• Churnet Sound Newsdesk

Campaign to tackle loneliness in Staffordshire launches

A new campaign to help tackle loneliness in Staffordshire has been launched. The new Let’s Beat Loneliness Together campaign by Staffordshire County Council will help raise awareness of the issue and promote the services available to those affected by it. The campaign will also support those individuals or volunteers who want to do something themselves to help reduce loneliness in their local community. A residents survey carried out by the county council in January 2021 about the Covid-19 pandemic highlighted that loneliness over the past twelve months and the restrictions was a concern for many. 80% of those questioned said that not seeing wider family and friends was an issue and 55% said they felt concerned about vulnerable family and friends. Over the coming weeks and months, a social media campaign will remind people that help and support is available for those affected by loneliness and for those who want to be able to help reduce it. An education pack to help young people understand the issue and the steps they can take to address it is also being produced, as well as printed materials for those who are not online. Johnny McMahon, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing at Staffordshire County Council said: “We know that loneliness is a real issue for many people and it’s something we’re working hard to reduce here in Staffordshire. “Loneliness and isolation can have a negative impact on a whole host of aspects of our lives, including our health, wellbeing, productivity, and self-esteem. When we think about loneliness and who may be considered as lonely, many of us may assume that it only affects the elderly. But since the beginning of the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, it has had a big impact on many other age groups including those aged between 16 and 24 years old too.” The Let’s Beat Loneliness Together campaign builds on the council’s previous Doing Our Bit programme in 2019 encouraging people to ‘do one small thing, that would make a big difference’. The county council is working with Everyone Health Staffordshire, parish councils and other partners and organisations in the voluntary and community sector that can support people if they are feeling lonely Johnny added: “In addition to connecting people with local support services through Staffordshire Connects, the campaign will also support the recruitment of volunteers and those who would like to help support others who are feeling lonely. Using the website Do It Staffordshire, people will be able to access volunteering opportunities available locally.” People can find out more about the campaign or get involved at loneliness.doingourbit.info

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