I am pleased to support the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness which seeks to help start a conversation about loneliness. Jo was dedicated to tackling loneliness, in her memory, I am pledging my support to help combat loneliness right here in Cheadle.
As Jo said in December 2015 ‘young or old, loneliness doesn’t discriminate...it is something many of us could easily help with. Looking in on a neighbour, visiting an elderly relative or making that call or visit we’ve been promising to a friend we haven’t seen in a long time.’
The Commission aims to not simply highlight the problem of loneliness but more importantly act as a "call to action". Under the slogan ‘Start A Conversation’, the Commission aims to mobilise the public to help themselves - educating people on how they can become the remedy – whether it be talking to a neighbour, visiting an old friend, or just making time for the people they meet.
The Commission will also target businesses and employer organisations and look at what action local and national Government can take to combat loneliness. The connections between loneliness and poor mental and physical health and wellbeing are increasingly recognised and it is right that action is taken both nationally and locally.
Loneliness is described by charities as an unwelcome feeling of lack or loss of companionship. More than 9 million people admit that they often or always feel lonely, shockingly a recent study by the Alzheimer’s Society found that a third of people with dementia said they lost friends following a diagnosis, with 1 in 10 leaving the house once a month.
Throughout 2017, the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness will work to address loneliness and its many different impacts and will focus on the positive action we can all take to recognise it, build connections and help ourselves and/or others.
I would encourage all constituents to get involved in the vital work that local age-related charities do in Cheadle and across the country. You can read more about the work of the commission here www.jocoxloneliness.org, and find links to these charities and how you can get involved.