Devon launches loneliness campaign ahead of festive period

(Last Updated On: December 18, 2018)
Thousands of people in Devon, young and old, experience loneliness to some degree, and it can lead to health problems. Launched at the beginning of December and running up to Christmas Eve, Devon County Council is regularly posting helpful advice on social media with each one suggesting different things that people can do to combat loneliness – to help themselves, or to help others in their communities.

Some are small things that we can all do – encouraging people to think of others – but some might take a bit more effort. None though underestimate the scale of the challenge for some.

The campaign was in response to an independent enquiry published by Healthwatch Devon, which was presented to the Healthwatch England national conference in October. For two years, Healthwatch Devon invited representatives from local government, the voluntary and community sector (VCS), and its members and supporters to contribute to this work about social isolation and loneliness.The report is here.

More information about the Devon campaign is here.

Loneliness: What makes a smile?

Devon’s Charter to End Loneliness

Members of the Devon Health and Wellbeing Board signed Devon’s Charter to End Loneliness at their meeting on 13 December. The Charter sets out how health and wellbeing partners across the Devon system will work together to address the issue of loneliness. Read the Charter here.

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Apart from five years studying in Oxford I’ve lived most of my life in London where for many years I was Head of English in a prestigious girls’ school, but since taking early retirement and heading West to be nearer to my two daughters - settling in Torbay with my wife, Anna, in 2011 - I’ve worked in the voluntary sector. I took on the role of Service Provider, for example, promoting the Red Cross Torbay Navigators Project, while now I’m a Trustee and part of the Media Team for our local Healthwatch. I’m a governor at Torquay Academy, too, giving me the chance to stay up to date with what’s happening in the world of education. Other interests, aside from friends and family, include art and art history, reading - from contemporary fiction and poetry to Elizabethan/Jacobean literature - history, politics, cooking, walking, and music, in particular Bob Dylan, the blues, and early Elvis. I love writing, too, with one novel published so far – Elvis in Wonderland – and another, Who’s There?, that still needs plenty of work!