Hertfordshire County Council calls on residents to help reduce loneliness

Published: 04 Dec 2017

Hertfordshire County Council is calling on residents to catch-up with older and vulnerable neighbours this winter after a recent survey revealed that one in four people never speak to their neighbours.

As part of our campaign to reduce loneliness in Hertfordshire and to highlight its effect on the health and wellbeing of people, we asked residents in a snap twitter poll how often they have conversations with their neighbours.

While over half of those who responded spoke to their neighbours every day or at least once a week, almost half of those who responded never had a conversation or only spoke once a month.

The survey results showed:

  • 14 per cent speak to their neighbours every day
  • 43 per cent speak to their neighbours once a week
  • 16 per cent speak to their neighbours once a month
  • 27 per cent never speak to their neighbours

The Campaign to End Loneliness has released a study that shows one million older people in the UK suffer chronic loneliness.

Loneliness can be felt by people of all ages, although older people and those with physical and learning disabilities are particularly vulnerable.

Colette Wyatt-Lowe, Cabinet Member for Adult Care and Health, said:

“Loneliness can have an awful effect on the health and wellbeing of older and vulnerable people but it is something we can all play our part in reducing.

“People can feel particularly lonely at this festive time of year, so why not pop in and say hello to your neighbours, invite them in for a cuppa, or find out if there are any jobs or tasks that you could help out with. One small gesture could make a real difference to somebody.”

The impact of social isolation can be significant; research suggests being lonely can be as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and can be far worse than obesity and physical inactivity. So, getting to know and spending time with your neighbours has a positive effect on your health and wellbeing.

If you are worried about a friend, neighbour or relative who might be lonely or at risk of loneliness, HertsHelp can help you find out about support that may be available. Call HertsHelp on 0300 123 4044 or email info@hertshelp.net