The Department for Culture Media and Sport established the Tackling Loneliness Network to build social connection and tackle loneliness, both during the immediate COVID-19 crisis and longer-term. On 8th May 2021 the Government launched the Policy paper 'Emerging Together: the Tackling Loneliness Network Action Plan' which can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/emerging-together-the-tackling-loneliness-network-action-plan/emerging-together-the-tackling-loneliness-network-action-plan
As a charity motivated to advocate for older people who feel invisible and forgotten within society, we were privileged to have been part of this important task and finish group. From the offset we’ve kept the voice of older people at the heart of our work we are are grateful we could share their views and insights which subsequently led to being quoted in the Guardian Newspaper: "Emily Kenward, the founder and CEO of Time to Talk Befriending, said the pandemic had had a catastrophic impact on older people’s confidence. “I’ve lost count the number of times I’ve heard older people tell us that they don’t want to live any more because they feel so invisible and alone,” she said. "As we move into this new recovery and reintegration phase, 66% of our scheme members say they don’t yet feel ready to leave the four walls of their homes and 70% report a decline in their physical health acting as a barrier to getting out and about,” she added.
Sadly this issue of loneliness is nothing new. Even in her life-time Mother Teresa said that 'loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible kind of poverty'. But what the pandemic has done is shine a spotlight on this important issue. Befriending organisations are being recognised more and more as playing a vital role in aiding positive human connections so long may our services and many others across the country continue!
For the briefing paper click on the following link: https://www.independentage.org/.../tackling-loneliness...