The Member of Parliament for Mid Sussex, Mims Davies is supporting the campaign to get people talking about loneliness during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Let’s talk loneliness is a campaign which has been running for 12 months and responsibility for loneliness was part of Mims’ role when she was the Minister for Loneliness at the same time. Age UK are also running services locally in Mid Sussex to support those older people who might be feeling lonely during the current situation, particularly during social distancing and shielding.
2.8 million (38%) people aged 70 and over live alone and even before Covid-19 630,000 people aged 70 and over said they are often lonely, almost half said that a pet or the television is their main form of company. hilst many organisations including local Age UK branches are working hard to keep them connected it’s important we all play our part if we can.
Commenting, the Member of Parliament for Mid Sussex, Mims Davies said:
“It’s so important to raise awareness of loneliness across our society and particularly during this period of ‘lockdown’. Let’s Talk Loneliness have prepared some new resources and as former Minister for Loneliness I know just how important it is to maintain contact with those you think may be lonely at times such as these.
“At times like this it is totally normal to feel lonely but there are lots of things to do if you feel alone. Many organisations including our brilliant local Age UK branches are working hard to keep them connected. It's important we all play our part if we can. I have included a list of suggestions from Age UK below for anyone who would like to do more for their elderly relatives or neighbours who may be feeling lonely at the moment.”
- Phone friends or relatives to check in and chat - particularly those who live alone. Even a short call can make a big difference to someone who is feeling lonely, and remind them that they are missed and cared for. You could also send cards or small gifts to let people know that you are thinking of them;
- Share your boredom-busters. Inspire your friends and family with ideas of crafts, activities or recipes that you have tried out. You could even try doing activities together over the phone, such as working together on a crossword or taking a quiz;
- Get together virtually. Why not explore ways to hold your regular events using the internet? People have been hosting everything from quizzes to book club discussions online, and you don't need to be a tech wizard to get involved. Video calling can be very straightforward to use - take a look at their video calling how-to guide to get started;
- Support friends or neighbours to get online. Some people are taking their first steps into the digital space right now, which can be a bit confusing if you're not used to it. If you have digital know-how, see if you can help them over the phone with any issues they run into. They also have some handy tips on using digital technology to keep connected you could take them through;
- Join the Big Knit. Try your hand at knitting or crocheting and make a tiny hat, just right for topping off an innocent smoothie bottle. Every hat sold raises 25p for Age UK. Find out more and get started.
Notes to Editors:
- Attached is a photo of Mims Davies MP with Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP after speaking at an event on Harnessing technology to combat loneliness.