Kingston to be pilot town for Government’s strategy to tackle loneliness

In a bid to tackle loneliness, Kingston Council will try out a new community service led and funded by the Home Office.

Loneliness is  estimated to affect almost a fifth of UK adult population. Kingston Council is working in partnership with Royal Mail and the charity Staywell to tackle loneliness by focusing on residents aged 65 and over, 10 per cent of which live alone.

Stephen Taylor, director of adult social care at the Council, said: “The elderly will be a priority focus for this trial, as they represent a big part of our local population and they are more at risk of becoming isolated.

“However, loneliness remains a key issue for people of all ages. In the long term, the point of the program is to connect people together and encourage them to take part in community activities because we believe that the more people are connected, the better.”

How it works

The six-month, free and voluntary, trial will be based in New Malden, and will target people aged 65 and over who live alone, may be lonely or vulnerable.

Royal Mail’s postmen and women from New Malden’s Delivery Office will visit the participants twice a week and ask them questions regarding their safety and well-being. The answers will be recorded and sent to Staywell, which will then send community connectors to assist vulnerable individuals if a need is identified.

The trial will help both local and central government to understand the value of investing in such services for the future. Staywell is encouraging anyone who feels they, or someone they know, would benefit from this trial to get in touch on 020 8942 8256, through their website, or via email at hello@staywellservices.org.uk.

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