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Cancer sufferers face loneliness once diagnosed

  • ITV News report by Olivia Kinsley

Around one in eight people diagnosed with cancer feel they have lost touch with friends as a result of the disease, according to a survey by Macmillan Cancer Support.

The charity says that talking to close friends and relatives is important for sufferers dealing with the illness - but not enough people are getting the support they need.

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Report: Loneliness and the internet

  • Older people aren't necessarily lonely for geographical reasons, the charity have said.
  • On average we're all just 126 steps or 65 metres - from someone aged 65 or over who is feeling lonely, the report added.
  • Similarly, young people are facing huge challenges which can lead to isolation in today's tough climate such as high unemployment and negative perceptions of youth.
  • The Internet is a vital tool in tackling isolation and loneliness, the charity found.
  • Over a quarter (28%) of people aged 65 or over who admitted to feeling lonely said that keeping in contact with family and friends via the web helped relieve feelings of isolation.
  • 70% of young people aged 16-25 said they use the Internet every day to contact friends and family.

Charities want computer courses for over 65s

Two charities have joined forces to tackle loneliness and isolation across generations.

Computer courses will encourage two generations to work together Credit: Adam Peck/PA Wire

Age UK and YouthNet are calling on runners to take part in next year's London Marathon to raise money for computer classes for the elderly.

700 young volunteers will be given the opportunity to develop their confidence and learn new skills by sharing their digital experience with 10,000 older people in their local communities.

For more information visit www.runforit.org.uk or call 0800 169 87 87 or email info@runforit.org.uk.

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