Launch of Campaigns Raising Awareness about Loneliness

Mon 20 Jan 2020

BBC news coverage of befriender Terrence being surprised by local college carol singers and, later, John Barrowman in concert, stole viewers' hearts this December and shone a light on loneliness in the UK.

News about the 'loneliness epidemic' and the negative effect loneliness can have on health and wellbeing seems to be on the rise and several new awareness raising campaigns have been launched. 

Sue Perkins' 30 hours of isolation brought home the message of the Cadbury and Age UK Partnership: "There's a crisis in the UK. 1.4 million older people struggle with loneliness. 225,000 often go a whole week without speaking to anyone. Cadbury are donating the words from their Cadbury Dairy Milk bars to help. See how you can help too."

itv's "1 Million Minutes" winter campaign asks the public to "Pledge your time and help someone lonely with 1 Million Minutes" and directs those interested to Alzheimer's society, Grief Encounter, The Not Forgotten, The Silver Line, Re-engage (formerly Contact the Elderly) and the Princes Trust.

The importance of community groups and transport links in tackling loneliness is highlighted in Country Living's "Let's Stand Up to Loneliness Campaign". Their website also offers readers the chance to take a loneliness poll, which then shows live percentages for answers to each question.

Another survey collecting data about loneliness has been created by No. 1 Magazine's Stop Loneliness Campaign #LetsReachOut. We hope they will update us with results later this year.

Most recently, the #BrewMonday campaign partnership between Samaratins and PGTips takes a positive stance on the supposed most depressing day of the year, 'Blue Monday' on 20 January, by encouraging people to reach out to friends, family or neighbours. 

Greater recognition of the effects of loneliness and befriending as an essential part of the solution should be seen as a positive sign for befriending organisations in need of funding, partnerships and volunteers. Share your organisation's inspiring befriending stories by contacting local news or radio, make sure your Befriending Networks directory listing is up to date, add your organisation to the Let's Talk Loneliness Resource Map and, remember, its never too early to submit a story to be shared on the Befriending Networks website and social media for Befriending Week to!

Let's keep raising awareness about befriending tackling loneliness!