Theresa May has praised an award-winning regional daily campaign aimed at tackling loneliness on the fourth anniversary of its launch.
Mrs May said the Government was determined to continue the legacy of murdered Batley MP Jo Cox, who worked with the Yorkshire Post to “push this issue up the agenda” before her death in June 2016.
Her comments come after the appointment of new Minister for Loneliness Tracey Crouch.
Mrs May said: “This paper has made its mark in two vital ways – it has inspired people here in Yorkshire to donate their time to initiatives to tackle loneliness, getting vulnerable individuals together through lunches and social events.
“Just as importantly, it has enhanced people’s understanding of loneliness as something that can have truly devastating consequences on individuals of all ages and from all backgrounds.”
Post editor James Mitchinson said: “To receive the acknowledgement of Prime Minister Theresa May for the Yorkshire Post’s continued campaign, Loneliness, The Hidden Epidemic, is, of course, most welcome. Not least by way of recognition for the hours of research and dedication to the cause put in by a number of people on the team, but especially senior reporter Lindsay Pantry.
“More important than that flattery is that when Mrs May said: ‘…it [the Yorkshire Post] has enhanced people’s understanding of loneliness as something that can have truly devastating consequences on individuals of all ages from all backgrounds. Her words encapsulated the very essence of what this newspaper set out to achieve in 2014: to shatter the myth that loneliness is an inconvenient existential truism preserved for the elderly and infirm which we should all just accept and get over.
“That Mrs May clearly understands the issue, and has backed her words by installing a Minister for Loneliness is notable progress but there remains so much more to do to ensure the nine million people whose mental and physical wellbeing is insidiously dismantled day-on-day by loneliness feel closer to their communities.
“The Yorkshire Post will continue its award-winning campaign; continue to support the work done by the Prime Minister and has offered any assistance we can provide to the now Minister for Loneliness Tracey Crouch.”