Loneliness is a “silent epidemic” in society.
Language barriers, lack of family or friends living nearby, mobility problems, a wariness of strangers, loss of a partner, illness and many other factors can contribute to people being or becoming lonely.
Today in the YEP we highlight some of the fantastic work going in the city to target and help people who are lonely.
Leeds West MP and co-chair of the Jo Cox Loneliness Commission, Rachel Reeves, described loneliness as a “silent epidemic”. She is encouraging people to “Start a Conversation”, a movement started by the commission to get people to look out for the signs of loneliess and strike up a conversation.
The Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness is a cross-party initiative designed to increase the public’s awareness of loneliness and encourage people to tackle it. The Batley and Spen MP was passionate about the issue of loneliness and started the Commission before her murder in June 2016.
Earlier this year the commission carried out a survey showing almost three-quarters of older people in the UK are lonely and more than half of those have never spoken to anyone about how they feel. Volunteers and organisations like St Vincent’s and Bramley Elderly action do fantastic work but we can all do our bit just by looking out for people and making the first move to talk to them.