From 14th August to 17th September Carers UK is leading the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, with a focus on carers.
The Commission was conceived by the late Jo Cox MP to understand and tackle the causes of loneliness. Since her death this work has been taken forward – co-chaired by Rachel Reeves MP and Seema Kennedy MP and with the support of several charities.
Carers UK worked with Jo Cox before her death on establishing a Commission to understand and address loneliness and social isolation. On 31st January, the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness was launched. This year-long campaign seeks to influence the public and policy response to the UK's loneliness crisis that affects more than nine million people from all walks of life, age and background. It's calling for people to start conversations in their communities or workplace, including by talking about caring issues with colleagues and promoting carer-friendly policies.
New research from Carers UK shows more action is needed to support unpaid carers who feel isolated and lonely. More than eight in ten (81%) of unpaid carers surveyed described themselves as “lonely or socially isolated” due to their caring responsibilities, with those affected facing a potentially damaging impact on their mental and physical wellbeing. Amongst carers, an unwillingness to talk to others about care responsibilities was a key barrier to inclusion at work, home and in the community. One third (32%) felt “uncomfortable” talking to friends about caring, as did those who felt “isolated” at work due to care responsibilities (32%).
This summer, Carers UK will be highlighting the impact of loneliness on carers and shining a light on the causes. We will be seeking to share real stories to improve understanding.
Will you help us build the conversation?
Please visit carersuk.org/loneliness for more information or to take part and share your story.
The EfC team
EfC and Carers UK previously undertook targeted research on ‘Caring and isolation in the workplace’. You can read the report in our Research section here.