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Spread festive cheer and goodwill by spending more time with neighbours

 Published on: 11th November 2016   |   By: The Newsdesk   |   Category:

A countywide push to catch up with older and vulnerable neighbours during the Christmas season has begun after it was revealed two in five of local residents speak to their neighbours less than once a month. Bushey locals were asked alongside other residents from across the county by Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) how often they had conversations with their neighbours as part of the HCC campaign to reduce loneliness in the county and raise awareness of its effect on the health and wellbeing of older and vulnerable people. Almost four hundred residents took part in our survey, which concluded that 21 per cent speak to their neighbours less than once a week, 19 per cent spoke less than once a month, 26 per cent spoke once a week, and 34 per cent spoke every day. Colette Wyatt-Lowe, cabinet member for adult care and health at HCC, said: “Loneliness can have an awful effect on the health and wellbeing of older and vulnerable people but it is something we can all play our part in reducing. So why not pop in and say hello to your neighbours, invite them in for a cuppa, or find out if there are any jobs or tasks that you could help out with.” A spokesperson for HCC explained the science behind loneliness in the community. They said: “Loneliness can be felt by people of all ages, although older people and those with physical and learning disabilities are particularly vulnerable. Statistics reveal that people aged over 80 are twice as likely to report high levels of loneliness than any other adult age group. “The impact of social isolation can be significant; research suggests being lonely can be as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and can be far worse than obesity and physical inactivity. So, getting to know and spending time with your neighbours has a positive effect on your health and wellbeing.” Hear more about what else is happening in your local community in the December edition of MyBusheyNews, which will be distributed on November 25.

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