accessibility & help

Red Cross part of newly launched Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness

31 January 2017

The British Red Cross is proud to be part of the cross-party Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness being launched today in parliament.

For the first time, members of parliament, policy makers and 13 leading organisations have come together to expose the growing crisis of loneliness and find ways to overcome it.

MP Jo Cox had taken the first steps towards setting up the Commission before her death in June last year.

Now members of her family are supporting the campaign led by MPs Seema Kennedy and Rachel Reeves to continue her work.

By putting party differences aside, the commission will look for practical solutions to reduce the harm being inflicted on people across the nation.

Loneliness and social isolation in the UK

At the end of last year, the Red Cross, in partnership with Co-op, found that over nine million people – a fifth of the population – report they feel always or often alone.

Our research also found that loneliness goes beyond the older age groups with whom the issues are most frequently associated.

Everyday life transitions, such as becoming a new mum at a young age or going through divorce or separation, can cause disruption and create a situation in which loneliness becomes the norm.

Loneliness and social isolation have clear impacts on people’s health, wellbeing and behaviour.

When ignored, loneliness can lead to an unnecessary loss in independence and the need for more formal support.

Using money raised by Co-op members and customers, the Red Cross is introducing brand new services later in the year.

These will provide direct support for up to 12,500 people in the UK who are experiencing loneliness and social isolation.

Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness

Throughout 2017, the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness will work to address loneliness and its many different impacts.

Under the slogan ‘Start A Conversation’, the Commission aims to mobilise the public to help themselves by educating everyone on how they can become the remedy – whether it be talking to a neighbour, visiting an old friend, or just making time for the people you meet.

The Commission will also target business and government action and will launch a manifesto in December. 

Mike Adamson, chief executive at the British Red Cross, said: “The British Red Cross is proud to be a partner in the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness.

"Jo was dedicated to raising awareness and reducing the impacts of loneliness after she witnessed how it was affecting people in her constituency.

“Similarly every day our staff and volunteers see first-hand the damaging effects loneliness and social isolation have on people, many of whom are already in crisis.

“We’re excited about our role in the Jo Cox Commission. We hope to mobilise and inspire over the coming months and years, working together to make this vision a reality.”

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