Copy and paste (and please do feel free to edit as you see fit) this letter and send it to your local councillors or MP.
Dear RECIPIENT’S NAME,
There are an estimated one million, one hundred thousand people over the age of 65 in the UK who are chronically lonely and the social, economic and moral case for tackling loneliness continues to grow. With chronic loneliness as bad for our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, it is crucial that we work together to find and support these vulnerable people in our communities.
The Campaign to End Loneliness, a network of nearly 3000 organisations and individuals, is calling for local authorities to do more to tackle the serious impact loneliness can have on older individuals in our communities. In particular, we are asking that loneliness is included in each local authority’s joint strategic needs assessment, so that those most at risk of loneliness are more likely to be identified. Our latest report, The Missing Million: in search of the loneliest in our communities, sets out a variety of ways that those at risk of loneliness can be found and engaged with. Its key three aims are:
- to help commissioners and service providers develop methods to help them identify older people experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, loneliness
- to help commissioners and service providers to put these methods into practice.
- to help front line service providers to better understand and respond to loneliness and engage older people experiencing loneliness in constructive dialogue.
I would encourage you to read this report and share it with your health and wellbeing board, adult social care and public health teams. For more information about how you can address loneliness locally, take a look at www.campaigntoendloneliness.org.uk/guidance.