Cambridgeshire campaign launched to tackle loneliness

Residents are being urged to help tackle loneliness in Peterborough this winter.

Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 3:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 4:36 pm

The #50000reasons campaign launched today, a partnership led by Cambridgeshire County Council, Peterborough City Council and the Campaign to End Loneliness, is encouraging people to make contact with an older neighbour this Christmas.

Statistics suggest that as many as 50,000 older people who live alone across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough may be at risk of experiencing loneliness.

Christmas can be a difficult and isolating time for people who live alone or have family living far away. It can be a time when people reflect on what they have lost in life, increasing feelings of loneliness. It can also have impacts on health, with studies suggesting loneliness, living alone and poor social connections are as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

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While people of any age can feel lonely, as residents get older factors such as living alone, bereavement, poor health and reduced mobility can lead to isolation.

Kathy Hartley, Consultant of Public Health Medicine at Peterborough City Council, said: “Loneliness can have serious impacts on people’s health but the good news is that there is something we can all do to help tackle loneliness in our local communities. Your small gestures this Christmas can make a big difference to someone experiencing loneliness at this time of year. Our top tips are really simple things that anyone can do. I’d encourage everyone to look at our #50000reasons webpage to see what they can do.”

The campaigns top tips to help beat loneliness this Christmas are:

1. Delivering a Christmas card to a neighbour living alone and knocking on their door to introduce yourself and having a chat

2. Asking a neighbour to introduce you to an older people who lives in your neighbourhood

3. Inviting neighbours and friends around for a mince pie and a cup of tea

4. Phoning older relatives and friends who you might not see this Christmas

5. Doing an older neighbour’s Christmas shopping

6. Helping to wrap presents for an older person

7. Volunteering to help older people this Christmas. This could include getting involved in a local community group or Timebank. View

8. Helping older people join in social activities. For more details of local activities in Cambridgeshire call Care Network on 01954 211919. For Peterborough, call Peterborough Council for Voluntary Service on 01733 342 683

9. Checking on an older neighbour if you haven’t seen them for a few days to make sure they are in good health

10. Helping someone put up their Christmas tree and take it down again

For more tips and information about loneliness, the things you can do and where you volunteer,