1. ITV Report

Our "Loneliness epidemic"

Photo: pa

A new in-depth study published today called ‘Trapped in a Bubble,’ from the Co-op and British Red Cross reveals that almost a fifth of the adult population in the North West are ‘always’ or ‘often’ lonely. The research identifies some key triggers that can lead to loneliness:

  • Becoming a new mum at a young age.
  • Facing empty nest syndrome or retirement.
  • Experiencing long-term health issues or mobility limitations.
  • Dealing with bereavement and going through a family breakdown, such as divorce or separation.

A new scheme to tackle the problem has been funded by The Co-op. From 2017, for two years, the British Red Cross will provide direct, personalised support for around 600 people experiencing loneliness or social isolation in the region. This includes two new Community Connector services in Oldham and Stockport, which will support around 400 people over the two years of the project.

This is a crisis we cannot ignore, but if we come together it’s also a problem we can try to solve. Our research shows that life transitions are key triggers for loneliness. We need to focus on these moments and work together to help those suffering from loneliness and social isolation.

– John Morris, Head of Independent Living and Crisis Response in the North of England