Â Council leader urges community spiritÂ
THEÂ leader of East Hampshire District Council has called on people to help each other more in the coming year.
Councillor Richard Millard, in aÂ New Year's message, wished everyone a prosperous 2019.
But the leader believes loneliness is an increasing problem that needs addressing.
He said: '˜Across the district there are people living in isolation, who are vulnerable or who need the support of the community around them.
'˜Loneliness and social isolation are particularly harmful to our health. Research shows that lacking social connections is as damaging to our health as smoking or obesity.
'˜But we can all do something to help others in our community. We can drop in on an elderly resident who doesn't get many visitors or run an errand for someone who finds it difficult to get out and about.
'˜We can always find time to do something for others. Of course it's easily said and not so easily done but simple, small acts of kindness can make a big difference.'