The Red Cross is playing a leading role in exposing the crisis of loneliness and finding ways to overcome it through both service provision and a new Loneliness Action Group.
Our new UK-wide Connecting Communities services are supporting thousands of adults of all ages to enjoy the benefits of being more involved in their local area.
This dedicated programme builds on our wider network of services to help people live independently in their own homes. Our teams help people – including many affected by loneliness or social isolation – when they face a crisis in their daily lives.
We are also helping to drive a wider social movement to highlight and tackle this increasing but little-known crisis.
Loneliness Action Group
The British Red Cross, through our partnership with the Co-op, is convening a new Loneliness Action Group.
This follows on from the work of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, set up by the late MP then carried forward in her memory. Through it, a group of MPs, policy makers and organisations, including the British Red Cross, addressed the impact of loneliness on society.
In Jo Cox’s spirit, the Loneliness Action Group will provide a platform for a broad range of organisations to come together. We will continue sharing insight and ideas, and work collectively to address loneliness in our communities. The group will have a particular focus on driving forward the agenda set out in the Commission’s call to action report.
The group’s core members will include our fellow partners from the Commission and other leading expert organisations. It will be co-chaired by senior representatives from British Red Cross and Co-op.
To recognise the roles that everyone can play in tackling loneliness, people in government, charities, businesses and the general public will receive regular updates and opportunities to get involved.
The group will launch in 2018.
To find out more and register your interest in getting involved, contact LonelinessAction@redcross.org.uk.
Working together to make a difference for people who feel lonely
As a partner on the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, we worked with fellow expert organisations to start a national conversation on the scale and impact of loneliness in the UK.
Our Trapped in a Bubble research revealed epidemic levels of loneliness and social isolation in the UK, with over 9 million people (almost one-fifth of the population) reporting they are always or often lonely
With our fellow Commission partners, we have set out a call to action. With national and local government, the public sector, businesses and the wider public, we will combat loneliness one conversation at a time.
All Party Parliamentary Group on Loneliness and Social Isolation
Alongside our Loneliness Action Group, Rachel Reeves MP is chairing a new All Party Parliamentary Group on Loneliness and Social Isolation. This will ensure the political conversation around the issues, begun by the Jo Cox Commission, is maintained.
The British Red Cross and Co-op partnership is providing the secretariat for the group.
MPs and peers from all parties have been invited to join. They can also register their interest in getting involved by contacting LonelinessAction@redcross.org.uk.
Full membership of the Group and its terms of reference will be announced around its first meeting early in 2018.
Advocacy and campaigning
Advocacy and campaigning is a key part of our work to ensure we achieve long-term impact for people who feel lonely and isolated.
In particular, we are calling for better access to support and services which keep people active and connected in their communities.
Our recent Prevention in Action report highlighted the importance of tackling loneliness and social isolation in preventing, reducing or delaying people’s needs for statutory care and support. We made a series of recommendations for local and national health and social care decision makers and the Government to ensure that effective and appropriate support is available to people of all ages.
Throughout 2018 we will continue to develop and share new evidence on how loneliness and social isolation can affect people at different stages of life. We will also highlight effective strategies for supporting those most at risk.