Re-elected as Prime Minister on Friday, Boris Johnson will today welcome MPs to the House of Commons with a majority of 74 seats. What does this mean for the loneliness agenda?
In their manifesto, the Conservatives stated that they would:
Extend social prescribing and expanding the new National Academy of Social Prescribing.
Support activities, traditions and events that bring communities together through a Cultural Investment Fund.
Establish a £150 million Community Ownership Fund to encourage local takeovers of civic organisations or community assets that are under threat, including football clubs, pubs or post offices.
Publish a National Strategy for Disabled People before the end of 2020.
Treat mental health with the same urgency as physical health.
Various commitments to improve transport infrastructure, including investing in the bus network to improve infrequent or non-existent services in the countryside, including more on-demand services.
Bring ‘full fibre and gigabit-capable broadband to every home and business across the UK by 2025’. The party also earlier said that they will invest in broadband through their £3.6bn Towns Fund, supporting the provision of broadband in 100 towns.
We’ll continue to push for loneliness to remain on the government’s agenda
After the publication of the government’s loneliness strategy, we’ll be working with the Loneliness Action Group to ensure that attention and resources are driven towards supporting the loneliness agenda.
We want the government to follow through on its commitment to a loneliness policy test, which encourages policy makers to consider what impact their policies will have on those who are lonely.
We’ll push for means-tested access to a free minimum standard of broadband. This will enable some of the loneliest people to connect to the Internet and to the world around them.
We’ll continue leading the Digital Equality Group to ensure that non-digital options are retained for people when accessing government services. We appreciate that while digital technology can be enhancing, people ultimately should be given a choice as to if and how they engage. This is not currently happening, as shown in the comments at the end of the DEG’s first report on benefit claimants experiences using online government services.
In the coming weeks and months, we’ll be contacting MPs who have previously supported the loneliness agenda to begin moving forward on issues affecting the people we help on a daily basis.
WaveLength is the UK’s leading loneliness charity giving technology to those most in need. Since 1939, we’ve helped people living in the poorest communities to fight loneliness, by giving technology to individuals and organisations to help connect people to the world.
We help people who have poor physical and mental health, those who have previously been homeless or trafficked, or are survivors of domestic abuse.
Our unique experience as the oldest, and only, loneliness and technology charity gives us a range of perspectives on how some of the most vulnerable people in society use technology to make a positive difference to their lives.