The campaign, led by ITV’s Good Morning Britain breakfast show and charities Age UK, Royal Voluntary Service, Campaign to End Loneliness and The Silver Line, urges people to volunteer their time to help an older person.
Volunteers can pledge anything from 30 minutes on a one-off basis to more regular weekly commitments of their time.
Earlier this year the council launched a new charter setting out how the council and other partners such as Age UK, the NHS, Neighbourly Care and Campaign to End Loneliness plan to tackle the issue.
Ealing’s cabinet member for public health and adults’ services, Councillor Hitesh Tailor signed up to the campaign this week. He said: “Research shows that being lonely can have a huge impact on a person’s mental and physical health and make them more likely to visit their GP.
“Although the council and its partners are working all year round to provide activities and support so that people don’t feel so isolated, we recognise that Christmas and New Year can be especially difficult for some people which is why we are supporting the 1 Million Minutes campaign. Whether it is just checking on an elderly neighbour who you think may be lonely or making a regular commitment to volunteer, I would encourage people to think how they may help others and sign up to the campaign.”
Karen Robinson, joint chief executive of Age UK Ealing said: “Loneliness is something that exists for hundreds of people all year long. Organisations such as Age UK Ealing rely on volunteers who can regularly give their time throughout the year to call people and to visit them. Often these are the only friendly voices and faces that many people see or hear each week.”
For information on community groups, activities and support available in Ealing visit: http://www.careplace.org.uk/