Did you know over 9 million people in the UK are either “always” or “often” feeling lonely?
The best way to break down the stigma around an issue is to talk about it. There are plenty of great resources around #LonelinessAwarenessWeek as well as the new government campaign, so why not show your support in a positive way?
Relationships with local groups are key for combatting isolation. Whether they are supporting a particular age group, faith or interest, they will probably have the same goal when it comes to loneliness.
Common risk factors for loneliness include being over 80, hearing or sight loss, having no phone access and being unable to drive. Bear this in mind when supporting the campaign, establishing an age-friendly, dementia-friendly and mental health-friendly approach, as well as options for affordable and accessible transport.
Develop volunteering and inter-generational support in neighbourhoods. Consider a “befriending” scheme where people can enjoy trips out, games and dog walks with someone else in the community.
Most local authorities have the likes of leisure centres, parks and village halls that can be used to bring communities together at low cost. On quieter days, perhaps encourage initiatives such as free swimming to the over 60s or music groups for new parents to bring people together.
Campaign to End Loneliness https://www.campaigntoendloneliness.org/the-facts-on-loneliness/
Combating loneliness: A guide for local authorities https://www.local.gov.uk/sites/default/files/documents/combating-loneliness-guid-24e_march_2018.pdf
How do you know your council is actively tackling loneliness? https://www.local.gov.uk/sites/default/files/documents/22.28_-_Loneliness_Must_Know_WEB.pdf