In October 2018, the government launched its first-ever strategy on loneliness, making it clear that responsibility for tackling loneliness cuts across more than one ministerial department.
The Reaching out guide responds to the national strategy and outlines various ways local (parish and town) councils and principal authorities can work together.
The guide has practical advice, guidance and case studies, and focusses four key themes:
- Making Connections – finding ways to reach and understand the needs of those experiencing loneliness
- Making a Difference – providing services that directly improve the number and quality of relationships that people have
- Linking Up – giving support such as transport and technology to help sustain connections
- The Right Environment – creating the right structures and conditions locally to support those affected by, or at risk of, loneliness.
Cllr Sue Baxter, chairman of NALC, said: “To take forward the national strategy we must recognise that local activity is already underway. But we must redouble our efforts to work more effectively, and in partnership across local government if we are to see a real change in tackling loneliness.”
Loneliness is one of society’s most significant challenges; it reduces the quality of life and has an impact on health and wellbeing – it can affect anyone of any age, loneliness is not just about older people.