Government launches plan to tackle loneliness during coronavirus lockdown
The Government has launched a major effort to tackle loneliness and social isolation during the coronavirus outbreak and period of social distancing. Led by Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, the plan will aim to ensure that, for people of all ages and backgrounds, staying at home does not need to lead to loneliness.
The latest #Let’sTalkLoneliness public campaign has been rolled out to get people talking openly about loneliness, which includes new public guidance offering useful tips and advice on what to do to look after yourself and others safely.
In a wide-ranging cross-Government and cross-sector plan, Dowden has also announced that:
- Smaller, community-based organisations in England helping people to stay connected in local communities will benefit from being a priority category of the £750 million package of support for charities announced by the Chancellor on 8 April;
- National loneliness organisations will be allocated a guaranteed £5 million worth of funding to continue and adapt their critical work at this time;
- As part of the national effort, loneliness charities including Age UK will be supported to work with NHS Volunteer Responders in their communities.
In collaboration with the Connection Coalition, organised by Jo Cox Foundation, the Government has also convened a network of high-profile charities, businesses, organisations and public figures. The group will explore ways to bring people together to build strong community spirit, with a focus on groups at particular risk of loneliness, and will work to continue these initiatives in the future.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “Coronavirus and social distancing has forced all of us to look loneliness in the eye. So recognising the signs and tackling the stigma has never been more important.
“We’re launching this plan now to help ensure no one needs to feel lonely in the weeks ahead. It will help everyone understand the role they can play in looking after each other, and empower our expert charities and volunteers to reach more vulnerable people.”
Three tangible actions for anyone feeling lonely and three actions for people wanting to help If you are lonely you can:
- Keep in touch with friends, family and neighbours;
- Ask for help if you need shopping, medicine or are feeling lonely;
- Set a routine with online activities, regular tasks or by volunteering.
If you are worried about someone who is lonely:
- Phone a friend or family member you think may be lonely;
- Smile, wave or chat from a safe distance with a neighbour;
- Help out through volunteering by picking up food, medicine or by offering regular conversation to someone living alone.
More information about ‘Let’s Talk Lonliness, can be found here.
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