Representatives from Devon’s Health and Wellbeing Board, which oversees the strategic delivery of health and social care services in the county, have signed an ambitious Charter to end loneliness.

It’s a pledge by the Board that its partner authorities, including the NHS, Public Health, and Social Care, will do all they can to tackle the issue.

The Board wants to better understand the extent of loneliness in Devon; raise awareness of it; and involve people who experience it in helping to identify ways to reduce it.

It also wants ‘loneliness’ to be on all the authorities’ agendas; making it something that all agencies think of when they’re planning public services.

Information about loneliness, and suggestions for things that people can do to combat it, are available on Devon County Council’s website.

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board, said:

“Young or old, loneliness is something that anyone can experience, and everyone can do something about.  We’re asking people to consider what they can do for themselves, or for others, to help combat loneliness, and for them to visit our website for ideas and information.”

Dame Suzi Leather, Chair of the Devon Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, said:

“Recent research has shown that loneliness isn’t just a horrible feeling but it actually damages our mental and physical health. Let’s all do those little things as individuals, friends and neighbours to help ensure that Devon is a place where no one feels lonely.”

David Rogers OBE, Chair of Healthwatch Devon and Board Loneliness Lead, said:

“I’m pleased to see the conclusions from Healthwatch Devon’s recently published Loneliness Report being taken forward: everyone involved with Devon’s health and social care system needs to listen to the voices of lonely people, and do what they can to change things for the better.”

Read the charter in full here

For more information about Healthwatch Devon’s Loneliness Report please visit here

Image (L-R) Dame Suzi Leather, Councillor Andew Leadbetter, David Rogers OBE

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