OLD and young alike are coming together in a Lakes hotel for tea, cake and conversation in a bid to tackle loneliness.

With more than nine million people reported to be always or often lonely in the UK, Windermere's Impact International wanted to do something to address the issue.

Impact marketing campaigns manager Holly Higham said the event at the Merewood Hotel on February 15 is 'to make Valentine's Day a little less isolating for as many of our seniors as we can locally'.

Charity Age UK said that 3.6million older people in the UK live alone and 1.9million older people often feel ignored or invisible.

And according to the Campaign to End Loneliness, loneliness is associated with an increased risk of developing coronary heart disease and stroke, a high blood pressure and the onset of a disability.

The global leadership development company hosted a similar event a year in December 2016, sparked by a realisation that older people were often a dismissed demographic.

Founder of Impact David Williams said the business does 'lots of work' with younger people but less so with the older generation.

"There are so many wise elders living in our community who struggle to get out and meet other people," he said. "This provides a chance for them to chat, get to know other people and enjoy a bit of hospitality. We want to be responsible leaders in our own community."

And although its aimed at older people, the event will see Impact family members of all ages in attendance.

"I think a lot of people around here, their families move away for work so it might be a long time between seeing your family," Ms Higham said. "So I think that generations mixing is good."

The event comes following last Thursday's (February 1) Time to Talk Day, which encouraged frank discussion about personal issues such as mental health, money problems and relationships.

Figures from Censuswide showed that 65 per cent of people in Cumbria felt like they had no one to talk to when it came to those topics.

Schools, workplaces and community groups across the region ran activities to mark the day, including a pop-up lounge in Kendal's Westmorland Shopping Centre.

Caroline Robinson coordinates the campaign in Cumbria and said: "Talking about mental health really does save lives; it enables people to get the support they deserve and to live a life free of the stigma that still surrounds mental health problems."

The event is already sold out but Impact is hoping to hold an additional event in the autumn of this year.