The Government is asking for organisations with expertise and experience in tackling loneliness to help by providing views on the Strategy framework being developed.
Reducing the risks of Loneliness and Social Isolation is one of the priorities for Reading’s Health and Wellbeing Board. Over the last 18 months, the voluntary and community sector has been very active in this area through:
- the survey and report on Loneliness and Social Isolation in Reading
- the Let’s Make Friendlier conference
- the Loneliness and Social Isolation Steering group
- many local initiatives such as the Caversham End Loneliness Action Group, Tilehurst Together, a new chess club, lunch clubs, exercise groups and many more.
The definition and the focus of government work
Loneliness can be defined as a subjective, unwelcome feeling of lack or loss of companionship. It happens when we have a mismatch between the quantity and quality of social relationships that we have, and those that we want. (Perlman, D. and Peplau, 1981)
The current evidence base tends to measure loneliness in terms of frequency, and it shows that people who feel lonely most or all of the time are more likely to suffer ill health and to generate significant costs for society (for example, see Shankar et al, 2011; Valtorta et al, 2017; Steptoe et al, 2004; Hawkley and Cacioppo, 2009; Holt-Lunstad et al, 2015).
Here is the link to further details of research undertaken by the Office of National Statistics and the online survey, which closes at 10am on Friday 20 July 2018.