Stop the Shadows news

National poll highlights loneliness in disabled community

boy in a wheelchair isolated by a group of schoolchildren

A national survey reveals two out of five [40 per cent] disabled people often feel lonely, compared to 29 percent of non-disabled people.

Over 10,000 Brits were surveyed by the Belonging Forum, which also revealed 14 percent of disabled people don’t have many close friendships with one

 in five often or always feel isolated.

Disabled people aged 16 to 64 years are more likely to be unhappy, experience higher levels of anxiety and feel their lives are worthless.

The poll showed 45 percent of disabled people felt anxious, compared to 36 percent of non-disabled people.

Just 51 percent of disabled people felt content with their lives, in comparison to 67 percent of everybody else.

A quarter of disabled people said they have never been to a pub or a coffee shop with friends.

Disabled people aged 45-54 feel more left out compared to non-disabled people, only 17 percent said they felt included in society and 63 percent of disabled people said they feel safe walking home after dark by themselves compared to 72 percent of the population.

When it comes to politics 66 percent of disabled people believe the government ignores their needs, compared to 56 percent of non-disabled people.

The results will support the Belonging Forum’s campaign Charter for Belonging, which will suggest a number of ideas and initiatives working in partnership with leading organisations and frontline workers.

Kim Samuel, Co-founder of the Belonging Forum and author of On Belonging: Finding Connection in an Age of Isolation, said: "Our research-the first of its kind in the UK-identified acute issues drawn along lines including age, home ownership, and gender.

"But one of the groups being hit the hardest is people with disabilities. In people with disabilities, whether they are physical, developmental or mental-health related, being socially connected is associated with higher levels of self-rated mental health, health and life satisfaction.

“Belonging is our birthright. It's also a helpful framework for building a more resilient society.

”We call on our public, private and third sectors to take decisive action to build and strengthen vital connections within and between our communities."

[ ABLE2UK’s Stop The Shadows campaign was launched to combat loneliness in the disabled community, you can support the cause by buying an official T-Shirt. ]

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