BEER campaigners have raised the importance of pubs and the role they can play in community life following the publication of a report into social isolation.
A document by the Campaign to End Loneliness has identified that 17 per cent of lonely older people, who are struggling to get out, miss visits to the pub to catch up with old friends and meet others.
Colin Valentine, chairman of the Campaign for Real Ale, said pubs can play a huge role in tackling issues around isolation.
He said: ‘It is not a surprise that loneliness and isolation receives a great deal of attention this time of year, when so many people face spending the holidays alone.
‘Yet for many, especially those over the age of 65, this is a year-round struggle.
‘Having a strong community lies at the heart of our health and wellbeing.
‘Pubs can play a huge role in combating social isolation and can act as a safe haven for people who don’t have an extensive network of friends and family to call upon.
‘Research from Oxford University shows that people who identify as having a ‘local’ have more close friends on whom they can call for support, are happier and more trusting of others and feel more engaged with their community.
‘Simply put, a local pub can be like family.
‘Despite this, 21 pubs are closing their doors each week across the UK.
‘If we want to help combat isolation and loneliness, we need to make sure there are still community venues where people can access support and create friendships – such as pubs.’