As a nation we’ve become pretty good at recognising major public safety hazards and tackling them over time. Smoking is a case in point with a gradual escalation of measures from Government and over 1.5 million people taking part in Stoptober since 2011. Combined with a permissive attitude to electronic vaping devices, more than 10 million people have stopped smoking, including myself and literally hundreds of thousands of lives have been saved.
Why then have we not been equally concerned about the dangers of loneliness and social isolation? A meta-study of over 180,000 people by the University of York in 2016 found that social isolation was associated with a 29% higher risk of a heart attack and a 32% higher risk of a stroke – comparable to the effects of smoking or obesity.
Adam Afriyie, the MP for Windsor, has participated in #givingtuesday, an annual event to celebrate the hard work and achievements of charities.
The UK is one of the most charitable countries in the world. As well as having the second largest international aid budget of any nation, Brits donate £10bn from their own pockets each year. Last year, when #givingtuesday broke a Guinness World Record for the most online donations in 24 hours, the UK was the second largest contributor in the world.
Adam Afriyie, the MP for Windsor, has presented a cheque for £900 to the 1st Sunningdale Scout Group. This donation was raised at a recent dinner held by the Parliamentary Club, a group chaired by Phil Bicknell, a local councillor.
The cheque was presented at a community tea party on Sunday 17th September, which was organised to welcome the new vicar of Holy Trinity Sunningdale, Reverend Jon Hutchinson.