In light of the Jo Cox Loneliness Commission, and from observing life in our local communities, it became clear to us that loneliness and social isolation are some of the biggest issues that face individuals and society as a whole today. In response to this, we are planning on working with Barca-Leeds, a multi-purpose charity based in Bramley, and other groups, to create social networks centered mainly around shared interests, with the possibility of creating additional skills-based networks based on a ‘time bank’ model of skills sharing.

We would be looking to work with people from all cross-sections of society, including people from a range of ethnicities, genders, sexualities, and ages. We would aim to connect these people by identifying common interests between them, grouping them according to these interests, and then facilitating social activities and meet-ups, with the view to reduce loneliness, social isolation, and the effects of marginalisation. As Jo Cox said in her maiden speech, “we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us”.

We are currently seeking funding for this project, and all of the feedback we have received so far has been very positive so we hope that we will be able to launch the project soon.