Government plans to combat loneliness

Government plans to combat loneliness

Sainsbury’s launch Talking Tables initiative

Following yesterday’s news that the NHS will now consider loneliness a health issue, with GP’s able to prescribe social activities, Sainsbury’s will now be introducing their Talking Tables scheme which is set up in association with the Chatty Cafe Scheme which encourages people to have a chat with one another on dedicated tables.

There will be signs, dedicated to staff members or ‘hosts’ to get people talking as well as charity-led sessions. Sainsbury’s will be launching the initiative from October to November in 20 of its UK stores - is your local shop one of them?

  • Barnstaple

  • Bishop Auckland

  • Canley

  • Cwmbran

  • Dorridge

  • Falmouth

  • Hull

  • Longbridge

  • Monks Cross

  • Newport

  • Newquay

  • Northfield

  • Penzance

  • Pontllanfraith

  • Redditch

  • Scarborough

  • Sedgefield

  • Swansea

  • Tewkesbury Road

  • Truro

NHS to treat loneliness as a health problem


It’s heartbreaking that an estimated 200,000 people in the UK have not had a conversation with a friend or relative in over a month. That’s why the government have now given GP’s in England the permission to prescribe patients with ‘social’ activities to try and tackle loneliness.

These social activities include dance classes, cookery classes, walking clubs and art groups and will aim to bring people together. An extra £1.8m will also be invested into the creation of community projects like cafe’s or gardens.

In addition, the government will be partnering up with the Royal Mail to give postal-workers in some areas of the UK the power to tackle loneliness on the front line and check in on patients every morning when delivering post.

It’s hoped that these new plans will prevent those suffering from loneliness from falling ill, as loneliness has also been linked with many other health problems such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s and strokes.

Prime Minister Theresa May also praised the late MP Jo Cox, who was tragically killed in 2016, for her campaigns to raise awareness of loneliness before her death. And whilst many praise this new initiative, there are some critics who think the younger generation should be responsible for ensuring their older relatives are not suffering from loneliness.