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How we are tackling loneliness

It's a shocking statistic, but around 1.4 million older people find their days repetitive and admit holidays just pass them by.

December 2017 saw Age UK embark on our most exciting winter campaign to date. Our No one should have no one winter campaign called upon people across the country to pledge their support and donate to help Age UK be there for lonely older people all year round.

Just Another Day

Watch the full length director's cut of our Just Another Day film, which shows the everyday monotony of loneliness

Throughout the year, Age UK delivers support to older people through our vital services like the Age UK Advice Line (open every day, including Christmas Day) and Call in Time, our national telephone befriending service, which provides regular calls to isolated or lonely older people, in many cases this being the only conversation they will have all week.

How we are tackling loneliness

Increasing awareness

We teamed up with Channel 4 for an extra special Christmas episode of Old People's Home for 4 Year Olds to raise awareness of the major issue of loneliness.

The hit show gripped the nation earlier this year with its ambitious six-week experiment, which saw a nursery group share a classroom with older people in a retirement home in Bristol. The Christmas special reunited the children, all of which have now started school, and the older volunteers as they prepared for a Christmas concert. The show helped to educate it's 2.43 million viewers about the complexity of loneliness and saw an overwhelming amount of positive conversation, awareness and support for Age UK. One in five who watched the show were encourage to take action as a result.

Find out more and watch the show

Influencing politicians

As part of the Jo Cox Commission on loneliness, we have been working to shine a spotlight on loneliness and calling for action from the Government.

In January, following the recommendations of the Jo Cox Commission, the Prime Minter announced a new strategy to tackle loneliness and social isolation – including appointing a ministerial lead on loneliness.

Find out about Age UK's work with the Jo Cox Commission

Programmes and innovation

Testing Promising Approaches to Reducing Loneliness is a programme run by local Age UKs to test and improve loneliness service provisions. The first phase of the programme had three main aims:

  1. Understand: to better understand an individual's loneliness through conversation and respond to the individual's needs.
  2. Reach: to identify and contact hard-to-reach older people who are lonely; by empowering local health and community services to be aware of loneliness and its indicators and to be equipped with information about local loneliness services. Partners made good use of the Loneliness Heat Map to aid targeting and identification.
  3. Support: to provide wrap-around, tailored support to older people who are lonely by offering practical and emotional solutions that builds confidence and resilience.

The second phase of the programme is currently in progress and we are looking forward to seeing the results.

Find out more about the programme

How you can make a difference

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Last updated: Nov 05 2019

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