March 15, 2019

Sporting stars back campaign targeting loneliness in West Yorkshire & Harrogate

Sporting stars back campaign targeting loneliness in West Yorkshire and Harrogate

Wakefield Trinity Community Trust’s; Leeds Rhinos Foundation; Yorkshire Cricket Foundation are getting behind West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership’s new ‘Looking Out for Our Neighbours’ campaign to prevent loneliness and social isolation.

Harrogate Town Football Club, Yorkshire Sport Foundation, Featherstone Rovers Foundation are also among over 200 organisations that have pledged their support to take part in the campaign which launches on 15 March across the area.

Backed back Jo Cox’s sister, Kim Leadbeater, the ‘Looking out for our Neighbours’ campaign encourages local people to do simple things to look out for one another to help improve the wellbeing of other residents in their area.

Craig Shepherd, Wakefield Trinity Community Trust’s General Manager, said:

‘There are over 60,000 elderly residents living in Wakefield who are lonely and feel isolated. We have an opportunity to appeal to the good nature of the people around them and encourage people to look out for their neighbours. This could be in simple ways, like a daily conversation, or even going the extra mile and contributing some time to complete jobs for them. Whatever small amount of time you can provide to your neighbours around you will be appreciated more than you will ever know. Wakefield Trinity Community Trust are delighted to support this project and we will do all we can to raise awareness.’

According to research from The Health Foundation (December 2018), social isolation can increase the risk of having a stroke by a third, and older people who live alone are 50% more likely to visit A&E than those who live with others.

Findings published in Age UK’s new report ‘All the lonely people: Loneliness amongst older people’ (2018) show that the number of older people who are lonely is rising quickly. This could be a major public health concern because if loneliness is not addressed it can seriously affect people’s health and well-being.