Here at Marmalade Trust, we have been on cloud nine for the past week as we watched in awe at the amazing response we received to Loneliness Awareness Week 2019!
Two years ago we launched Loneliness Awareness Week to break the stigma attached to loneliness and encourage people to speak about it openly. We envisage a future where people feel free to talk about loneliness without embarrassment or fear of being judged.
It’s a powerful message that resonates with many, and each year Loneliness Awareness Week has been receiving more and more attention.
This week has been bigger than ever. We kicked off with the launch of the #LetsTalkLoneliness campaign in collaboration with The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Our founder and CEO, Amy Perrin, spent the day in London meeting MP’s and charities to discuss the importance of opening up a dialogue about loneliness in order to reduce the stigma attached to it.
On social media, Number 10 Downing Street, Jeremy Hunt, the DCMS, and many other high profile figures shared their support for #LetsTalkLoneliness and #LonelinessAwarenessWeek. From hour one, the momentum was enormous, with conversations about loneliness taking place every 5 seconds. On day one #LetsTalkLoneliness was trending in the UK for 10 hours. By the end of the week we had 11.7 million impressions on Twitter alone.
Whilst the action unfolded in the digital world, 800 events were taking place across the UK to encourage people to open up about loneliness and find friendships. From coffee mornings and book clubs, to walking clubs and art workshops – there was something for everyone.
In Bristol a group of young children baked cakes and delivered them to their neighbours, a lovely surprise to those in the neighbourhood. Hart’s Bakery offered a week long offer on their marmalade connection cake – buy one and get one free for a buddy. Radio stations such as BCfm, BBC Radio Bristol and Ujima discussed loneliness openly and honestly, live on air. Ujima radio even said they had the most amount of calls and discussion they had ever had about a topic. National Trust buildings offered free ‘meet and greet’ garden tours. Libraries held talks, shops ‘put the kettle on’, and new parents made friends for life at baby choirs and baby comedy events.
We finished off the week in Bristol, with Be Together Bristol, a fun and inclusive event we held at Colston Hall. Activities included a choir, laughter yoga, swing dancing, jazz singers as well as monologues, spoken word and clay and art workshops. One visitor said, “It was a fantastic event. There should be more events like this.”
We would like to say a huge thank you to our volunteers and supporters for making the week a success – we could not have done it without your generous support and effort.
Although Loneliness Awareness Week 2019 has ended, the conversation has not. Help us to break the stigma around loneliness by taking our #LetsTalkLoneliness pledge at pledge.marmaladetrust.org.
Together we can keep this conversation going.