The council, in partnership with the Slough Wellbeing Board, has launched #ReachOut, an initiative to tackle loneliness and social isolation in the borough.
The aim of the campaign is to improve the health and wellbeing of Slough residents, by encouraging people to ‘reach out’ and seek help and support if they are feeling lonely or socially isolated; or if they might know someone feeling this way and needing help.
Being alone is not always the same as being lonely. Loneliness can affect those feeling sad about being by themselves, or those feeling a disconnection from the world around them. You can even feel lonely, surrounded by others.
Social isolation is being separated from other people and/or your environment. Sometimes this can happen through your own decisions, or through your situation - ranging from moving areas, jobs or school, to having a child, working unsociable hours, ill health, anxiety and more.
Old or young, loneliness and social isolation can affect people at any age. And as a society, research indicates that the UK is becoming lonelier.
Each year, the Office of National Statistics publishes a report estimating personal wellbeing in the UK, analysing data by country, age and sex. They carry out their research by using their wellbeing measure (covering four domains - life satisfaction, feeling worthwhile, happiness and anxiety).
Though their work doesn’t specifically cover loneliness, Slough measured below the UK average on all domains in the latest report; though its rating had slightly improved over the last five years.
Needless to say, the measure strongly suggested that loneliness and social isolation are issues affecting residents; and these issues may have been factors contributing to Slough’s low score overall.
Whether you’re feeling lonely yourself or you know someone who might be, we hope our tips and advice for residents and community groups will help.
Follow the campaign on Twitter, using the official hashtag #ReachOut.