Published on: 19 February 2019
We are excited to announce a brand new community campaign; ‘Looking out for our Neighbours’ aims to help prevent loneliness in our communities by encouraging people to do simple things to look out for one another.
Although lots of people in West Yorkshire and Harrogate are already doing great things to help those around them, there is still more we can all do to postively impact on the wellbeing of others.
A Health Foundation report (December 2018) highlighted how living alone can make older people 50% more likely to find themselves in A&E than those living with family. Pensioners living alone are also 25% more likely to develop a mental health condition. ‘Looking out for our Neighbours’ aims to change this - by inspiring people to do small things to reach out to the people around them.
The campaign will launch on the 15th March across West Yorkshire and Harrogate and has been co-created with over 100 residents in these areas, drawing on their neighbourly experiences.
Matt Graham, WYAAT Programme Director says:
“The simple things are often the most powerful and this campaign is a great example of that. Just a “hello” or some help with a simple task can make all the difference to our neighbours and communities. I will be doing my bit and I encourage everyone to seek opportunities to connect with and support their neighbours too.”
As part of the campaign launch 30,000 households across West Yorkshire and Harrogate will receive a hand-delivered ‘neighbour pack’ that will include a range of different resources to inspire and encourage residents to champion togetherness in their area and look out for a neighbour in need. The pack will focus on the simple acts of kindness that will make a huge difference to the people around them - such as meeting for a cuppa, offering a lift or even just saying ‘hello’.
"A simple introduction can go a long way in starting a human connection and striking a conversation. We live in a very diverse society and it is everyone's responsibility to look out for other people and be kind and considerate.”
Chris Pointon, Co-founder and Global Campaign Ambassador for the #hellomynameis initiative.
The key message of the campaign will also be promoted across supporter’s social media channels and through print advertising in each of the areas.
As well as ourselves, the campaign is also being backed by a number of other high-profile supporters including organisations such as Jo Cox Loneliness Foundation, the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, Healthwatch, hospitals, councils, housing organisations, rugby clubs and many community and voluntary groups, including Andy's Man Club, Dementia UK (Admiral Nurses), Mencap and Age UK.
Kim Leadbeater, Ambassador for The Jo Cox Foundation says:
"I am delighted to support the ‘Looking out for our Neighbours’ campaign. In my role as an ambassador for the Jo Cox Foundation I feel passionately about creating well-connected, compassionate communities where everyone is happy and healthy and has a sense of identity and belonging. I believe that if we all work together to prevent loneliness and its associated health risks, we can reduce the demand on health and care services and have a positive impact on the wellbeing of everyone".
A campaign website will be promoted from 15th March. There, anyone in the region can sign up to the movement, get a personalised helpful neighbour pack and download campaign resources.