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Our first Loneliness Awareness Week 2017

We launched the UK’s first ever Loneliness awareness week in June, to put the spotlight on what we can all do to combat loneliness – and what a great week it was!

The highlight of our week was a public premiere film screening of short film ‘Lorna’ made by TV director Lee Skelly in association with ourselves. The film takes a magnifying glass to the issue of social isolation and how shifts in society and technology can fuel loneliness. The lead actress is Helen Pearson, well known for her work in British soaps. We were also overjoyed that she announced her new role as Marmalade Trust’s patron at our premiere.

Words from Lee during our in-depth Q&A session stick with us, and we hope that many people will take these deep into our hearts and put them into action: “The first thing that everyone can do here is to go out there and speak to members of their family that they possibly haven’t spoken to for a while… just pick up a phone, go and see them and have a cup of tea with them… that’s more powerful than anything isn’t it?”

We’re keen to raise awareness of the issue of loneliness with all age groups.  So we interviewed people on the street, videoed short clips of children talking about what loneliness means to them and ran school workshops on the subject. We passionately believe that this conversation needs to be started early in life and hope to soon extend the number of schools we run workshops in.

We staged a ‘friendly takeover’ of the Bearpit Friday market and entertained passers-by courtesy of Bring your Own Baby Choir and dancing sessions led by teacher Barrie and friends from LinkAge Bristol. We chatted to shoppers about our work over marmalade sandwiches and gave away some of our Loneliness Awareness Badges which we launched this week (suggested donation £1).

The ingenuity of supporters such as YogaFurie to run their own loneliness awareness events, together with stellar coverage from BBC Points West, BBC Radio Bristol, Babbers and more has spurred us on to make next year’s week even bigger and better. Keep in touch with us to find out more.

Featured image: ‘Alone’ by Ben Eine at Narrow Quay, Bristol.


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