Understanding Loneliness, One Conversation at a Time
Hosted by Marmalade Trust, Loneliness Awareness Week takes place 15th – 19th June 2020. This year’s virtual campaign is ‘One Less Lonely Voice’; taking the ‘one’ out of loneliness to signify one less lonely voice.
Amy Perrin, founder of Marmalade Trust explains, “We want to get everyone talking about loneliness, via social media with the hashtag #LetsTalkLoneliness, social distancing and online. Our aim is to empower a greater understanding of loneliness, one conversation at a time. Loneliness is an emotion we are all likely to experience at some point in our lives and by building understanding we can help ourselves and others to manage feelings of loneliness”
Ben Carroll has been a volunteer with the Marmalade Trust over the last year. “The main time when I struggled with loneliness was in my first year of university. It’s natural to feel lonely. It’s such a strange and unique experience to move away from your friends and family. Once I started to have conversations with friends and peers about loneliness I realised the scale. Because so many people experience loneliness, if the emotion is destigmatised and people feel they can reach out, so many more can benefit.”
The current pandemic has put the spotlight on loneliness but it is clear that a more online world can make many feel less lonely and more connected than ever before. Rebecca Cox, a single mum has found the lockdown a blessing,
“Loneliness is one of the hardest things about being a single parent. Whether you have a great support network of friends and family around you or you’re flying completely solo, after you put your child to bed, the evenings at home alone can stretch endlessly before you. Lockdown has really levelled the playing field. Suddenly evenings at the pub, the cinema and impromptu get-togethers were off the table for everyone, so the country scrambled to find new ways to connect. For me, this meant friends doing online catch-ups and quizzes to replace the pub nights and gigs they would usually be at, and for once, not having any childcare wasn’t an issue for me, and I could say yes to everything. I felt like I was part of the group again. My birthday at the end of May was one of my best ever. My friends organised an online festival-themed party, had pizza, prosecco and cake delivered to my house and we even attempted online karaoke (with admittedly limited success). I’m hopeful that lockdown life has given more people an insight into how severely loneliness can impact us all, and how with the resources now available, if we pull together, there’s no need for anyone to experience it.”
Marmalade Trust are proud to be working with fantastic partners across the UK including the Jo Cox Foundation. The Jo Cox Foundation’s flagship event, The Great Get Together, takes place from 19th – 21st June. This year’s Great Get Together will be focused on sharing the power of community, and a key part of this power is reducing loneliness by building connections.
Kim Leadbeater, Ambassador for the Jo Cox Foundation and Jo’s sister says ‘Working to combat loneliness was something my sister was passionate about. Our continued partnership with the Marmalade Trust around Loneliness Awareness Week will make a real difference in raising public understanding of loneliness and supporting those who are isolated.’
Ways to join in with Loneliness Awareness Week and resources for supporting us this year is available online https://marmaladetrust.org/law-resources/
Join the conversation on social with the hashtags #LetsTalkLoneliness and #LonelinessAwarenessWeek. You can also download the campaign assets here for social media posts.
Andrea Sexton +44 (0) 7887997922
Marmalade Trust is a charity that raises awareness of loneliness and helps people to make new connections. Our vision is to create a society where anyone can talk freely and openly about loneliness – after all, it’s a natural human emotion. Marmalade Trust is the home of Loneliness Awareness Week, and we’re proud to be working with some fantastic partners across the UK including The Great Get Together and the Jo Cox Foundation.
What is Loneliness Awareness Week?
We started Loneliness Awareness Week (LAW) 4 years ago to raise awareness of loneliness and encourage people to speak about it openly. It’s a powerful message that resonates with many and each year LAW receives more and more attention.
Last year 800 events took place and on our campaign launch day, conversations about loneliness were taking place every 5 seconds. Due to the pandemic, this year we are supporting a virtual campaign.
How can people get involved?
1. Post about loneliness on social media
We all have different experiences of loneliness, and to better understand loneliness, we need to be open and talk about it. Share a post about loneliness with our eye-catching social media animations or graphics. Or share your own experiences and some tips to help others. Use the hashtags #LetsTalkLoneliness and #LonelinessAwarenessWeek.
2. Build your understanding
Increase your understanding and help others feel more connected – check out the tips in our loneliness guide for ways to do this, but of course you can come up with your own too!
You can make a loneliness pledge by clicking here: https://marmaladetrust.org/law-pledge/ Or you can download our eye-catching pledge graphics and post them on your Facebook or Instagram stories. You could even tag 5 friends who have helped you when you’ve felt lonely. The more people you can reach, the more people can join the conversation!
The Great Get Together: The 2020 Great Get Together will be the fourth time that the UK will celebrate Jo Cox’s values of kindness, compassion and inclusivity. It will take place on what would have been her birthday weekend, from 19 – 21 June. While we will not be coming together for the usual mix of street parties, BBQs, picnics and sporting events this year, we will be using the weekend to celebrate the power of community. While always adhering to the relevant social distancing guidelines, participants will be encouraged to do something in their street or neighbourhood, or to connect online or on the phone. The Great Get Together is collaborating with existing major partners, including the Royal British Legion, the Women’s Institute, and Facebook, as well as new partners including the Old Vic. To find out more, visit: www.greatgettogether.org