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Commission to tackle loneliness set up after newspaper campaign success

A regional daily which has spent the past two years fighting a loneliness crisis on its patch is to take a seat on a national commission set up to tackle the issue.

The Yorkshire Post is joining a cross-party commission, which aims to give even greater prominence to the lonely or isolated across the United Kingdom.

The Post’s campaign, Loneliness: The Hidden Epidemic, was launched in February 2014 and awarded Campaign of the Year at that year’s Regional Press Awards.

The newspaper revealed the nine Yorkshire authorities were failing to give significant mention of the issue in their health and wellbeing strategies. Under pressure from the campaign, seven of these have now pledged action.

YP loneliness

The new commission has been founded by Batley MP Jo Cox, who tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament on Friday congratulating the Post on its campaign.

The commission will bring together experts in the field, as well as a representative of the Post’s campaign, to investigate “the scale of the crisis” and the range of responses the nation needs to make to it.

Said Mrs Cox: “The leadership that the Yorkshire Post has given to this great moral challenge of our time – that so many people are lonely – is phenomenal.

“It’s been so great to see so many of the Yorkshire Post’s readers, and the team at the newspaper, give such prominence to the issue.”

Nicola Furbisher, managing editor of the Yorkshire Post, added: “We have shown over the last two years that loneliness is an issue that is not going to go away soon – and not without action from all sectors of authority and society.

“What it needs is for people of all political bias and experts in the field to look at loneliness and social isolation together to determine the solutions to this crisis – and this commission will do exactly that.

“We look forward to working with Jo on the commission and achieving real results for those in our communities who are suffering alone.”