Policy Documents

Loneliness Annual Report: the first year

The Government’s first Annual Report on tackling loneliness provides a progress update since the publication of the cross-government Loneliness Strategy in October 2018.

In January 2018, in response to the Jo Cox Commission report on loneliness, the government set out its first steps to tackle loneliness.

Over the course of 2018, the government:

  • Appointed the world’s first minister to lead work on tackling loneliness
  • Launched the £11.5 million Building Connections Fund in partnership with T​he


National Lottery Community Fund and the Co-op Foundation:

  • D​eveloped a recommended measurement package
  • Started to improve the evidence base on loneliness
  • Published the world’s first government loneliness strategy, ‘A Connected Society: A strategy for tackling loneliness – laying the foundations for change’


This strategy marked a shift in the way government saw and acted on loneliness. It set out a clear vision for this country to be a place where we can all have strong social relationships. Where families, friends and communities support each other, especially at vulnerable points where people are at greater risk of loneliness. Where institutions, businesses and organisations value the human element in their interactions with people. And where loneliness is recognised and acted on without stigma or shame so that we all look out for one another.

At the start of a new decade, government’s goal remains to significantly reduce the number of lonely people over the next ten years. Doing so will require long-term action from government, business and civil society and a change in public attitudes. Everyone has a role to play in building a national conversation on loneliness, improving the evidence base and considering relationships and loneliness across our decision making.

This report tells the story of what has been achieved since the publication of the loneliness strategy, and sets the government’s direction of travel on the loneliness journey.

Access the report HERE.

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