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I was out again today leafletting in Kilwinning to promote my campaign to combat loneliness with Kirsten Oswald.

January is a very difficult time of year for so many people. Loneliness has a huge impact on our health and well being. This leaflet and my local campaign offers information to seek to help those living with loneliness.

January is the time of year where many people are counting the cost of Christmas, or perhaps facing a New Year which looks as though as will it will be as lonely as the year just passed.

It is also the month where couples are statistically more likely to break up.

Loneliness can catch up with us at any age and people may be socially isolated for a whole host of reasons which can give rise to a whole host of health challenges. Indeed, research has shown that this scourge is as much a risk to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and is also linked to depression, an increased risk of developing coronary heart disease, diabetes and strokes.

My campaign highlights a whole range of local and national organisations which work to combat loneliness. Of course, locally we can all do our bit in our local communities by stopping by at a neighbour's for a blether, offering to pick up shopping or simply offering a "hello" and a smile at the right moment.

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