City Lit Blog

Lifelong learning – a route to help combat loneliness

Story added 18th Oct 2019

Earlier this week the Government launched a new £2 million fund to help tackle loneliness across the country – to support organisations that bring people together and help them build social connections – we can't help but think that there must be a route for lifelong learning here...

Baroness Barran, Minister for Loneliness, said: ‘Loneliness is one of the biggest public health challenges our country faces and we are committed to tackling it head on. This new fund is a fitting way to mark one year since the launch of our landmark strategy and will help grassroots organisations address the issue in their own communities.’

City Lit had Baroness Barran speak at our Mental Wealth Festival parliamentary event last night, talking about the importance being placed on combatting loneliness and the Government’s ‘Landmark Loneliness Strategy’ where she also reference to the importance of adult learning. Whilst there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to curbing the issue of loneliness and isolation, we are confident that adult education is just one route to help tackle the problem head on. At City Lit, we seen how adult learning opportunities can transform the confidence and wellbeing of our students – which leads us to believe that it could be one remedy that GPs could consider to help stem the tide of an issue that blights many lives in modern day Britain. 

Phil Chamberlain, Executive Director External Engagement at City Lit, said: ‘Adult education provides the opportunity to learn new skills but also combats some of the emerging issues now facing society. At City Lit, I've witnessed countless examples of students of all ages and backgrounds emerging from a course with a renewed sense of self-confidence and purpose, and one of the joys of walking through our doors every morning is witnessing the hive of activity in our cafe area, where students socialise before or after their courses. Studying on an adult education course is not only a chance for an individual to broaden their horizons, upskill or simply enjoy some much-needed downtime from work or personal pressures. It also provides an invaluable opportunity to socialise, meet people from different backgrounds, and forge lasting friendships and connections for life. All of these factors play their own part in helping people keep mentally well.’

Find out more about the Government’s loneliness strategy