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Let's Talk About Loneliness

An opportunity to find out more about the link between loneliness and poor health is on offer next week.

Professor Thomas Scharf from Newcastle University's Institute for Ageing will be giving a talk on how to spot the symptoms of social isolation and how best to provide support.

Councillor Tracey Dixon, Lead Member for Independence and Wellbeing, said: "Loneliness can affect people of all ages and is often compounded by social isolation.

"In South Tyneside we want to create a culture and an approach which encourages people to engage with their communities.

"By encouraging people to recognise the importance of their social connections, we can help them to live healthier and more independent lives."

The event is one of a number of activities to mark World Social Work Day which this year seeks to highlight the importance of human relationships.

Professor Scharf's talk will be held on Wednesday, 20 March at 11.15am at The Customs House. The event is free of charge but people are advised to reserve a space at

People can also find out more about living with autism when Ritchie Smith takes to the stage. Ritchie was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of 33. In his talk, Autism can be Awesome, he will give a unique perspective of the condition in the hope that it will help other people to gain an insight into the disorder and better understand those living with it.

People can hear Ritchie speak on Wednesday, 20 March at 3.30pm. The event is free and spaces can be reserved at

A number of other talks are open to the public. To find out more visit


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