“I cry every morning when I put my legs out over the bed, as I know it will be another day that I will spend alone”

The Commission on Loneliness which was first set up by the late MP, Jo Cox, has highlighted that loneliness is seen by many as one of the largest health concerns we face.  In the spring of 2018 the government appointed a Minister for Loneliness, to tackle the nationwide issue which affects around nine million people across the UK.

Identified health risks include:

Loneliness is likely to increase your risk of death by 29% ***

Loneliness, living alone and poor social connections are as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day *

Lonely people are more likely to suffer from dementia, heath disease and depression **

Loneliness is worse for you than obesity *

* (Holt-Lunstad, 2010) **(Valtorta et al, 2016) (James et al, 2011) (Cacioppo et al, 2006) *** (Holt-Lunstad, 2015)

For organisations such as Westbank, which deliver services across the Woodbury, Exmouth and Budleigh (WEB) area, we witness on a daily basis the often devastating impact of loneliness on individuals and the challenges in generating activities to help make a lasting difference.

No one individual or organisation can tackle this issue alone. Westbank have therefore taken the step to join the national drive to end loneliness in the WEB area.

Our aim is to raise awareness of the issues surrounding loneliness and to explore ways we as individuals, communities and service providers can work together to improve the health and wellbeing of those people living in our communities who are lonely or socially isolated.

How can you help?

Help to raise awareness of the issues of loneliness at your place of employment, school or college or activity/community group by requesting a short presentation from our campaign manager.

Become a volunteer for one of the organisations listed at volunteer opportunities.  Remember you can give as much or as little time as you are able it doesn’t have to be a regular weekly commitment.

Might any of your neighbours, family members or friends be lonely? Is there anything you could do to help? A five minute conversation can make the world of difference to a lonely person.

For further information please contact Nina Parnell, Social Action Development Manager
e: [email protected]
t: 01392 824752 option 2 option 2

Visit www.jocoxloneliness.org for information about the Commission on Loneliness