfield outside 10 Downing Street

The project manager of a pioneering Harborough campaign aimed at reducing loneliness has been to 10 Downing Street.

Rohini Corfield attended a reception at number 10, where the world’s first Minister for Loneliness – Travey Crouch – was announced.

Britain wants to lead the way in tackling loneliness, which Prime Minister Theresa May called a “sad reality of modern life”.

The parliamentary initiative echoes work already being done in Harborough.

Rohini – invited to attend by Harborough MP Neil O’Brien – works for the town-based Voluntary Action South Leicestershire (VASL), which was recently awarded a half million pound Lottery grant for a pioneering project aimed at tackling loneliness, called Community Champions.

The project pairs volunteers with isolated people over 60, encouraging them to embrace new technology and accompanying them to events.

At the moment it has more than 65 active pairs – and is looking for more volunteers.

Neil O’Brien and Rohini Corfield networked in London with other experts – over canapes and wine.

Rohini said it was “a truly inspirational event”.

She added: “It was an honour for VASL’s work to be recognised on a national scale by this invitation.”

Harborough MP Neil O’Brien added: “VASL does brilliant work in our community and it was good to see that recognised.

“It was also good to meet other groups doing innovative things for their community at Downing Street.”

Loneliness is also an issue that the Harborough MP wants to highlight.

He is hosting an event on fighting loneliness at the Methodist Church Hall in Market Harborough tomorrow (Friday). It aims to bring together groups and charities working to reduce loneliness in the community.

If you would like to volunteers with VASL, go to