The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Theresa May, on Wednesday appointed a “Minister for Loneliness” as the government set out plans to tackle loneliness and combat social isolation.
Tracey Crouch, the Minister for Sport and Civil Society, is expected to fill the newly-created role of ministerial lead on loneliness to head up the Government’s work to tackle a problem that is believed to affect nine million people in the UK.
Ahead of a Downing Street reception today to celebrate the life and legacy of Mrs Cox, Mrs May said she was keen to “shine a light” on the issue of loneliness.
The Jo Cox Loneliness Commission, set up to tackle one of the issues the late MP cared most passionately about, recommended that the Government make a minister responsible for a national strategy to combat loneliness.
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.
“Jo Cox recognised the scale of loneliness across the country and dedicated herself to doing all she could to help those affected.
“I am pleased that Government can build on her legacy with a ministerial lead for loneliness who will work with the Commission, businesses and charities to shine a light on the issue and pull together all strands of Government to create the first ever strategy.”