We have recently surveyed local authorities, and learnt of much good work that is being done to combat loneliness at a local level. More needs to be done here, however. The Campaign believes that loneliness is one of the key social problems of our time, and that local authorities are the centre of a framework of statutory and voluntary organisations that have the power to effect positive change.
Local authorities should take the lead in putting loneliness high on the local and national agenda.
The Campaign is making the first concerted effort on a national scale to ensure that local authorities and health and wellbeing boards, which make strategic decisions health and wellbeing, recognise the impact that loneliness can have on health and on communities. We are asking groups and communities across the country to join us in expressing their concerns about loneliness to their local authority.
If you are someone working in, concerned with or affected by loneliness, your local authority should listen to you. If you are passionate about keeping older age sociable, healthy and part of communities, then contact your local authority and challenge them to demonstrate how they are making tackling loneliness a priority in their commissioning and strategy. By emphasising the health impacts of loneliness, as well as the social impacts, we can make a very strong argument to commissioners that this is an issue that must be addressed in a strategic and collaborative way. Click here to find out more about the health impacts of loneliness.
Let us know what they come back with – we are always looking for examples of best practice that have been well evaluated to add to our guidance for local authorities and commissioners, which can be found here, and to add to the knowledge base about ‘what works’ to tackle loneliness, as part of our Learning Network.