Loneliness in Hull: How the issue is being tackled in the city

A recent survey by the Office for National Statistics found that 12.5% of people in Hull are lonely all of the time, that's one of the highest rates in the Calendar region.

Such is the problem in Hull that a city-wide "Loneliness Network" has been set up by the Community and Volunteer Sector, which is aiming to bring together charities and other partners to tackle the problem in the city.

The network was started shortly after the first UK lockdown began in March 2020, when the Hull CVS realised that the issue of loneliness was going to worsen.

Hull CVS have stressed that loneliness was already a problem in the city before the pandemic.

Beverley Woyen, from the organisation, said: "Loneliness can be separated into two, it can be emotional but also social.

"So we know that sometimes the two come together and it's trying to get to that route what makes people feel the way that they do.

"And we know that chronic loneliness can be indicative of the problems caused by those social and economic issues but also from our social needs and our emotional needs as well."

The Tigers Trust are using a weekly football session to help people with isolation and mental health problems. Credit: ITV News

One of the charities involved in the network is the Hull City Tigers Trust, who are using two programmes to address the isolation in Hull.

The Trust is using well-being walks to help older members of the community feel connected, whilst also running a weekly drop-in football game, where men are encouraged to come and meet new people and talk about their mental health.

Kayleigh Jackson, the social inclusion manager for the charity, said that they have seen the problem on loneliness exacerbated by the covid-19 pandemic.

She said: "We've had participants that was really introverted, not really wanting to come out.

"So we try to build that positive relationship with staff, fellow participants as well and when the session gets going they really come out of their shell."

  • Paul Wray runs the weekly Tigers Together football session

One of the people benefiting from the weekly football sessions is Robert Whitham - he suffered from isolation after the death of his daughter.

He said: "Being part of a community here, having all the support from Tigers trust and talking to other people who might not have experienced the same things but are going through their own things, I found it really helpful.

"And Tigers Trust was a platform for me to build myself rather than hideaway."

Hull and East Yorkshire Mind have said that they have seen an increase in the number of calls to them surrounding loneliness in the last 18 months.

Jack Moore, who works for the charity, said: "Loneliness is a huge issue at the moment, we know that a national survey has just been completed and that 62% of adults have reported feeling more lonely and 68% of young people as well.

"So obviously, it's huge figures so we just need to ensure that we're there for our community and people are there for each other really."

If you are struggling with loneliness or isolation you can find help and support here: