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Poll by charity reveals more people in Wales feel lonely amid cost of living crisis

24 Jan 2023 3 minute read
The British Red Cross is urging people in Wales to reach out to friends and family. Photo: Dominic Lipinski – PA Wire

A charity has urged people in Wales to reach out to friends and family as a new poll reveals loneliness, fuelled by the cost of living crisis, is on the rise.

A survey by The British Red Cross found that 63% of people in Wales feel loneliness will be a bigger problem this year compared with last year.

Polling from the charity which helps people in crisis showed that 78% of people in Wales felt the cost of living crisis will push more people into loneliness.

Over half said that a phone call from family or friends would help them to feel less lonely and 43% said a text messages or WhatsApp would help too.

41% of people said they have restricted how much they are socialising this winter because of the increased cost of living and 50% have cut back on socialising due to financial concerns.

31% of people polled said they had even cut back on travelling to see family and friends.

The figures come following an article by Tracey Crouch MP and Kim Leadbeater which calls for a co-ordinated approach to tackling loneliness from government, councils, businesses and community groups.

Human connection

The MPs Co-Chair the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Tackling Loneliness and Connected Communities.

Kate Griffiths, British Red Cross Director for Wales said: “During the pandemic many of us realised the importance of human connection like never before. Sadly, loneliness continues to be a real risk for many people, particularly during the winter.

“We know the impact loneliness can have on the mental and physical health of those it afflicts and appreciate the urgency of tackling the issue.

“The cost of living crisis will be making this winter particularly challenging for too many people. The shorter, cold days make activities like walks in the park less feasible.

“Those who are struggling to heat their homes or put food on the table simply may not be able to afford to invite friends or family round to visit.”

The Red Cross Director encouraged people to reach out to friends and family and said “a quick call or text message can make all the difference.”

She added: “We also need to see continued action from the Welsh Government to make sure everyone gets the support they need. This requires continued funding from the Welsh Government for services that target the causes of loneliness.

“We also urge the Welsh Government to ensure tackling loneliness is at the heart of their national framework for social prescribing.”

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