Summit organised to tackle loneliness in Melton borough and other areas of the county

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A summit is to be held tomorrow (Friday) to come up with new ways of tackling loneliness and social isolation in Melton and other parts of Leicestershire.

Leicestershire County Council and the University of Leicester’s Unit for Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement (DICE) are bringing together partners in the public, voluntary, business and education sectors to better understand the impact of loneliness.

The event, which will be hosted by the university, will provide the opportunity to learn, share good practice, and encourage agencies to work together to provide effective solutions to the issue.

Councillor Pam Posnett, cabinet member for health and wellbeing and a Melton representative at County Hall, is opening the summi.

She said: “There is increasing evidence that loneliness impacts health, wellbeing and independence.

“It’s vital we play our part in raising awareness of this issue.

“It’s also important that we have an occasion where our partners and ourselves can share our experiences, our thoughts and build the bonds between us so that we can work together even better than we do and make a difference to those in need.”

Associate Professor John Williams, Co-director of DICE at the University of Leicester, said: “We are delighted to host this event with Leicestershire County Council.

“The Jo Cox Commission talked recently about levels of loneliness across all age ranges that are ‘worryingly high.’

“This includes some students at university, which for some is a major life change.

“The question is, could this be the sign of a growing problem, in different age groups, in an increasingly atomised world?

“Or does it suggest that we have much more awareness today about the damage caused by loneliness and we are more willing as a society to talk openly about such issues? We hope to address these matters in our conference.”

The summit is part of the council’s new initiative to work with partners to help residents become better connected and improve lives – and reduce the demand on public services.