New Loneliness Strategy lists arts and culture as key areas

The government's new Loneliness Strategy, published on 16 October, discusses a cross-governmental approach to loneliness that builds on the Secretary of State's pilot work with social prescribing. The Prime Minister's Introduction to the Strategy says that:

"...the expansion of social prescribing across the country will change the way that patients experiencing loneliness are treated. Recognising that medical prescriptions alone cannot address the root causes of loneliness, it will invest millions of pounds in ways of connecting people with community support that can restore social contact in their lives."

The Strategy states that "The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will work with Arts Council England to address loneliness through its programmes, as well as utilising the loneliness measure in its work. Alongside this, the department will raise awareness of the role that libraries can play, including through Libraries Week."

On p.54 it says "The Arts Council, supported by the organisations it funds, will work with public health providers to provide arts and cultural programmes as part of the planned expansion of social prescribing. Arts Council England has strong partnerships, sector support organisations and regional networks to achieve this. For example, Arts Council England funds the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance to support and develop cultural practitioners wishing to engage with health and wellbeing. This also raises the profile of the work within the wider cultural community."

Read the full strategy

Read the government's press release