For immediate release:


Rutherglen MSP Clare Haughey is calling on constituents to contribute to the Scottish Government’s new consultation looking at the causes of social isolation and loneliness and how they can be addressed.

The consultation will run until the 30th April and will thereafter feed into a new national strategy, one of the first in the world, to tackle loneliness and isolation. A national strategy to combat loneliness was a key ask of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, a group named after the late MP, which welcomed this announcement.

Commenting, Clare Haughey MSP said:

“It’s important that voices from across Rutherglen get involved in the Scottish Government’s consultation to help shape the new loneliness and isolation strategy, especially since each and every one of us has a role to play in reducing loneliness in Scotland.

“Scotland will be the first country in the UK and one of the first in the world to develop a national strategy to address loneliness and isolation, but this strategy needs our communities and society to lead the way in ensuring those at risk of loneliness get the support they need.”

Marking the publication of the draft strategy, a debate was held in the Scottish Parliament on the 18th January. Speaking in the debate, Clare Haughey MSP referenced the tremendous work of Grow 73, and in particular volunteer Gordon MacLean, who run various programmes to address loneliness and social isolation locally.

Gordon MacLean added:

“Dealing with loneliness and isolation can be incredibly difficult – but by reaching out to our neighbours or anyone we think may be at risk of becoming isolated or lonely can have a hugely positive impact.

“Young or old – loneliness doesn’t discriminate and it is linked to both poor physical and mental health, and can have wide-ranging consequences on so many aspects of our lives.

“At Grow 73, we have a weekly get together on a Monday in Overtoun Park and all are welcome to join. We have a great turnout every week from the community, and we usually have a real mix of people – from school pupils up to retirees.

“I would encourage as many people as possible across Rutherglen and Cambuslang to have a say on this very important issue by contributing to the consultation.”



Please find below an image of Clare Haughey MSP participating in the debate on loneliness and social isolation.

20180118 - Clare Haughey MSP speaking in loneliness debate

The Scottish Government’s consultation will run until 30 April:

Grow 73’s weekly meet takes place most Mondays at 9:30am meeting at the shipping container in Overtoun Park. Updates regarding this can be found on their Facebook page:


Date published: 23rd January 2018

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