Government appoints a new loneliness minister
Published on 29 January 2018 01:30 PM
Earlier this month the government announced the appointment of a new minister for loneliness. Sports minister Tracey Crouch will add this to her current responsibilities, carrying on the work of the murdered MP Jo Cox.
Loneliness and isolation has been a hot topic since the tragic death of Ms Cox propelled the issue, an interest of hers, to national attention.
Although older people are far from the only group to experience loneliness, it is something which often affects people more as they age. Getting around can become more difficult, and some of the social networks built through employment and child-rearing are tricky for older people to access.
Around 200,000 older people in this country have not had a conversation with another person in over a month – but it’s not an issue limited to the most vulnerable.
The majority of people over the age of 75 live alone and doctors report seeing several patients each day who have made an appointment mainly because they are lonely.
Prime Minister Theresa May said: “We should all do everything we can to see that, in Jo’s memory, we bring an end to the acceptance of loneliness for good. For far too many people, loneliness is the sad reality of modern life.”
Age UK Bristol also welcomes the appointment of a new minister to tackle one of the fastest growing social problems in the UK. CEO Mark Baker said: “Local and national cuts to services have left older people without some of the lifelines that they could rely on in previous years.
“I’m delighted that the government is taking seriously the problem of loneliness and isolation, and look forward to seeing the first steps that Ms Crouch takes in her new role.”
Many of the activities run by Age UK Bristol help to tackle loneliness and isolation in Bristol, whether by providing information and advice, offering day centre services or supporting the most vulnerable older people in their housing needs. If you’d like to support the great work we do in Bristol, you can find volunteering opportunities here and a link to donate here.