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Loneliness Taskforce publishes report

  • 13/06/2018
  • Author:bridgetmccall

Calls for annual funding of three million euro to combat loneliness

Young woman sitting on a bench

The Loneliness Taskforce has launched its report recommending that the Government take action on loneliness.

The report, titled ‘A Connected Ireland’, recommends that:

  • Annual funding of €3 million be put towards combating loneliness

  • Responsibility to combat loneliness is allocated to a specific Minister and Government department

  • A public campaign is undertaken

  • Support is offered to initiatives and organisations which alleviate loneliness as their primary function

  • An action plan for volunteering is initiated

  • Irish-specific research on loneliness is undertaken.

The Loneliness Taskforce was established by Dr. Keith Swanick in collaboration with Seán Moynihan, Chief Executive Officer of ALONE - the charity that supports older people to age at home. Its aim is to coordinate a response to the epidemic of loneliness and social isolation in Ireland.

Seán Moynihan's comments

Seán Moynihan said: “We urge all members of Government not just to read this report, but to act on the recommendations we have made. The submissions to the Taskforce included hundreds of ideas for recommendations to the Government to address loneliness. The level of interest in the work of the Taskforce shows how vital this issue is to the people of Ireland.

"We have recommended that €3 million in funding be provided annually to alleviate loneliness, but this is just the beginning. We need research, campaigning, and support for initiatives which address loneliness to be implemented now and for the foreseeable future. I hope that this conversation and the actions the Taskforce has started will continue well after this initial funding is spent.”

Dr Keith Swanick's comments

Dr Keith Swanick said: “The goal of reducing unnecessary loneliness and isolation is a challenge but it is achievable.

“As a nation, Ireland is ageing with the percentage of people over 70 growing faster than the rest of the population. It was very evident from the submissions that loneliness is not confined to the old and the rise in single-person households plus the increased pressures on young people are also contributing to the risk of loneliness."

ALONE

Established in 1977, ALONE supports older people to age at home. ALONE works with those who have issues with loneliness and social isolation, lack of services, poor health, poverty, homelessness or housing.  ALONE provides Support Coordination, Housing with Support, Befriending and Campaigning services to over 1,000 older people nationwide every week. ALONE’s services are quality approved and are delivered 365 days a year.

Read the Loneliness Taskforce's report

Source:

ALONE press release: Loneliness Taskforce calls for €3 million annual funding to combat loneliness

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