Throughout 2017, the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness will focus on the positive action we can all take to recognise it, build connections and help ourselves and others.
My colleague Jo Cox had taken the first steps towards setting up the Commission before she was murdered in her constituency of Batley and Spen last June. Jo was a doer and determined to combat loneliness after she saw how many people experienced loneliness in her constituency.
Three years ago, I met with campaigners in Liverpool to listen to their experiences of loneliness in our city and what we could do together to tackle it. Many older people experience loneliness, but so do many younger people struggling with problems in communicating needs and feelings and isolation.
In fact, loneliness can affect anyone at any stage of their life, people of all ages and from all backgrounds and can become a major problem when people are overwhelmed by it and can’t, for many reasons, find a way to tackle it.
By joining with partners – Action for Children, Age UK, Alzheimer’s Society, The British Red Cross, The Campaign to End Loneliness, Carers UK, The Co-op, Eden Project Communities, Independent Age, Refugee Action, Royal Voluntary Service, Sense and The Silver Line – the commission will shine a light on those most likely to experience chronic loneliness and how we can all help.
The Commission is urging supporters to ‘Start a Conversation’, to get people talking; chatting to a neighbour, visiting an old friend, or just making time for the people they meet.
You can pledge to start your conversation by clicking here.