A summit on tackling loneliness and social isolation in Leicestershire is being held this week

The University of Leicester’s Unit for Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement (DICE) along with Leicestershire County Council are bringing together partners in the public, voluntary, business and education sectors to better understand the impact of loneliness.

The summit, to be held on Friday, 30 November, at the University of Leicester, will provide the opportunity to learn, share good practice, and encourage agencies to work together to provide effective solutions to the issue.

Associate Professor John Williams, Co-director of DICE at the University of Leicester, said: "We are delighted to host this event with the county council. The Jo Cox Commission talked recently about levels of loneliness across all age ranges that are 'worryingly high.' This includes, of course, some students at university, a major life change.

"The question is, could this be the sign of a growing problem, in different age groups, in an increasingly atomised world? Or does it suggest that we have much more awareness today about the damage caused by loneliness and we are more willing as a society to talk openly about such issues? We hope to address these matters in our conference."

The summit is part of our new initiative to work with partners to help residents become better connected and improve lives – and reduce the demand on public services.

Councillor Pam Posnett, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: "There is increasing evidence that loneliness impacts health, wellbeing and independence. It’s vital we play our part in raising awareness of this issue.

"It’s also important that we have an occasion where our partners and ourselves can come together, where we can share our experiences, our thoughts and build the bonds between us so that we can work together even better than we do and make a difference to those in need."

Examples of how loneliness is tackled across the county include:

  • Social workers supporting vulnerable children, adults and families;
  • Emergency services providing joined up advice – on, for instance, trips and falls, fire safety and home security - to keep people safe and living independently; and
  • The council’s network of ‘local area coordinators’ who connect and support people in communities.

Learn more about the work of the Unit for Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement (DICE)