Public urged to reach out to vulnerable groups this Loneliness Awareness Week.

People should consider writing letters and cards to those still isolating as lockdown measures ease to ensure they don’t feel forgotten, the Loneliness Minister urged today (15 June).

Baroness Barran is encouraging the public to reach out to friends, family and neighbours who are elderly or otherwise clinically vulnerable. This includes those who are pregnant, aged 70 or older or with an underlying health condition.

This builds on the Prime Minister’s announcement last week that single adult households – those living alone or single parents with children under 18 – can now form a “support bubble” with one other household, meaning they can visit and stay overnight. This move will particularly support those who live by themselves, who are lonely and struggling with being unable to see friends and family.

As part of the #Let’sTalkLoneliness campaign, which launched a year ago today, the Government is offering helpful advice to tackle loneliness, such as ways to reach out to someone who might be feeling lonely, how to volunteer safely, joining an online group, and signposting to sources of support.

A government partnership with the Post Office and Royal Mail will see a “Let’s Talk Loneliness” postmark stamped on most letters delivered during Loneliness Awareness Week (15-19 June), to raise awareness of loneliness and help tackle the stigma.

To mark the week, the Loneliness Minister will also be writing letters to check in on friends and family, and is encouraging the public to do the same and make connections. This follows new research from the Royal Mail which shows that nearly three quarters of people (74%) feel that writing letters has positive mental health benefits.

Today, the Government has also announced the organisations who will receive a share of £5 million to reduce loneliness, which was pledged as part of the Chancellor’s £750 million support package for charities. The successful organisations are providing vital support for a wide range of vulnerable people at risk of loneliness at this time, including the elderly, veterans, and people with disabilities.