Loneliness is ‘year-round’ concern says Co-op as January revealed to be loneliest month

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A QUARTER of Britons feel loneliest in January, outstripping all other months, research by the Co-op has revealed.

Half of those surveyed by the charity refer to the festive period as a time when they look out for others who are lonely, but once the family Christmas get-togethers and New Year parties are over and the hustle and bustle of everyday life returns, January is when feelings of loneliness surface again for many people – and they are far from others’ thoughts.

The Co-op is urging people to see loneliness as a “all-year-round concern”, with weekends marked out as a low point for almost a fifth of Brits saying that this is when they feel at their most lonely. Just 10 per cent of people think of looking out for people who might be lonely at the weekend.

Co-op’s group chief executive, Steve Murrell, said: “Loneliness is not just something that matters at Christmas, loneliness can affect people at any time; it’s something that does not discriminate, it affects the young and old, the fit and unwell, those living in cities, but also those living in rural communities. As our research shows, January is a time of year when people can feel at their most lonely – yet few of us think to look out for them as we get on with our busy lives. Little acts of kindness to a neighbour can go a long way.

“Through our partnership with the British Red Cross, we are looking at ways of tackling the issue of loneliness and highlight the impact it has day-in-and-day-out on people’s lives.”

This February, the Yorkshire Post will mark five years of its ground-breaking Loneliness: The Hidden Epidemic campaign. If you are supported by, or work for, an innovative support service working to alleviate loneliness in Yorkshire which has not been covered by the campaign, contact lindsay.pantry@jpimedia.co.uk.