There are a number of local charities in the borough working hard to identify people at risk of social isolation. These charities give valued and much appreciated support to those in need of help to overcome loneliness and social isolation.
The Mayor of Basildon's Charity Appeal is raising money to support this work. A donation from you will help local charities provide comfort and companionship.
What do we mean by social isolation? Imagine someone who stays home for lengthy periods of time; has no communication with family, acquaintances or friends; avoids contact with others, even when opportunities do arise - all these can describe social isolation. It can lead to feelings of loneliness, fear of others and a feeling of worthlessness.
We know that loneliness among older people is higher in Basildon than the national average - and in the worst affected areas it is up to 30% higher. But social isolation affects people of all ages. It can be triggered by factors such as domestic violence, family crisis, health and disability, bereavement, unemployment or living alone.
Social isolation and loneliness can have major health impacts. Research has shown that:
Source: Campaign To End Loneliness
Married for 53 years before her husband passed away, with no children Doris now lives alone in the home they had purchased together. Doris doesn't see or speak to anyone all week - her husband was her best friend. She now books a minicab every Sunday to drive around the area for 30 minutes so she can talk to the driver before heading home for dinner.
According to Age UK, nearly half of older people (49% of 65+ UK) say that television or pets are their main form of company.
Charities like Age UK and The Silver Line offer befriending service for many people just like Doris who just need some human interaction.
Peter lost his mum, dad, two brothers and his best friend all in a short space of time. He is well educated and well-travelled and had a high-pressure career as a project engineer, married with two young children.
The trauma Peter suffered from so much grief, understandably became too much and left him with mental health issues including anxiety and agoraphobia. He was unable to leave his home for years and his world became smaller and smaller.
Peter found help and support with Sociability and he now volunteers with the charity, supporting others who need help
As a child, Lucy had no friends and was bullied at home and at school until she moved in with her grandmother in her teens. Things improved until her grandmother passed away.
Now 21, Lucy's sense of isolation returned. She stayed at a bed and breakfast for homeless people and rarely left her room in order to avoid aggressive neighbours.
After moving into sheltered accommodation, she started talking to people at Action for Children. She was finally able to discuss her emotional well-being and get help to develop effective coping strategies.
Research from the Office for National Statistics suggests that nearly 10% of people aged 16 to 24 are "always or often" lonely - the highest proportion of any age group. You can help - a donation from you will help local charities provide comfort and companionship.
Action for Children - aiding vulnerable children through services and programs, including how to help children feel that they belong
Age UK Essex - promotes the well being of all older people in Essex providing many services including friendship calls and support for carers.
BASIS South Essex - promotes independence and reduce isolation within the community for visually impaired adults and their families in South Essex.
Carers Choices - Essex based charity providing a range of services in support of carers.
Computers for the Disabled - based in Basildon, Computers for the Disabled helps disabled and housebound people communicate and connect with the rest of the world by providing them with refurbished computers and support for using it.
Futures in Mind - a service designed for people from across Essex who are looking for support with recovery from mental health problems and/or substance and alcohol misuse.
Heart of Pitsea - runs weekly activities creating opportunities for Pitsea residents to build and maintain social connections.
Sociability - based in Basildon, Sociability provide peer support and socially inclusive activities for people who endure mental and chronic health conditions.
The Jo Cox Foundation - committed to building stronger communities and tackling issues of loneliness and social isolation through initiatives like "The Great Get Together" which aims to highlight that we have more in common than that which divides us.
The Silver Line - provides support, information and friendship services for older people aged over 55 who may feel lonely.
For further information and enquiries see contact details below.