A campaign to end the 'silent epidemic' of loneliness in the UK has launched in memory of Jo Cox
Speaking today at the launch of a cross-party Commission set up in her sister’s name, Kim Leadbeater pledged to keep her memory alive by continuing the work Mrs Cox had started before she was killed last June.
She said: “It’s been very difficult dealing with Jo’s death especially for my parents, but it’s important that something good comes out of it.
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“It’s important that the work Jo started continues as part of her legacy.
“All kinds of people experience loneliness and at any point in their lives. Jo and I were lonely when we were separated when she left home to go to university in Cambridge.
“This last New Year’s Eve was lonely for me as the realisation of her death hit me again after seeing her photo in a local newspaper in the pub I was in.
Mrs Cox had started working on the campaign before she was killed last June
“But Jo was a doer not a complainer, and we want to continue that legacy by ridding society of loneliness one conversation at a time.”
It’s important that the work Jo started continues as part of her legacy
Research by the 13 charities and organisations supporting the ‘Start A Conversation’ campaign shows that more than nine million people – a fifth of the population – privately admit they are “always or often lonely”, a feeling believed to be as detrimental to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Yet two thirds of those would never confess to having a problem in public.
The MP was murdered he MP in her constituency of Batley and Spen in West Yorkshire
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The new Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, co-chaired by MPs Seema Kennedy and Rachel Reeves, is aimed at reducing harm being inflicted on individuals and their families.
Speaking at the launch at Westminster, Ms Reeves said: “Loneliness is all around us and causing all kinds of damage to individuals and to society in general.
“It affects people from all backgrounds – from the bullied school child, to the new mother, to the pensioner who has out-lived her friends and immediate family.
Common mental health disorders Wed, November 2, 2016
Common mental health disorders from anxiety and depression to post-traumatic stress disorder and phobias.
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Stress – Feeling under mental or emotional pressure can lead to sleeping problems, a loss of appetite or difficulty concentrating
A fifth of the population privately admit they are 'always or often' lonely
“It is not just about being isolated from people in general – many lonely people are ‘hidden in plain sight’ living in towns and cities, ignored and alone.”
Mrs Cox’s widower Brendan and her parents Jean and Gordon Leadbetter also attended the launch. Mrs Cox was the mother of two small children,
Thomas Mair, 53, an unemployed neo-Nazi was jailed for life last November after he was found guilty of murdering the MP in her constituency of Batley and Spen in West Yorkshire.
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