A plethora of studies and research carried out throughout the pandemic have shown alarming increases in loneliness globally.
The warnings that the loneliness epidemic will cause long term physical and mental health implications are widespread.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) research has seen levels of loneliness fluctuating during the pandemic – with a broader measure, including those “sometimes” lonely, showing about one in four adults experiencing loneliness.
Statistically, if you are on a meeting with your team of 8, two of the people in the “room” could experiencing loneliness at the moment without you knowing.
Businesses have a responsibility to support their communities, and with loneliness underpinning such a huge part of people’s lives right now, we wanted to share some charities that are working tirelessly to combat this collateral epidemic.
If you are feeling lonely, please take a look at the websites below and reach out via the links provided.
”Loneliness has risen by 79%. For single people the increase is 87%.Womens Health Magazine
Ways to support loneliness charities
There are many ways for you and your business to support loneliness charities during the pandemic and beyond.
- Donate funds (directly, as an initiative or a Views For Change campaign)
- Volunteer (there are many befriending initiatives you and your teams can get involved with)
- Donate equipment
- Get creative or start an initiative with a charity
Remember, there may be people in your direct circles experiencing loneliness. Be sure to reach out to those around you and check in for a conversation.
If you are feeling lonely, please check out Marmalade’s Trust 3 step approach.
Bristol based loneliness charity, Marmalade Trust want to encourage people to see loneliness as a blank canvas on which they can fill their lives with new friends and experiences – and they’re here to help.
Chronic loneliness is one of the biggest health concerns we face, and it’s on the rise. But, by building our understanding of loneliness, we can help ourselves and others to manage the feeling.
The Campaign to End Loneliness believes that nobody who wants company should be without it. Loneliness affects people of all ages and backgrounds and touches the lives of millions. It causes real emotional pain and can impact on physical and mental health. It has an economic cost – in the additional health and care services that are needed by people who are lonely, and the missed contributions that people who are unable to connect could make in their communities.
Campaign To End Loneliness work to ensure that:
- People most at risk of loneliness are reached and supported
- Services and activities are more effective at addressing loneliness
- A wider range of loneliness services and activities are developed
”4.2 million people said they "always or often" felt lonely in November, the highest since the start of the pandemic.ONS Stats reported on BBC
WaveLength gives radios, televisions, and tablet computers to help people maintain and increase the number of meaningful connections they have in their lives. Wavelength support people who are lonely because of age, poor physical or mental health, or by circumstances which make it hard for them to leave their home.
BBC Stories On Loneliness
This excerpt from the BBC looks at some interesting loneliness stories and how people are coping at this particularly difficult time. There are also some additional charities & organisations to look at on BBC Action Line if you are impacted by loneliness.
Millions of people, young and old, are facing loneliness, isolation and separation during the lockdown. A BBC News project on TV, radio and online reveals some of their stories and how they are fighting back.
- ‘The man who was so lonely he was talking to chairs’
- Lockdown loneliness advice from a 91-year-old
- Young mother fighting loneliness through poetry
- Gaming and friendship apps: How young people are tackling loneliness
- First Dates: How to date during the pandemic
- Five voices from the lockdown: ‘Only left home three times since March’
- The widower helping people to be less lonely
- Make connections through BBC Local Radio’s Make a Difference campaign
- Join the BBC’s Beating Loneliness Facebook Group
- If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised, BBC Action Line has a list of organisations and charities offering advice and support
Loneliness is an epidemic in it’s own right and has been exacerbated by the pandemic. As a business that seeks to raise funds for charities by rewarding advertising engagements, we feel it is crucial to bring attention to the needs of the people around us. This article has focused on loneliness and if this has struck a chord with you and your colleagues, please consider supporting these charities as a business.
At Views For Change, we have supported Marmalade Trust on a campaign when we set up the business. The team work tirelessly to support lonely people across Bristol and the UK.
You may be reading this because you yourself are feeling lonely. We are all “human first” and taking care of ourselves is the only way we can take care of others. Please reach out to these charities, a friend, colleague or family member if you are feeling lonely. Our (virtual) door is always open too.