Loneliness: Coronavirus

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 3rd September 2020.

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Photo of Colleen Fletcher Colleen Fletcher Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to tackle loneliness and social isolation resulting from the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of John Whittingdale John Whittingdale Minister of State

The Government launched a major effort to tackle loneliness and social isolation in April 2020. The plan aimed to ensure that staying at home does not need to lead to loneliness.

As part of the plan, the latest #Let’sTalkLoneliness public campaign was rolled out to get people talking openly about loneliness, including new public guidance offering useful tips and advice on how people can look after themselves and others safely.

In addition, Government launched a £5 million fund to support national loneliness organisations supporting those at risk of loneliness. We also announced a £4m microgrants fund which will support small, grassroots organisations addressing loneliness, due to open in the early new year.

The Office for Civil Society has also established the Tackling Loneliness Network, a group of over 60 high-profile charities, businesses and public sector organisations, which is now working to find and implement innovative solutions to loneliness, drawing on their diverse expertise.

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