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Coalition launches “Let’s End Loneliness” website Post Cover Image

Age Concern New Zealand Chief Executive Stephanie Clare says the website is designed as a source of information which also links people to support services.

“Everyone can feel loneliness at some time, but it can be addressed and solved, and together we can end loneliness for New Zealanders who feel isolated.”

The website has been created by the New Zealand Coalition to End Loneliness whose members work to tackle loneliness and create communities in which New Zealanders have the relationships and support they need to thrive.

Concerned about increasing feelings of isolation in our communities, seven organisations – Age Concern New Zealand, St John New Zealand, Carers New Zealand, Student Volunteer Army, Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association, Alzheimers New Zealand and The Salvation Army – got together in 2018 to set up the coalition and provide information, grow understanding, and advocate together to prompt action on loneliness.

The COVID-19 lockdown highlighted that everyone can feel isolated and lonely and St John Director of Community Health Services Sarah Manley says it has never been more important for people to stay connected.

“St John works hard to build resilient communities and we are excited to be part of this coalition. This new website is a great resource for Kiwis from all walks of life to find ways to connect and build healthier and stronger communities.”

One group particularly affected by isolation are the 70,000 New Zealanders living with dementia, and Catherine Hall of Alzheimers New Zealand believes everyone should feel safe, supported, loved and connected.

“Sadly, people living with dementia often find family, whānau and friends take a step back just when they need them most. We stand alongside our coalition partners and with all New Zealanders, to make sure no one feels alone.”

Student Volunteer Army Chief Executive Officer Sam Johnson says connection is always at the heart of what they do. “We are really proud to be working alongside others to help end loneliness for younger and older people alike.”

This site is a way of connecting with others to share ideas, challenges and successes, and other organisations working to end loneliness in New Zealand are encouraged to provide links to their own websites and information services.

For more information on loneliness and how to access support and services, go to letsendloneliness.co.nz.