Loneliness is one of the greatest public health challenges of our time, and though it may be surprising, there are people across our communities who can go for days, weeks or even longer without seeing a friend or family member.

Loneliness and social isolation can affect many in our communities and there are already a number of groups and organisations who are working to tackle this locally, and who work to strengthen and bring our communities together.

I am however very pleased to see the Prime Minister launch the Government’s first ever loneliness strategy, helping to bring about an end to loneliness in our communities, and help build connections. This will also raise awareness of loneliness by bringing together health services, businesses, local authorities, charities and community groups as well as providing an additional £1.8 million to increase the number of community spaces available.

These new measures are vital first steps to deliver far reaching social change and eradicate loneliness.