Loneliness Awareness WeekTuesday 16 June, 2020
Understanding loneliness one conversation at a time
This week marks Loneliness Awareness Week, which exists to help raise awareness of loneliness and encourage people to talk about it freely and openly – after all, it’s a normal human emotion. Hosted by the Marmalade Trust, the ultimate aim of the week is to empower everyone to understand loneliness one conversation at a time. By building on our understanding, we can help ourselves and others to manage feelings of loneliness and reach out to better support each other.
Now more than ever during COVID-19, it’s important to be mindful of the fact that lots of people may be feeling lonely more than normal – be that our staff, family members, friends or the people we support. We are encouraging everyone across the organisation to take a moment this week to think about what they can do to help relieve someone else’s loneliness (or indeed their own) and consider how to weave these actions into their normal routine for the future.
A wide range of ideas for practical actions you can take is collated below, but remember often the most powerful thing you can do for someone is simply to talk to them and listen to what they have to say.
Let’s all join the conversation. #LonelinessAwarenessWeek #LetsTalkLoneliness
Tackling Loneliness Ideas – At Home
- Send a letter or postcard to someone isolating by themselves
- Share your experiences of loneliness on social media
- Arrange to watch a film at the same time as a friend and video call
- Organise a regular video call with friends or family
- Pick up the phone and call or text a friend
- Arrange a video call with someone you haven’t seen in a while
- Start or join a virtual book club, film club or pub quiz
- Meet someone for a socially distant walk – some people find talking while walking easier than face to face
Tackling Loneliness Ideas – In the Community
- Start or join a WhatsApp or email group for your street. It’s a great way to connect with your neighbours
- Ask isolating neighbours if they need help with groceries or errands
- Have a cuppa with a neighbour, keeping the appropriate distance
- Reach out to a local charity and volunteer your support
- Reach out to someone you know experiencing loneliness or isolation
- Shop local, it can be a friendly place to say hello
- Smile and say hello to passers by. Even from a distance it can make a big difference.
Tackling Loneliness Ideas – At Work
- Host a regular (virtual?) social to catch up with colleagues
- Encourage work colleagues to reach out if they are feeling lonely
- Meet a colleague for a virtual coffee or lunch
- Ask a colleague how they’re finding the change in routine
- Spend some time building stronger employee and team relationships by getting to know each other better
- Talk to the people we support to increase understanding of their own feelings and what can be put in place to help combat loneliness
Tackling Loneliness Ideas – With Children
- Read a book together about loneliness and/or talk about when or why people might feel lonely
- Discuss what might help someone who is feeling lonely
- Draw a picture of what loneliness feels like
- Write letters to people who are isolating in the community
- Remember to discuss loneliness openly and positively. Loneliness is a normal emotion and the stigma surrounding it tends to develop when we get older.