Following the work of the Jo Cox Commission, helping to raise awareness of the problem of loneliness, West Suffolk councils interns have created the Togetherness Fayre – an event to bring communities together and combat loneliness.
Studies have shown that loneliness can take a toll on both a person’s physical and mental health – over nine million adults are often or always lonely (British Red Cross and Co-op) with 3.6 million people aged 65 and over that use television as their main form of company (Age UK).
The Togetherness Fayre will bring together local businesses and charities to showcase the work they are doing in Suffolk to reduce loneliness for all people, as “young or old, loneliness doesn’t discriminate” (Jo Cox).
The two councils, Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council have supported a number of charities and other organisations in initiatives designed to combat loneliness.
The councils have put in funding towards some of these through its Community Chest scheme, and through councillor locality budgets.
The event will be held on Wednesday, August 8, from 10am to 2pm, at the Athenaeum and will provide a great opportunity for organisations to recruit new members, network and to spread awareness of the services on offer.
The Athenaeum is also fully accessible, open to the public and free to attend.
There will be also be free tea, coffee and cakes on offer, as well as a chance to have a chat with some amazing people.
Robin Millar, Cabinet Member for Families and Communities at Forest Heath, and Robert Everitt, St Edmundsbury’s Cabinet Member for Families and Communities, said: “Loneliness isn’t something that is exclusive to pensioners – parents even with a new born baby may feel socially isolated and lonely.
“All of that can have a knock on effect to someone’s physical and mental health which in turn has a wider impact on demand for NHS services. As councils we are keen to support initiatives in our communities that are about local people supporting each other – combating loneliness by bringing people together, and we are delighted that our interns have put together this important showcase event.”
If you would like to get involved visit us at the Athenaeum on August 8; or you can sign up to hold one of our stalls where you will be given your own table to talk with the public about your service.
If you are unable to attend and would like to be represented, please contact us to discuss this further.
RSVP on 01284 757470, email email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
or visit West Suffolk House, Western Way, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 3YU
Please RSVP no later than July 27 so we can allocate stalls and provide you will more information.