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A connected recovery: findings of the APPG on loneliness inquiry




All-Party Parliamentary Group on Loneliness

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Findings of an inquiry into loneliness, which explored problems and identified solutions within four crucial policy areas, including: translating national policy into local action through local authorities; community infrastructure (including housing, transport and public spaces); how to adequately fund the voluntary and community sector upon which social prescribing depends; designing and implementing ways to test the implications of government policies on loneliness. The inquiry found that there are too many barriers preventing people from connecting – such as a lack of safe, welcoming and accessible green spaces, parks and gardens, public toilets, playing areas, local bus services, and ramps for people with disabilities. Too many people face barriers to digital connection as a result of lack of access to mobile technology and the internet, as well as a lack of digital skills and confidence. Poorly designed or unsuitable housing and neighbourhoods can make it hard for people to meet each other, maintain social connections and develop a sense of belonging. Some communities and groups were highlighted as facing particular disadvantage in relation to transport and mobility. The report makes the case for a “connected recovery” from the COVID-19 pandemic, recognising the need for long-term work to rebuild social connections following periods of isolation and the importance of connection to resilience to future shocks. To achieve this, the APPG sets out a roadmap, calling on the government to adopt 15 recommendations, designed to: tackle loneliness through national leadership; translate national policy into local action; invest in the community and social infrastructure needed to connect, particularly in areas with higher levels of deprivation; loneliness proof all new transport and housing developments, and close the digital divide by increasing digital skills and confidence. (Edited publisher abstract)

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