Loneliness has been a hot topic recently in the UK. In 2018 alone, we’ve seen the University of Manchester launch a national survey called The Loneliness Experiment, daily headlines worrying about an ‘epidemic of loneliness’ across the country and even the appointment of a Minister of Loneliness, Tracey Crouch, in January. Research has even shown that loneliness has as much impact on our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
What’s causing the increase in loneliness?
Some experts blame social media and technology; others point to an ageing population, increasingly distanced from friends and family. In fact, isolation and loneliness can affect anyone, at any age and at any time. But what can we do about it?
A panel of experts from charities, public sector organisations, government and universities met recently to discuss the growing problem of loneliness in our society. You can read the full discussion here. To summarise what turned out to be a pretty long discussion, they agreed that the community is key in tackling loneliness. That getting involved in your local neighbourhood, and more importantly, getting to know just a few faces in the same postcode as you, can really help to alleviate that sense of isolation.
So how can getting involved in your local community help?
Taking a class at your local community centre. Join your local residents’ association. Volunteer on a litter pick or simply say hello to your neighbours. These are all things you can start doing today.
Wensum community centre runs a full schedule of classes from karate to crochet, dance classes and crafts. Or drop in for some live music and a pint at our popular bar. Our Facebook page will keep you up to date with everything that’s going on.
If you want to have more say in how your local community works with the council, how planning and development is prioritised in your area, or you just want to get to know a few local faces, why not get more involved in your local residents’ association? Drop us a line at [email protected] to find out more.
We’re keen to hear from you on how we can tackle the problem of loneliness in our community. Got a idea for an event or a project that might help? Let us know.
Email us at [email protected]