Laura Alcock-Ferguson, Executive Director of the Campaign to End Loneliness, said:
“We welcome the appointment of Tracey Crouch as the Minister for Loneliness, and we look forward to working with her to tackle loneliness. With 1.2 million chronically lonely older people across the UK, this appointment cannot come a moment too soon.
“Loneliness is an epidemic, and the Government has made it clear that it must be taken seriously. The new ministerial leadership on the issue will have a positive impact; we hope it will bring important opportunities to improve Government policy in areas such as transport, health, social care, as well as the role of businesses, employers and pensions. All of these issues have a major impact upon loneliness in later life.
“We want to see the new leadership inspiring change and connection in communities. The Campaign to End Loneliness will also be addressing this with our major public campaign launching in spring.
“The public must and can play their part. From businesses to government, from charities to individuals – everyone can take action on loneliness. Loneliness is not inevitable if we all get involved. Just having a chat with a neighbour or stranger can make a difference. Together, we can change attitudes, behaviour, policy and practice – and inspire action to end loneliness.”
For interviews, case studies or further comment, please contact Alice in the Campaign to End Loneliness press office on 0203 865 3907, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Loneliness: The Facts
- Loneliness is as bad for you as smoking 15 cigarettes a day
- Loneliness is worse for you than obesity
- Lonely people are more likely to suffer from dementia, heart disease and depression
- There are 1.2 million chronically lonely older people in the UK (Age UK 2016, No-one should have no one)
- Half a million older people go at least five or six days a week without seeing or speaking to anyone at all (Age UK 2016, No-one should have no one)
- Over half (51%) of all people aged 75 and over live alone (Office for National Statistics 2010. General Lifestyle Survey 2008)
- Two fifths all older people (about 3.9 million) say the television is their main company (Age, U.K., 2014. Evidence Review: Loneliness in Later Life. London: Age UK)
- There are over 2.2 million people aged 75 and over living alone in Great Britain, an increase of almost a quarter (24%) over the past 20 years (ONS)