This week marks Loneliness Awareness Week in the UK Set up by the Marmalade Trust in 2017, the event highlights the widespread issue of loneliness in our community. It raises awareness of how to recognize loneliness and how we can all help assist those suffering from the condition.
What is Loneliness Awareness Week?
Loneliness Awareness Week, which runs throughout this week, 8th to 24th June 2023, is a week dedicated to raising awareness of loneliness. It’s all about creating supportive communities by having conversations with family, friends, or colleagues about loneliness.
Loneliness is a natural human emotion – we are hardwired to need social connections. By talking about it, we can support ourselves and others.
The Loneliness Awareness Campaign centers on a powerful message which resonates with many – the event trends on Twitter annually (last year, it reached 271.5 million people in one week with the campaign), and each year tens of thousands of organizations, charities, and individuals get involved, including the Royal Family, the Prime Minister, Major of London, NHS trusts, and all Government departments.
Who runs the campaign?
Marmalade Trust is the UK’s leading loneliness charity offering support for all ages and the only charity specifically dedicated to raising awareness of loneliness. Launched in 2017, Loneliness Awareness Week (‘LAW’) grows in momentum annually across the UK and internationally.
Why is raising awareness so important?
While society is seeing an increase in discussion on the subject of loneliness, stigma remains, and some fundamental misconceptions still need to be challenged. Ask anyone to picture a lonely person; most will imagine an older person living alone. As such, we often rebuke and dismiss feelings of loneliness because ‘that doesn’t apply to me.’
Although this conception started to change with the national lockdowns during the pandemic, such times and emotions are quickly forgotten now we have all returned to ‘normal.’
By identifying and acknowledging all the times that we have personally felt and experienced loneliness, we can start to change our viewpoint, accept it and understand how to take action to manage the feeling (and our social connections) in the future.
What sort of things happen during Loneliness Awareness Week?
So much happens during Loneliness Awareness Week; the only limit is your imagination, From coffee mornings and book clubs to walking clubs and art workshops to neighborhood bake sales and speed friending.
There are designated chatty tables in cafes and pubs, businesses putting loneliness on their meeting agenda, radio stations having honest and open conversations about loneliness, laughter yoga, swing dancing, shared office lunches, and cook-offs.
Thousands of pounds have been raised in the last six years during Loneliness Awareness Week, and thousands of people have connected to share stories and conversations that reduce stigma and raise awareness.
How can I get involved?
Loneliness Awareness Week is an opportunity to create supportive communities and connections by having conversations with family, friends, neighbors, or colleagues about loneliness Loneliness is a natural and universal human emotion. We can support ourselves and others and help create a connected society by talking about it.
The public’s help is vital in supporting LAW. If you wish to get more involved and learn more about the event or the work of the Marmalade Trust, check out the organization’s website here.
You can also sign up for the charity’s newsletter here for regular updates about LAW and so much more.