Today Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves will tell London’s Policy Exchange that loneliness is no longer a personal misfortune that can befall individuals but has escalated into a “social epidemic”. She will warn that loneliness is making an entire generation of people poorly, and in today’s ultra-connected world, that simply isn’t good enough.
It is a stark warning but a necessary one. Ms Reeves, who picked up the baton from the inspirational MP Jo Cox, says a fresh approach to health and social care is needed to tackle this issue and wants to see the introduction of a new kind of welfare system that brings people together and encourages them to help themselves.
Loneliness can, and does, afflict all strata of society irrespective of age, status, or background and as such it requires a radical, forward-thinking solution, and for that to happen we need politicians, healthcare bosses and leading charities to spearhead a co-ordinated plan of action.
It is approaching four years since we launched our campaign and while giant strides have been taken to make people more aware of this scourge of modern society, more work needs to be done, and Ms Reeves’ speech is a timely reminder of the scale of the challenge we face if we are to put an end to this harrowing social epidemic.