“Loneliness is certainly not inevitable in later life but it remains a widespread issue that blights the lives of far too many older people.”
Research conducted last year found that half of over 80-year-olds in Stoke live alone. An estimated 5,274 people aged 80 and over in the Potteries are living by themselves.
This is due to a number of factors such as age; gender; health condition and disability; marital status and life-changing events such as retirement and bereavement.
Co-op Academy Stoke-on-Trent is proud of its standing in the local community and proud of the work undertaken to help our community thrive. Tackling loneliness is no different, and we aim to help bridge the segregation of generations in Stoke.
Our Senior Citizens Christmas Party on December 3rd will see us welcome over 100 guests into our Academy, and host a student-led event that will show our local community that they are not alone and we are here to be an active part of their lives.
The Co-op itself focussed on tackling loneliness by working with the British Red Cross, raising money that will help those experiencing loneliness to build confidence; address practical or psychological barriers and help people find activities and groups in their local community.
Colleagues have so far raised £6.7 million to tackle loneliness in communities throughout the UK.
We plan on playing our part for our community. We also understand that loneliness doesn’t just affect the older generations. Figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed that around 35,357 people aged 16 and over are estimated to be living alone in the Potteries – which works out at one in every six adults.
Further research by the Co-op found that 75% of people who are always or often lonely don’t know where to turn for support and that loneliness can have serious consequences for individuals but also for communities as those experiencing loneliness may withdraw. 92% of people think the community has a role to play in supporting people experiencing loneliness…and so do we.
That’s why we open our doors and welcome our local community into our Academy. We show we care by helping our community because that’s what makes us different. We do what matters most because we are focussed on doing the right things for our community. Be yourself, always – we are pioneering and lead by example. And we succeed together because we know that we’re better and stronger when we work together.