Today the Charity Sense, alongside the Jo Cox Foundation have launched a report addressing loneliness in disabled people. It is an important piece of work, and extremely helpful in tackling the additional barriers disabled people face in building social networks. As Minister for Disabled People I will be seeing how the work that I am doing and how other government departments can act on this issues the report raises, and I was delighted to be able to speak at the launch event today.
Back in 2011 I helped set up and End to Loneliness campaign and spoke at a summit on how we can build community connections. (https://www.campaigntoendloneliness.org/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2011/12/CSJ-Vital-Connections-conference-report.pdf)
We were seeking to get a coordinated approach between all the people who can into contact with people who might be lonely: local Cllrs, the person to the tills at Tescos, the pharmacist, the League of Friends hospital visitors, meals on wheels, or the paper boy, to identify those who might benefit from befriending services. There are many organisations doing fantastic work in our communities, from the Red Cross, who pair children walking to school with older people- to check their curtains are drawn or the milk has been taken in, through to businesses like Home Coffee in Cosham, which regularly holds events and meals for those who need company. I have met many such organisations in my time at your MP, but I am sure there are others too. If you are in an organisation or a business which helps people build social connections and meet other people I would be keen to hear from you.
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Above: Penny Mordaunt MP, speaks at the Sense charity and Jo Cox Loneliness report launch.
Here's @PennyMordaunt taking to Shane of @AmbitiousAutism one of our speakers on #loneliness and #disability @sensecharity #HappytoChat (From Twitter).