One Ilfracombe says its Community Connector service has been well received in the town and is off to a good start.

Community connector Miriam Turner has helped more than 100 people with 149 separate issues since the service was launched in February.

Residents have seen her with a wide range of problems, ranging from setting up care packages, dealing with depression, social isolation, help needed to stay living at home, caring support, dementia, quitting smoking, drink or drugs, education, debt problems and benefits advice.

The idea is to put people in touch with the groups or services that might be able to help them.

Social isolation is still one of the prominent issues in Ilfracombe with almost 60 per cent of those seen saying they are not involved in any social activities or have any contact with friends and family.

This reduced to 39 per cent after receiving signposting from Miriam and it is hoped will reduce even more when the Lantern Centre is up and running as a community hub.

Working with Anne Garside from the AgeWell Drinkwise project, which funds new social groups to help with social isolation, Miriam has been able to identify some areas that needed support - such as the continuation of free open art course at Two Lanes and a free IT workshop to help people understand how to do on-line shopping, set up a Facebook account and use emails.

A new 'open art' course now runs every Tuesday at 1.30pm - 4.30pm at Two Lanes, Beldevere Road and the IT workshop will run at the Ilfracombe Centre on Friday, November 6 from 10am - to 12noon.

Both are available to people aged 50 years or over. If you are interested in joining call Anne on 07590 776040.

* To make an appointment with the community connector, call Miriam on 01271 855316 or email miriam.turner@northdevon.gov.uk