Digital, Culture, Media and Sport: Loneliness

Mike Wood: What steps his Department is taking to help tackle loneliness.

 

Jeremy Wright The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

The Government recently published their first ever strategy for tackling loneliness in England. Commitments include a national loneliness campaign, investment in community spaces and local data pilots, and embedding loneliness in our internet safety White Paper and digital inclusion fund. Those commitments are in addition to the £20.5 million of new grant funding for projects to prevent loneliness that was announced by the Government in June.

 

Mike Wood: Is the Secretary of State aware of the research published by the University of Oxford’s Robin Dunbar, which found that people who have a local pub that they visit regularly tend to be more socially engaged and to have better mental health? Will he join me in welcoming the measures announced by the Chancellor to support pubs and brewing, which will help to tackle loneliness and isolation?

 

Jeremy Wright The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

My hon. Friend’s enthusiasm for local pubs is legendary and he has managed to express it again here. He is right that pubs and other community institutions have a huge part to play in dealing with loneliness in our society across a range of many other measures that we need to take.