Making a Difference 2014

 The Yorkshire Post's campaign: Loneliness - The Hidden Epidemic 

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Launched in 2014, the Yorkshire Post's campaign urged all local authorities to recognise loneliness as a health priority and to encourage readers to volunteer for support services, after a survey revealed loneliness to be a major issue for the elderly living in the region.

With the Campaign to End Loneliness organisation, the paper held a regional summit on the issue attended by almost 100 experts in the field of social care; the voluntary sector, the NHS and local authorities. The campaign also secured the backing of then Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham.

Since winning the inaugural Making a Difference Award in 2014, the campaign received recognition from the Older People In The Media Awards, as well as from seven of Yorkshire’s health and wellbeing boards, who added a significant mention of loneliness and social isolation to their overarching strategies. To support the campaign, the Yorkshire Post launched an online audio archive of real people telling their experiences of loneliness. The campaign was also backed by charities and politicians including then Prime Minister David Cameron. 

The campaign today

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In 2018, the campaign is still ongoing, with the paper, and the Campaign to End Loneliness organisation, launching the 'Be More Us' movement which aimed to inspire "small moments of connection", after a survey revealed that almost half of the people from Yorkshire felt their busy lives prevented them from making valued connections.

In May, the campaign celebrated four years of improving the lives of older people with a celebration event held at Leeds City Museum. 

Mike Adamson: Loneliness is a hidden epidemic we cannot afford to ignore (2017)
Campaign inspires others to make moments of connection (2018)