Loneliness and disability

Photo of smiling woman with graphic that reads "I felt left out of group discussions" - Erin. Logo says Jo Cox Loneliness. Start a conversation

We are all more likely to experience loneliness at certain times in our lives, such as retirement, bereavement or after becoming a parent. Disabled people experience the same life transitions as everyone else, but in addition to this, having a disability means they are more likely to be chronically lonely than non-disabled people.

Jo Cox Loneliness Commission. Start a conversation. "Someone Cares If I'm Not There". A report by the disability charity Sense, for the Jo Cox Loneliness Commission.Someone cares if I'm not there

A new report, Someone cares if I'm not there explores why loneliness affects so many people with disabilities, from the perspective of disabled people themselves.

The report reveals how disabled people can experience loneliness for a wide range of reasons, including; poor access to services, inaccessible transport and venues, and financial challenges. Social attitudes are also a significant barrier, as many struggle to see beyond the disablity.

Produced for the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, the report is leading the conversation around disability and loneliness during a month-long campaign that will encourage the public and politicians to start a conversation about loneliness and disability.

Take action

Take three minutes to email your MP about our report and ask them what they will commit to do locally to combat loneliness for disabled people. 

Start a conversation

From 10 July to 11 August, Sense and 21 leading disability charities will highlight the fact that many disabled people experience loneliness. Use the hashtag #happytochat, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and join our partners:

  • Action for Children
  • Action on Hearing Loss
  • Age UK
  • Alzheimer’s Society
  • Ambitious About Autism
  • Beyond Words
  • British Red Cross
  • Headway: The Brain Injury Association
  • Leonard Cheshire Disability
  • Macmillan Cancer Support
  • Mencap
  • Mind 
  • National Aids Trust
  • National Deaf Children’s Society
  • Parkinson’s UK
  • RNIB
  • Scope
  • The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association
  • The Mental Health Foundation
  • The National Autistic Society
  • Young Minds

Throughout the month, Sense shops will be tackling loneliness in their local communities. Pop in to pick up a free Happy to Chat badge or get involved in the many instore events taking place across the country. Find your nearest Sense shop

And support the month-long spotlight on disability and loneliness by visiting the Jo Cox Loneliness website. Be part of the solution by pledging to start a conversation.

Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness

The Loneliness Commission was set up by the late Jo Cox MP who was deeply moved by the extent of the loneliness crisis in the country.

Through her constituency work she had met elderly widows who had not spoken to another person for weeks, children in schools who felt alone despite having hundreds of online friends and new parents who suddenly find themselves without the social connections of work.

Following the tragic loss of Jo, it was decided that the work of the Loneliness Commission would continue, in her memory. Rachel Reeves MP and Seema Kennedy MP are co-chairing the commission on a cross-party basis.

First published: Tuesday 4 July 2017
Updated: Tuesday 25 July 2017