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MPs launch inquiry into combating isolation during COVID-19

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Integration has set up a new short inquiry to identify best practice for reaching isolated groups and how to overcome some of the challenges during the current COVID-19 pandemic. To keep within the guidelines of social distancing groups are requested to submit their written evidence to British Futures by this Friday 17th April.  A report, to be published in April, will make recommendations to government and voluntary sector. British Futures are the secretariat of APPG on Social Integration.

The COVID-19 crisis has already seen many examples of civic contribution and local solidarity. It has also shone a light on the challenges of social isolation. People are being asked to socially distance, which is important for public health, but at the same time we need to avoid social isolation. Concern has been expressed about older people, those in sparsely populated rural areas, homeless people and some minority ethnic and migrant groups, who may be vulnerable due to such isolation. Public health information may not reach them, and they may not have friends and family who can support them in situations of self-isolation or wider societal ‘lock down’. Long-term isolation may exacerbate loneliness and damage wellbeing and mental health.

Despite these concerns, there is a growing number of initiatives that are already reaching out to these groups. In the current situation it is important that we share good practice in reaching out to socially isolated groups.

British Futures are asking organisations and individuals working with socially isolated groups to think about the questions below and send in written evidence to [email protected]

The APPG on Social Integration is a cross-party group of parliamentarians that aims to drive forward a cross-party conversation on policy solutions that break down barriers to integration and creates opportunities for people from all walks of life to connect with each other and build bonds of trust.

The open call can be accessed from here.