A New Loneliness Strategy for the Welsh Government
A new loneliness and social isolation strategy, ‘Connected Communities: A strategy for tackling loneliness and social isolation and building stronger social connections’, has been launched by the Welsh Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, Julie Morgan.
This strategy will be backed by a £1.4m fund over three years and will support community-based organisations to deliver and test out, or scale up, approaches to tackling loneliness and social isolation.
A National Survey for Wales found 16% of the population aged 16 years or over said they felt lonely – with younger people more likely to report feeling isolated than older people.
The strategy is seen as the first step in helping to change how people think about loneliness and social isolation. It has four priority areas:
- Increasing opportunities for people to connect
- Improving community infrastructure that supports connected communities
- Cohesive and supportive communities
- Building awareness and promoting positive attitudes.
The 48-page strategy identified bereavement, retirement, giving up driving, taking a caring role and the onset of ill health, which are more common in later life, as some of the trigger points that can lead to loneliness and isolation.
Morgan said that, ‘whilst government alone cannot solve these issues, we can help foster the right conditions for connections within communities to flourish. We need to change how we think and act upon loneliness and isolation within government, public services, businesses, communities and as individuals in order to help tackle these issues.’
To read the full strategy, please follow this link: gov.wales