London, January 17: Britain PM Theresa May has appointed a minister to lead on issues connected to loneliness, implementing one of the main recommendations of a report into the subject by the Jo Cox Commission.
The government said Wednesday it appointed Tracey Crouch after research showed as many as one in ten people felt lonely “always or often” and that hundreds of thousands of elderly people hadn’t spoken to a friend or relative in the past month.
Tracey Crouch, the minister for sport and civil society, will head a government-wide group with responsibility for policies connected to loneliness. "We know that there is a real impact of social isolation and loneliness on people, on their physical and mental well-being but also on other aspects in society and we want to tackle this challenge,” Crouch said.
Citing research saying that 9 million people often or always feel lonely, the prime minister said: “For far too many people, loneliness is the sad reality of modern life.
“I want to confront this challenge for our society and for all of us to take action to address the loneliness endured by the elderly, by carers, by those who have lost loved ones – people who have no one to talk to or share their thoughts and experiences with.”
May paid tribute to Cox’s work, saying she hoped the initiative would aim “to see that, in Jo’s memory, we bring an end to the acceptance of loneliness for good”.
The Jo Cox Commission, which is chaired by the Labour MP Rachel Reeves and Seema Kennedy, a Conservative, has been working for the past year with more than a dozen charities on ideas to approach the problem.