Letter: Charity shines light on the impact of loneliness at Christmas time
Date published: 27 November 2017
Disabled people’s charity Revitalise
Revitalise is shining a light on the effects of isolation and loneliness in a Christmas fundraising appeal.
The charity, which provides much-needed respite breaks for disabled people and carers from across the region at Sandpipers, is responding to the growing problem of social isolation and loneliness among disabled people, older people and carers.
In a study for the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, this year the Charity Sense found that over half of disabled people (53%) reported feeling lonely, with almost a quarter (23%) saying they felt lonely on a typical day. This feeling is also shared by unpaid carers. A study carried out by Revitalise late last year found that nearly 4 out of 10 carers (37%) felt lonely.
The Revitalise Appeal is raising funds which will enable disabled people and carers in financial hardship to take much-needed breaks with the charity.
In response to increasing demand, the charity’s hardship funding has increased four-fold in the past five years. By the end of January 2018, Revitalise hopes to have provided funding in excess of £650,000, helping over 1,300 people in financial hardship take much-needed Revitalise respite breaks.
Chris Simmonds, CEO of Revitalise, commented: “What is the true meaning of Christmas? Most would probably say togetherness, companionship, family. But for many disabled people and carers, social isolation and loneliness are an ever-present reality and are even more acute at Christmas time.
“Loneliness can be awful, which not only affects people emotionally but physically too. Only last month the Royal College of GPs stated that feeling lonely can be as damaging as having a chronic health condition.
“Revitalise is doing its bit by providing opportunities for people to catch up with old friends and forge new friendships, not just at Christmas but all year round.
"As the population ages and traditional family structures fragment, the problem of social isolation and loneliness will only increase.
“We must all redouble our efforts to ensure that nobody, no matter what their circumstance, is left feeling isolated and lonely.”
Revitalise is urging people to support the Revitalise Christmas Appeal by making a donation.
The Appeal can be viewed online at:
CEO of Revitalise
The views expressed are those of the author of the letter and not those of Rochdale Online.