Campaign to End Loneliness

PAUL CANN, chair of programme advisory group, Campaign to End Loneliness, writes…

At the Campaign we are looking forward to Loneliness Awareness Week from 14 to 18 June and sharing our ‘loneliness learning’ and looking at best practice in how we can tackle loneliness together. The issue of loneliness has never been higher on the agenda of the government, public, private and voluntary sectors – and I am so encouraged by the energy I see from all the activity that is happening.  However, two events remind me of the continuing need for targeted, evidence-based action.

First, the forthcoming launch of our report which collates the discussion from our bereavement and loneliness seminar which we held as part of our Loneliness in Lockdown series.  In April, we brought together voluntary organisations to share their learning from their experience of supporting people who were bereaved during a pandemic, who were often isolated from their usual social networks.

Secondly, towards the end of the month we are holding an event with representatives from the public, private and voluntary sectors to look at what needs to happen to tackle loneliness as we move out of a lockdown into ‘a new phase’.  Our recommendations will be published in July.

Both these events underline the challenge that faces us all in tackling loneliness at the moment, the need to look back to make sure that we address the longer-term impact of the lockdown on loneliness, on the way we were forced to grieve for example. We also need to look into the future and ensure the way we tackle loneliness reflects the different way we live and work post-lockdown.

Last month the Department of Culture, Media and Sport published our research on the main ways to tackle loneliness at work.

Employers and Loneliness  (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/employers-and-loneliness/employers-and-loneliness) was drawn from consultation with a network of businesses and employers who have been involved in addressing loneliness at work. You can now read our blog (https://whatworkswellbeing.org/blog/how-can-employers-help-tackle-loneliness-at-work/) which summarises the main points.

Our new Podcast series, ‘Loneliness Explored’, is out now and is available on all major podcast platforms and our website (https://www.campaigntoendloneliness.org/homenews/loneliness-explored-podcasts-available-now/). 

Each episode looks at an aspect of loneliness, whether it is bereavement, communities, conversations or psychology. 

Loneliness Awareness Week is organised by the Marmalade Trust (https://www.marmaladetrust.org/law). You can follow what’s happening on social media via #Letstalkloneliness or #LonelinessAwarenessWeek. We will also be supporting the week with a competition to win a free book.

Also during Loneliness Awareness Week, on Thursday 17 June, 1.30-2.30pm, the All Party Parliamentary Group on loneliness  is holding an online event, Tackling Loneliness Locally: Community Champions, which celebrates  people and organisations working to tackle loneliness and connect their communities on the ground every day. Anyone with a personal or professional interest in tackling loneliness is welcome to attend. To find out more, visit the event page (https://britishredcross.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJArf-6qpj4rHdMQSjIdM_4xMtkYs_LKVzPF)

Kitty Parsons

Kitty has forgotten how long she has been here now but she loves Pembrokeshire for its beauty and it's people. She spends her time searching out stories for pembrokeshire.online, swimming in the sea , drawing and painting as Snorkelfish and eating cake. She says "Pembrokeshire.online has been an opportunity to celebrate this beautiful county and its people. Keep the stories coming. We love to hear from you."

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