Talking loneliness in parliament

We recently gave oral evidence to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Loneliness on how good transport, housing and public spaces can help people to feel less isolated.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Loneliness is cross-party group of MPs and Peers who aim to reduce loneliness.

In our evidence we explained how Parkinson’s is a complex condition and can affect all aspects of daily life. This evidence session was part of their inquiry into how the government can tackle loneliness.

We shared the experiences of people with Parkinson’s, who have told us how important it is that they are able to: 

  • use public transport planned with their condition in mind

  • park close to their destination and access the Blue Badge scheme

  • access better housing that meets their needs

  • safely navigate public spaces like parks by having adequate benches and public toilets, as well as well-maintained paths

These things can help people with the condition to to get out and about and socialise with others. A problem heightened during the pandemic.

Our evidence

We proposed a number of practical solutions to these challenges that the government, local authorities and other organisations could take forward to improve transport, housing and public spaces and help tackle loneliness. 

These included involving people with Parkinson’s at the earliest stages of the design process for transport services and the planning process for new housing developments - so they are accessible from the start. As well as, making adaptations to public and shared spaces.

The APPG on Loneliness will use our evidence and submissions from other organisations to produce a report suggesting actions the government can take to  tackle loneliness and improve lives.

Sam Freeman Carney, Senior Policy and Campaigns Adviser at Parkinson’s UK  said:

“This was an excellent opportunity to represent the views of people with Parkinson’s on one of the biggest challenges of the day, tackling loneliness.

"We were able to emphasise the need to involve people with Parkinson’s in the big decisions about transport, housing and public spaces that have such a significant impact on people’s ability to get out and about. We look forward to seeing the final report. And we hope it outlines practical solutions for the government to really tackle loneliness”

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