Commenting on the Culture Secretary’s new campaign to tackle loneliness during the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown, Deborah Alsina MBE, Chief Executive of Independent Age and Chair of the Campaign to End Loneliness, said:
“We welcome the Government’s initiative to highlight and support people struggling with increased isolation and loneliness due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Even before Covid-19, millions of people in the UK were experiencing loneliness. The lockdown, while necessary, has exacerbated this problem, particularly for older people, who are more likely to live alone, and less likely to be internet users. In our recent UK wide polling of people aged 65+, three out of four (75%) respondents said their contact with family or friends has been significantly limited due to the crisis.
"Many charities, including Independent Age and the Campaign to End Loneliness, are expanding and adapting their services and messaging to meet this growing need for people to be socially connected, at a time when fundraising opportunities have been hit hard so the Government’s increased support for those delivering vital services is welcome.
"We’re pleased to be working alongside a fantastic range of other charities in the Tackling Loneliness Exchange, which will use our collective knowledge to create practical, creative solutions in this unprecedented time.
"Loneliness cannot be considered a second-tier issue during this crisis. By working together, we can help ensure that more people are staying physically distant, but socially connected during the lockdown, as well as putting in place services and support to assist people in the recovery phase post-pandemic.”