How can C&SW support the new Loneliness Strategy?
According to a report last year from the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, more than 9 million people in Britain—around 14 percent of the population—often or always feel lonely.
Risk factors for loneliness include “family breakdown, a divorce” or “perhaps the safety net wasn’t there to stop that descent,” Like other developed countries, the U.K. has largely focused on the elderly when addressing issues of loneliness, But data shows that in Britain and the U.S., poor, unemployed, disabled and migrant populations tend to suffer most from loneliness and isolation—and typically struggle to access adequate support. Young people aren’t immune either. a study found that 16 to 24 year-olds reported feeling more lonely than pensioners between the ages of 65 to 74.
The ‘Minister for Loneliness’ appointed last year produced a strategy document which can be found here.
The strategy focuses on the need to ‘work together’ for everyone to play their part; the Social Care sector, although not specifically mentioned (see below) has a massive role to play, particularly given their proximity to the vulnerable in our society. The strategy also talks of personalised and local initiatives so we ask you how we in our area can support the strategy, both as individual businesses and as an association, what can we do? We have enabled comments on this post so you can add your voice.
For more information, the text below is extracted from the executive summary.
The strategy looks at what can be done to design in support for social relationships in our changing context. It builds on the strengths we have as a nation – including our strong public, private and voluntary sector institutions, as well as the great everyday contributions that people make to their communities. To get there requires society-wide change. Three overarching goals guide government’s work on loneliness.
The first is a commitment to play our part in improving the evidence base so we better understand what causes loneliness, its impacts and what works to tackle it.
The second goal is to embed loneliness as a consideration across government policy, recognising the wide range of factors that can exacerbate feelings of loneliness and support people’s social wellbeing and resilience
The third goal is to build a national conversation on loneliness, to raise awareness of its impacts and to help tackle stigma.
Guiding principles A number of principles have guided the development of this strategy:
• working in partnership with businesses, the health sector, local government, the voluntary sector and wider civil society, recognising that government can act as an important catalyst but that we must all take action to reduce loneliness effectively.
• a willingness to test, iterate and learn as government takes forward its approach,
• ensuring a truly cross-cutting and crossdepartmental approach,
• focusing on the key trigger points that push people in and out of feeling lonely frequently, alongside preventative action that can benefit wider society.
• recognising the importance of personalised approaches and local solutions to tackle loneliness.