Today we welcome the announcement of the Government loneliness strategy. It’s another important milestone in dealing with an issue we know, through our research with the British Red Cross, affects over 9 million people in the UK.
Paul Gerrard, Policy and Campaigns Director, tells us more about how we’ve influenced Government in his blog post.
As part of the strategy, I’m proud to say we’ve helped shape an employers’ pledge to tackle loneliness.
We’ve signed the pledge and expect other large businesses, charities and public sector employers to do the same.
What we’re already doing to fulfil this pledge
The pledge asks employers to commit to doing three things: demonstrating leadership, supporting our people, and building a sociable workplace.
We’re showing great progress in these three areas through:
- our Employee Assistance Programme helpline where colleagues experiencing loneliness can speak to experienced advisers 24 hours a day, in confidence
- the launch of LifeWorks, the new colleague wellbeing app
- our Co-op networks Women in Co-op (formerly Aspire), Respect (LGBTQ+), Rise (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) and Youth which keep colleagues connected and provide support
- signposting colleagues to the British Red Cross Community Connector programme which has helped 3,000 people in the UK so far. We also announced this year our partnership with Cruse Bereavement Care to support those feeling isolated after the death of a loved one and our collaboration with Home-Start supporting new mums experiencing loneliness
What we’ll do next
As part of our 2019 Colleague Wellbeing plan we’ll take a close look at the best practice examples in the pledge. Then we’ll see what we can improve on and where we can introduce new initiatives to support colleagues.
We’ll also fully support being part of the Tackling Employer Loneliness Network which will be at the forefront – inspiring other employers to act on loneliness as part of wider staff wellbeing.
If you’re experiencing loneliness and would like to find out what support is available, you can contact Lifeworks free and confidentially on 0800 069 8854.
Health Wellbeing Manager