The All-Party Parliamentary Group meetings offer an opportunity for MPs across the political divide to come together and hear from individuals and representatives of organisations about their work and questions they may have on addressing loneliness. Here’s how it works and how you can get involved.
What is an APPG?
An APPG is an ‘All-Party Parliamentary Group’. Representatives from across different political parties come together to informally discuss a particular topic. Building on the work of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, the APPG for Tackling Loneliness & Connected Communities was founded in 2021.
The APPG seeks to build cross-party consensus on the need to continue and expand work on loneliness and communities, and to influence legislation and policy making to reduce the causes and effects of loneliness across the UK.
Who is involved and how does it work?
The group is co-chaired by Tracey Crouch MP, the world’s first Minister for Loneliness, and Kim Leadbeater MP, who won the parliamentary seat after the murder of her sister, Jo Cox MP, who kickstarted much of the work on loneliness being done in Parliament today. The group meets roughly four times a year and each meeting has a focus. Previous meetings have focused on social prescribing, workplace loneliness and youth loneliness. There is often a small audience in attendance, and time allowing, there is an opportunity for questions to be asked to the panel.
What happened at the last APPG meeting?
On Wednesday 17th May 2023, during Mental Health Awareness Week, the APPG came together and discussed youth loneliness. Knowing how important it is that young people’s voices are heard, Molly Taylor, Finty Royale and Georgia Toman, young people representing UK Youth’s Belong Collective and The Mental Health Foundation, were invited to join the panel and share their experiences of loneliness.
How does it help?
The APPG meetings offer an opportunity for MPs across the political divide to come together and hear from individuals and representatives of organisations about their work and questions they may have on addressing loneliness. Molly and Finty wrote about their experiences of attending.
“The APPG brought together a crowded room of people passionate about tackling loneliness. Observing how many people were crammed into a small space to hear about loneliness and how we can combat it—together—was for me the event’s most memorable moment,” said Molly.
Finty said “Meeting MPs at the APPG and witnessing their genuine commitment to addressing the issue of loneliness among young individuals was particularly uplifting. It is all too easy to become disheartened by negative news and feel that no progress is being made.
“However, seeing first-hand the dedication and passion of these policymakers as well as willingness to listen to young people has instilled a sense of hope for the future of this sector in me. It reassures me that our collective efforts are being heard and that positive change is possible.”
How can we get involved?
APPG meetings are available to attend upon request to the secretariat, and can be joined in person by individuals or representatives of organisations. For more information about the APPG on Loneliness and Connected Communities or to find out more about their events, please email WilliamWall@redcross.org.uk to be added to their mailing list.