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Age UK responds to the launch of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness

Published on 31 January 2017 09:30 AM

Age UK has issued a statement following the launch of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness.

In response to the launch of the Commission, Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, commented:

"We are honoured to be part of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness which we hope will have a big impact on the millions of people grappling with feelings of loneliness on a daily basis across the UK.

"It's clear that loneliness can affect us all at any stage of life but older people are particularly at risk simply because they are more likely to experience deteriorating health and the death of a loved one. Our analysis shows that around 1.2 million older people are chronically lonely, meaning they have been feeling this way for years - pointing to something of a social crisis at the very heart of our society.

"Loneliness sucks the joy out of life and undermines our sense of self-worth. It can affect our mental, emotional and physical health and disconnect us from others. But whilst there is, unfortunately, no quick fix or single policy solution to eradicate loneliness, there are reasons to hope that we can change things for the better. 

"We firmly believe that if we all come together - MPs, local councillors, charities, businesses, health professionals and the general public - we genuinely stand a chance of tackling the scourge of loneliness that devastates the lives of so many."

-Ends-

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Notes to editors

Older people and their families can get in touch with Age UK to see how the Charity could help someone who may be feeling lonely.  They can call Age UK Advice for free on 0800 169 65 65, open 8am to 7pm, 365 days a year.  Age UK Advisors offer essential support on a wide range of issues - free of charge.

Age UK has a long history of providing services which help address loneliness: for example, its national telephone friendship service which relies on dedicated volunteers who are matched to lonely and isolated older people based on shared interests, and make regular phone calls to offer friendship, support and practical advice. The Charity also supports the Campaign to End Loneliness, and provides many diverse services provided through local Age UKs. Its new ‘Testing Promising Approaches' pilot programme has built on these and works with the wider community to develop the reach and intensify the impact of these services.

For further information about Testing Promising Approaches and Age UK's No one should have no one campaign, please visit: www.ageuk.org.uk/no-one/

Age UK

We work with our national partners, Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI and our local Age UK partners in England (together the Age UK Family). We also work internationally for people in later life as a member of the DEC and with our sister charity Help Age International.

Age UK believes that everyone should have the opportunity to make the most of later life, whatever their circumstances.  We provide free information, advice and support to over six million people; commercial products and services to over one million customers; and research and campaign on the issues that matter to people in later life. Our work focuses on five key areas: money matters, health and wellbeing, home and care, work and training and leisure and lifestyle.

Age UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England (registered charity number 1128267 and company number 6825798). Age Concern England and Help the Aged (both registered charities), and their trading and other associated companies merged on the 1st April 2009. Together they have formed the Age UK Group ("we").  Charitable services are offered through Age UK and commercial products are offered by the Charity's trading companies, which donate their net profits to Age UK (the Charity).

Last updated: Oct 06 2017

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