Hosted by Marmalade Trust, our annual campaign in June raises awareness of loneliness and gets people talking about it. Here's what we got up to in 2021.
'We get lonely'
For Loneliness Awareness Week 2021, we highlighted the importance of building a greater awareness and acceptance of loneliness to help ourselves and others manage the feeling.
We all feel lonely at times – it’s a natural human emotion. We're biologically wired for social contact, and loneliness is our signal that we need more. After a year of lockdowns, social distancing, and restrictions, more of us have experienced loneliness than ever, which is having a great impact on our wellbeing.
Our Loneliness Awareness Week encouraged everyone to start honest, open conversations about their experiences so we can remove the stigma and shame surrounding loneliness.
How we asked everyone to get involved
There were loads of ways to get involved in the campaign, from sharing our eye-catching animations and video to reading our loneliness guides and starting an open, honest conversation.
We also created flexible, downloadable classroom resources in partnership with The Great Get Together. Primary and secondary school children across the country got involved, and one teacher, Anna Hewitt, told us:
"The children in school really connected with the idea of loneliness and how to reach out to support one another. I was impressed that each class had themselves allocated space in the playground that they would go to if they were feeling low and in need of a friend. We talked about our wider community and people who live alone that we may know and ways we can be there. I was really impressed with how the children ranging from 5-11yrs all grasped the ideas and shared with each other. Thank you so much for the wonderful work you are doing."
In the lead up to the week, we were blown away with the support we received from individuals, organisations and charities keen to get involved, and that momentum kept growing!
We reached over 100 million people this year with our campaign, with thousands of conversations about loneliness happening across the week and beyond. People of all ages took part from countries all over the world. We saw countless of charities, organisations, companies, individuals and the press get involved online.
We partnered with Direct2Florist on a campaign called ‘Lonely Bouquets’, where over 900 florists left beautiful bouquets in prominent places in their local community, such as a park bench, every day during the week. Those lucky enough to find one passed them on to show kindness and continue the chain of giving.
We collaborated with the Alonement podcast to produce a special 3-part miniseries for Loneliness Awareness Week. Special guests included award-winning British-Indian pianist and composer Rekesh Chauhan, Sunday Times bestselling author Cheryl Rickman and author, podcaster and mental health educator Alex Holmes. Listen here >
During Loneliness Awareness Week, we were delighted to invite some of our Marmalade members and volunteers to come together. As well as celebrating our 5th anniversary of our annual awareness week, our ‘Normal-i-tea’ event was a chance to reconnect, have some fun, and eat plenty of cake! Read more about our event here >
Royal Mail once again supported our campaign, printing a Loneliness Awareness Week postmark on all stamped mail during the week. We encouraged people to go 'old school' and send letters to family and friends.
It was great to have high profile special guests take part in our 'We get lonely' campaign video, including Peaches Golding, Matt Johnson, Marvin Rees and Orlando Weeks, with music by the fantastic Luz Corrigan, who also spread our message with her millions of fans across TikTok.
We also saw countless individuals sharing their own experiences of loneliness on social media, videos, interviews and blogs. Open and honest conversations about loneliness were met with respect and praise. When individuals experiencing with loneliness made direct contact with us, we were able to offer support and signpost on to sources of connection.
Beyond Loneliness Awareness Week
Each year during Loneliness Awareness Week, we shine a spotlight on the importance of talking openly about loneliness, but our work doesn’t end here. We continue to raise awareness throughout the year, and we also run projects in Bristol, UK, including fantastic Christmas Days for those who would otherwise spend the day alone. Contact us or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn and read our loneliness guides here.
Save the date!
Loneliness Awareness Week will be hosted on 13th - 17th June 2022.