A connected recovery

Findings of the APPG on Loneliness Inquiry

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Loneliness has launched its first independent inquiry report making the case for a ‘connected recovery’. 

The inquiry explored problems and identified solutions within four crucial policy areas, including: 

  • translating national policy into local action through local authorities
  • community infrastructure (including housing, transport and public spaces)
  • how to adequately fund the voluntary and community sector upon which social prescribing depends
  • designing and implementing ways to test the implications of government policies on loneliness.

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Picture of the report cover, which says: 'A Connected Recovery: Findings of the APPG on Loneliness Inquiry'.

Key inquiry findings

  • There are too many barriers preventing people from connecting – such as a lack of safe, welcoming and accessible green spaces, parks and gardens, public toilets, playing areas, local bus services, and ramps for people with disabilities.
  • Too many people face barriers to digital connection as a result of lack of access to mobile technology and the internet, as well as a lack of digital skills and confidence.  
  • Poorly designed or unsuitable housing and neighbourhoods can make it hard for people to meet each other, maintain social connections and develop a sense of belonging.
  • Some communities and groups were highlighted as facing particular disadvantage in relation to transport and mobility.

Key recommendations

The Prime Minister should commit to a “Connected Recovery” from the COVID-19 pandemic, recognising the need for long-term work to rebuild social connections following periods of isolation and the importance of connection to resilience to future shocks.

To achieve this, the APPG sets out a roadmap, calling on the government to adopt 15 recommendations, designed to:

  • Tackle loneliness through national leadership, including re-establishing the cross-government approach to tackling loneliness, long-term funding and improving the evidence base.
  • Translate national policy into local action, including incentivising local authorities and their partners to develop local action plans to tackle loneliness.
  • Invest in the community and social infrastructure needed to connect, particularly in areas with higher levels of deprivation. This should include a long-term investment in the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sector to realise the full potential of social prescribing – a flagship of the Government’s original loneliness strategy. 
  • Loneliness proof all new transport and housing developments, and close the digital divide by increasing digital skills and confidence.  

See the report for more detail.

For more information, please email lonelinessaction@redcross.org.uk or press@redcross.org.uk for media inquiries.