THE future of group which is aiming to tackle loneliness among parents has been secured with a lottery award of £173,000.

East Thirsk parents, baby and toddler group is inviting parents from the town and surrounding villages to attend its extended four-days-a-week sessions after receiving the grant from the Reaching Communities Lottery.

The group, which has lost its Health Lottery funding after five years, said the fund would enable it to run for another five years, providing a range of activities for both the children and parents.

Activities offered to parents range from massages and nail care to GCSEs teaching support.

Councillor Cynthia Hesmonhalgh, of East Thirsk Community Association, which helped secure the funding, said: “It is an enormous amount of a money which will provide some certainty for the group for the foreseeable future.”

Thirsk councillor Gareth Dadd said: “This is absolutely fantastic news for a group that has been formed by members of the community for the community.”