Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves is hosting a roundtable event on loneliness in Bramley today.
Ms Reeves co-chairs the national Commission on Loneliness, which was the idea of murdered MP Jo Cox who met people whose lives had been blighted by loneliness and social isolation in her Batley and Spen constituency.
Today’s roundtable takes place at Bramley Community Centre, and will bring local and national groups together to highlight the challenges that loneliness creates in society, and what can be done to tackle it.
Ms Reeves said:
“Loneliness is all around us and causing all kinds of damage to individuals and to society in general.
“It affects all ages and all backgrounds – from the bullied school child, to the new mother, to the pensioner who has outlived her friends and immediate family. And it is not just about being isolated from people in general – many lonely people are ‘hidden in plain sight’ living in towns and cities, ignored and alone.”
Organisations attending the roundtable event include:
Bramley Elderly Action, BARCA, New Wortley Community Centre, Leeds Older Peoples Forum, Cllr Rebecca Charlwood from Leeds City Council, The Silver Line, Sense, Age UK, Alzheimer’s Society, St George’s Crypt and Carers Leeds.
Research by the organisations supporting the Commission shows that more than nine million people – a fifth of the population – privately admit they are “always or often lonely”, a feeling believed to be as detrimental to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
Two thirds of those would never confess to having a problem in public.