Loneliness is described by the Campaign to End Loneliness as a subjective, unwelcome feeling of lack or loss of companionship, which happens when we have a mismatch between the quantity and quality of social relationships that we have, and those that we want.
It can affect people of all ages and from all backgrounds - from the bullied school child, to the new mother, to the pensioner who has outlived her friends and immediate family. Feeling lonely becomes a major problem when people are overwhelmed by it and can’t, for many reasons, take action to tackle it.
Who is feeling lonely?
Loneliness is not something that is unique to the elderly:
- Parents - Action for Children found 24% of parents surveyed were always or often lonely
- Teenagers - 62% are 'sometimes lonely' and one in 20 never spend time with friends at weekends
- Carers - 8 out of 10 carers have felt lonely or isolated as a result of looking after a loved one
How is East of England Co-op Involved?
East of England Co-op currently has made £70k available to support a number of suitable projects, which would have a positive impact on loneliness in the communities that we serve.
To achieve our aims and ensure that the allocated funds are used effectively, East of England Co-op is working in partnership with the Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex Community Foundations to enable community groups to bid for a share of the funds.