One in 15 East Riding residents were lonely during second Covid-19 wave

Around one in 15 people in the East Riding of Yorkshire felt lonely over the winter as the nation endured the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, new figures suggest.

Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 9:55 am
An Office for National Statistics survey conducted between October 14 and February 22 found 6.5% of people in the area aged 16 and over said they felt lonely “often” or “always”. Photo: PA Images (posed by model)

Mental health charities have called for people’s mental health and wellbeing to be made a priority in the recovery from Covid-19.

An Office for National Statistics (ONS) survey conducted between October 14 and February 22 found 6.5% of people in the area aged 16 and over said they felt lonely “often” or “always”. A further 16.3% of those questioned said they felt lonely “some of the time”.

The ONS said a year of lockdowns and social distancing had led to increasing feelings of isolation among some groups.

In an earlier survey carried out between April and May last year, around 5% of adults across Britain said they felt lonely “often” or “always”.

That increased to 7.2% between October and February.

Areas with younger populations and those with higher unemployment rates tended to see increased levels of loneliness, the latest research found. The feeling was also more pronounced in urban areas than rural locations.

But places with strong local businesses and adult education fared better on average.

“The widespread disruption of the pandemic has highlighted that loneliness can be driven not solely by the absence of friends and family, but also the lack of face-to-face connection in the workplace and in the communities around us,” said Lucy Schonegevel, associate director for policy and practice at the charity Rethink Mental Illness.

The ONS said young people were also more likely to suffer from this form of “lockdown loneliness”.

Tom Madders, director of campaigns at mental health charity YoungMinds, said young people have experienced loneliness and isolation as Covid-19 has limited their social lives, education, or led to job losses.