Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness

Jo Cox standing by houseboat

Mumsnet is working with the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness to start a conversation about the scale and impact of loneliness in the UK, in the hope of finding practical solutions

When Jo Cox MP was killed in June 2016, the sense of shock and upset among Mumsnet users was palpable – and many wondered what they could do to support the causes she championed during her all-too-brief career.

One thing that Jo was working on in the weeks leading up to her death, was the Commission on Loneliness: a cross-party group in Westminster, co-chaired by Conservative MP Seema Kennedy, aiming to find out more about the causes of loneliness among people in the UK, and work out practical solutions.

Jo Cox Loneliness Comission logo

After Jo’s death, her place on the Commission was taken by Labour MP Rachel Reeves. The Commission was launched earlier this year. It will spend 2017 focusing on different aspects of loneliness and seeking to bring each one into the spotlight, before producing a report at the end of the year with recommended ways forward for the government, community groups – and individuals like you.

So far, the Commission has been looking in-depth at loneliness among older people – with some help from our staunch friends over at Gransnet via a survey on loneliness. You can also have a look at the full results of the survey.

Towards the end of 2017, Mumsnet will be working with Action for Children to discuss loneliness among new parents and young children. Here’s what Action for Children have to say about it:

Action for Children logo

“Loneliness can be difficult to experience, and it’s something many children and parents have to face. Jo Cox saw loneliness damaging the health, wealth and happiness of people of all ages, and set out to investigate what could be done. After her death, this work was carried on and renamed The Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness. Action for Children is proud to be leading the Commission’s work on children and families.

“Children and parents experience loneliness in many ways. Some children are starved of love and affection, others have no one they can trust. Looked-after children are vulnerable, as are disabled children and young carers. And one in four parents told us they always or often felt cut off from friends and other sources of support. This can be because of physical isolation, lack of resources, or just the overwhelming demands of parenthood.

“In November this year, Action for Children will be organising the Commission’s spotlight month on loneliness and children and families. We are now working with Mumsnet and others to develop resources, new research and ways to get involved.”

You can read more from Action for Children – with some links to useful resources. And keep your eyes peeled on Mumsnet this year for pieces of activity and surveys asking for your views and thoughts.

What can you do to help?

The Jo Cox Commission is starting a conversation across the country about tackling the causes and effects of loneliness. You can join in today by making a simple pledge, whether it be talking to a neighbour, visiting an old friend, or just making time for the people you meet. By signing up on the Jo Cox Commission website, you can find out more and you’ll be encouraging others to do the same.