British Red Cross Call to Action: Tackling Loneliness & Building Community
In their new Call to Action, Tackling Loneliness & Building Community, British Red Cross are working with leading charities to set out their priorities for a future government to tackle loneliness and build community.
We at FaithAction are part of this group, supporting this work. Over the summer of 2023, they engaged over 100 organisations committed to tackling loneliness to support its development.
Five years on from the first government loneliness strategy and creation of a dedicated Minister for Loneliness, it remains a serious problem. Recent data from the Office of National Statistics shows that millions of the UK population say they are often or always lonely. And the number of people who are chronically lonely has risen by half a million since 2020, with the pandemic and cost-of-living crisis taking a considerable toll on people’s health, wellbeing and relationships.
As a sector, we are calling for renewed action to tackle this crisis.
The Call to Action focuses on the following recommendation – Connected communities are healthier, happier, more prosperous and resilient. To achieve this across the country, we recommend:
- Renewed national leadership on loneliness and connection. This should include appointing a dedicated Minister for Loneliness to lead a refreshed national strategy, overseen by the Prime Minister and supported by a cross-governmental team.
- A new strategy should have clear, measurable objectives. These should be backed with funding, and developed in collaboration with people with lived experience and expert organisations.
- Priorities for action must include rebuilding community. The government should support local authorities to address loneliness and invest in our built environment;
- Ensuring our services are well equipped to address loneliness. These include services from the voluntary and community sector to the NHS; and supporting cross-sector action.