REGULAR readers will need no introduction to this newspaper’s award-winning campaign to raise awareness about the issue of loneliness, an initiative which started to change perceptions, and challenge policy-makers, when it was championed so passionately by Jo Cox before her senseless murder.
This work meant so much to Mrs Cox that the Royal Voluntary Service was one of three charities nominated by the Batley & Spen MP’s grieving family for donations. Yet it’s also heartening that her work was not in vain. Without her energy and enthusiasm, Good Morning Britain would not have launched its #1MillionMinutes campaign which urges viewers to spend 30 minutes with a lonely or isolated individual.
And it does not end here. Credit must also go to Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves and her Tory counterpart Seema Kennedy for accepting the chairmanship of a cross-party commission on how to tackle loneliness – and to Theresa May for offering such heartfelt support at Prime Minister’s Questions.
Following raucous exchanges on the economy, the Tory leader’s sincerity and empathy was discernible as she spoke about the dignity of Mrs Cox’s family throughout a harrowing murder trial, the late MP’s passionate work on loneliness and the need for greater insight about its psychological and physical impact on those who have the misfortune, for whatever reason, to live in solitary isolation.
This enlightened response provides confidence that the work undertaken by Mrs Cox, and others, before her death will not only be continued, but be treated with the utmost respect and seriousness by the Prime Minister.