Tuesday, 31 January 2017
Older people’s charity Royal Voluntary Service is one of a number of leading organisations joining forces with MPs to continue the work of the murdered MP Jo Cox to combat loneliness.
Members of parliament, policy makers and Royal Voluntary Service along with 12 other organisations are coming together to expose the growing crisis of loneliness and to encourage people to take action to overcome the problem. By following Jo’s example, the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness will look for practical solutions to reduce the harm being inflicted on individuals and families across the United Kingdom.
Jo Cox took the first steps towards setting up the Commission before she was murdered in her constituency in Batley and Spen, West Yorkshire in June 2016. Now members of her family are supporting the campaign, led by MPs Seema Kennedy and Rachel Reeves, to continue her work.
"We are delighted to be part of the Commission on Loneliness and help continue the important work started by Jo Cox. Loneliness can affect anyone, at any time, but we’re just not very good at talking about it. It doesn’t have to be that way.
David McCullough, Chief Executive of Royal Voluntary Service, which is a founding member of the Campaign to End Loneliness
"Through the work of the Commission, we want to inspire the public to start a conversation and help put an end to this growing epidemic. Just taking a little time out of our day to talk to someone or visit a friend or relative for a quick cuppa can make a huge difference.
"By pooling our resources and expertise, the Commission has the potential to improve the lives of millions of people, both now and in the future."
Using the slogan “Start a Conversation”, the Commission aims to empower the public to make the time for people they meet so that no one feels alone.
"Loneliness is all around us and causing all kinds of damage to individuals and to society in general.
Rachel Reeves, Labour MP
"It affects all ages and all backgrounds - from the bullied school child, to the new mother, to the pensioner who has out lived her friends and immediate family. And it is not just about being isolated from people in general – many lonely people are 'hidden in plain sight' living in towns and cities, ignored and alone.
"But all is not hopeless. In fact, unlike other conditions, you don't have to be a doctor or a trained professional to do something about it. Every one of us can "live like Jo" and help bring an end to this epidemic."
"Jo wanted to achieve something practical. So this is all about trying to achieve change that is concrete – not just about sitting around and talking."
Seema Kennedy, Conservative MP
Royal Voluntary Service join 12 other charities - Action for Children, Age UK, Alzheimer’s Society, The British Red Cross, The Campaign to End Loneliness, Carers UK, The Co-op, Eden Project Communities, Independent Age, Refugee Action, Sense and The Silver Line - to shine a light on different aspects of loneliness and the positive steps we can all take to combat it.
For further information
Royal Voluntary Service is one of the largest volunteering charities in Britain powered by more than 35,000 volunteers who regularly provide practical help to over 100,000 older people in their homes, communities and in hospitals.
To become a local volunteer search for volunteering opportunities in your area. Or help make a difference by making a secure online donation.
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