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2nd Jul, 2022

Community aims to tackle loneliness

TACKLING loneliness and social isolation in Shipston is the aim of a collective of organisations in the town.

A recent survey, by the Stour Partnership Against Social Isolation and Loneliness, found a quarter of respondent occasionally felt lonely, while one in ten experienced it often.

And nearly half said loneliness stopped them living a “happy and fulfilling life”.

A separate survey of organisations providing services in the community found three-quarters did not feel there was sufficient focus on tackling social issues and loneliness.

They identified poor transport, lack of befrienders, lack of confidence among people to attend activities, and insufficient knowledge about groups and events supporting people as key reasons for loneliness and social isolation.

The partnership is now focusing on prescribing support led by Shipston Medical Centre, a befriending service involving Stratford Time Bank, and producing a directory of local groups, activities and services led by Stour Valley Lions.

Partnership spokesman Trevor Russel said: “Social isolation and loneliness pose a risk to health as serious as smoking and obesity.

“The results of our survey are a real wake-up call to all of us that we need to be tackling these problems without delay.

“Now that we have identified the scale and nature of the problems, we can move forward as a community with some concrete actions to address them.”

Members of the Stour Partnership includes the town, district and county councils, SCAN, Age Concern, Shipston Medical Centre, Shipston Medical Centre Patient Group, Rotary Club of Shipston, Stour Valley Lions, Stour Valley Baptist Church, VASA, Time Bank, Silverline and Warwickshire Older People’s Forum.

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