Research on Loneliness

We all know feeling physically fit and mentally well are important at any age and the two are closely linked. People who feel fit and well often have a more positive outlook on life and the reverse can be true too. It's never too late to think about improving your wellbeing. Even little changes can make a big difference. Loneliness can lead to strokes and Alzheimer’s and higher mortality rates and we know that prolonged and unwanted isolation isn’t good for us.

APPG seeks to hold government to account and secure a new cross-government commitment to tackling loneliness and its underlying causes and aims to build on the progress made to date by government, the voluntary and community sector and others through recommending tangible and ambitious next steps. They also seek to explore solutions to crucial but complex policy areas identified by the loneliness action group as outlined within the shadow report a connected society assessing progress tackling loneliness which was published last autumn.

They are also exploring quite common but complex problems which are causing or exacerbating loneliness and are beginning to identify solutions within their 4 crucial policy areas which include: designing and implementing ways to test the implications of government policies on loneliness, translating national policy into local action through local authorities and looking at community infrastructure including housing, transport and public spaces and finally how to adequately fund the voluntary and community sector upon which social prescribing depends

Many voluntary organisations have needed funds during Covid-19 more than ever but sadly haven’t had the funding to carry on and the APPG wants to explore what has happened during lockdown restrictions. They have had over 300 individual responses from a range of authorities and organisations.

In the first APPG session, they discussed how they can turn national policies into local action. The witnesses allow the Members of Parliament to scrutinise proposals and insights submitted to the APPGs call for evidence. A quote from Eleanor Rigby, the Beatles song, said ‘’All those lonely people, where do they all come from? All those lonely people, where do they all belong? The answer to those questions is exactly the same. They both belong in our communities.

We need more help on a national level from the government and the NHS. What we don’t need is more laws. We don’t need laws to help people be kinder to each other. We don’t want more big, involved strategies because that will simply bog things down because this area is incredibly complex if you look at it at a strategic level very easy if you look at it at a practical level and we don’t want a load of targets sent down to us that would be almost impossible for us to respond to and administer.

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