Monday, April 22, 2024

Gold standard award for efforts to combat loneliness

THURROCK Council’s Health and Wellbeing Strategy has been awarded ‘gold standard’ accreditation by the Campaign to End Loneliness.

The organisation, which aims to reduce the number of people suffering the ill-health effects of loneliness, said the council’s strategy commits to measurable actions and targets to address loneliness.

Thurrock is one of only eight councils in the country to receive the accreditation, following research into all 152 health and wellbeing boards.

Thurrock Council Leader Cllr John Kent said: “Loneliness and social isolation can have a huge effect on people’s health, equivalent to the effects of smoking or drinking too much alcohol. This gold standard accreditation reflects the efforts we are making to combat loneliness in Thurrock.

“Between 2012 and 2030, the number of people aged over 75 and living alone is expected to increase by 60%, so ensuring we have firm foundations in place to tackle loneliness and isolation is more important than ever.”

Thurrock Council is launching the first digital befriending service in the country as part of an overall programme commissioned from Age UK Essex.

This programme of work also involves a traditional home befriending service, which involves one-to-one telephone befriending, home-based befriending and coffee mornings.

The council also runs an ‘active lives’ programme, run by volunteers who help people aged over 60 regain independence and confidence after a life changing event such as illness or bereavement through various means such as attending clubs, visiting shops or restarting a hobby


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