Here's the latest Argus column by Islwyn MP Chris Evans:

WITH mobile phones, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram it should be easier now more than ever for people to connect.

Yet in this country there are over 1.2 million chronically lonely older people in the UK.

The huge problem of loneliness in this country was highlighted this week when it was announced that free TV licenses for over 75’s have been scrapped. Forty per cent of older people say that the TV is their main source of company.


The TV is never going to be a substitute for the kind of human connection that people of all ages need.

It can be easy for loneliness to creep up on you, but it can feel almost impossible to escape it.

Islwyn is full of brilliant organisations like Libanus Lifestyle in Blackwood.

They run lunch clubs and walking groups, you can help with the garden or you can join the art club.

There really is something for everybody.

Community facilities like this are a place for people from all over the area to come together to enjoy each other’s company.

If you feel like you need some support getting out and reconnecting with others there are people who can help.

Organisations like Contact the Elderly can match you with someone who is like minded who can come to visit you or speak to you on the phone.

The Red Cross has a connecting communities team who can help you meet new people.

If you are not personally struggling with loneliness it is likely you will know someone who is.

Everyone has an elderly friend or relative that they know they should see more but life gets in the way.

Sometimes we just need to make that extra effort.

Small acts of kindness can make a huge difference.

Pop around or give someone a call, it will show them they are not alone and that there are people who care.

It really can be as simple as trying to talk to each other a bit more.

Taking the first step can be hard but once you do put yourself out there you will often find that there are more people than you could have imagined who want to get to know you.

For more information on Contact the Elderly call 0800 716 543 or visit

Information on help with loneliness is also available on 01633 833 742 or via