A MAN from Westhoughton has launched a volunteer project during lockdown to help those who are self-isolating alone to keep their minds active.

The Busy Minds Project delivers free activity packs to vulnerable people in the borough who do not have internet access or interaction with other people.

David Boyd, who works with people and communities for a housing association, noticed volunteer groups delivering food parcels but spotted a gap in the market for something aimed at keeping minds busy.

He said: "One of the things people are struggling with, particularly if they have no internet access or family support, is keeping busy.

“I got the idea after my mum was helping one of her neighbours and started giving him her old books.

“The packs feature puzzles, adult dot to dots, colouring books, things which can keep a mind occupied for a few hours each day.

“We tailor what’s inside them too so people can stay interested.”

The project works by neighbours or family members referring someone to the project. It is then established what the person requires and emphasis is very much placed on those who do not have internet access.

The Busy Minds Project is operating throughout Greater and has spread with the help of volunteers in Cheshire and Merseyside.

The initiative has also been supported by Morrisons Bolton Atlas and Asda in Horwich, who have donated activity booklets.

Pat Cornwell, 68, who lives in Westhoughton, is self-isolating as she is in the high-risk category.

She received an activity pack after her daughter referred her. She said: “It’s a brilliant idea, it’s kept me busy and I don’t get as down as much as I used to."

To find out more visit www.busyminds.org.uk.