Mayor of Basildon, Councillor David Burton-Sampson, is asking Christmas party groups to donate the cost of a round of drinks to his charity appeal campaign aimed at reducing loneliness and social isolation in the borough.

The campaign, which launched at the beginning of December, is drawing attention to people in our communities who are 'Unseen and Unheard' - those who are quietly experiencing loneliness and social isolation.

"Being lonely or socially isolated is so sad, especially at this time of year," said Mayor David Burton-Sampson. "It is so easy to walk past people, even people who live in the same street as us, and not see that they are suffering. It can affect anyone, at any time and can cause major health issues. Research shows that social isolation is as damaging to your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

"So this Christmas I am asking people who go out with friends, or for their office party, to donate the cost of a round of drinks. It's easy to give online and all the money you donate will be used to support the work of local charities in the Basildon borough who bring people together and give them the support they need to regain their confidence."

More than 6,000 households in the borough of Basildon are likely to be lonely or at high risk of isolation. Loneliness in Basildon amongst older people is higher than the national average - in the worst affected areas it is up to 30% higher.

Lonely people are more likely to suffer from dementia, heart disease and depression.

Donate the cost of a round at www.basildon.gov.uk/unheard where you can also read more about people affected by loneliness and social isolation.

ENDS

Published on Tuesday 10 December 2019