by Lisa Wild

Most of us will feel lonely at some point in our lives and in this current period of self-isolation and social distancing we are much more likely to experience feelings of loneliness because we’re missing out on our regular social contact.

This week is Loneliness Awareness Week, and the Government has launched a public campaign to get people talking and to do what we can to tackle loneliness during these difficult times.

Much of the Government’s current work came from recommendations made by the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness and back in 2018 they set up a partnership with the National Lottery Community Fund and the Co-op Foundation to launch the Building Connections Fund.

Last year we were thrilled to be awarded funding from Building Connections to start our brilliant Healthy Connections project. Over the last 15 months we have been providing lots of opportunities for people with minimal support who are lonely and isolated to build social connections, and to focus on their health and well-being through a programme of sports related activities.

This funding came to an end in March and we were in the process of trying to secure additional funding to continue the project when the Coronavirus outbreak hit. Many of the people who were part of the project had very little support to rely on during lockdown, but thanks to a grant from the National Emergencies Trust we have been able to continue that support.

Our Project Co-ordinator Rhiannon has done an amazing job of helping everyone stay safe, well and connected.

She said “The current work that we’re doing through the Healthy Connections project is really important. Usually the people we support are already significantly isolated however, with the addition of lockdown some people are confined to their homes all alone with no-one to talk to. We’ve been providing a range of support such as daily phone calls, walks, food shopping and medication collections to help reduce the feelings of isolation and the difficulties they are facing.”

“It’s been great to see and hear the positive impact that we are making, with people telling us it’s the thing they look forward to each week.”

LD:NorthEast are committed to tackling loneliness and isolation through our various services and projects, and we will always do our best to keep people connected. #LonelinessAwarenessWeek #LetsTalkLoneliness

LD:NorthEast lets talk loneliness