What is Loneliness Awareness Week?
18 June 2020 by Andrea Godfrey
This week is Loneliness Awareness week. The Marmalade Trust is a charity that raises awareness of loneliness and helps people to make new connections. They started Loneliness Awareness Week approximately 4 years ago and the main aim was to encourage people to speak about it openly. Last year over 800 events took place, however sadly due to the COVID-19 pandemic face to face events are not possible this year, but they are hosting a virtual campaign instead called “One less lonely voice”.
How has Loneliness Awareness Week been impacted by Coronavirus?
Sadly with the COVID-19 pandemic, it has resulted in a lot of people being isolated and the government has launched a plan to try and tackle loneliness during the lockdown. The idea is to try and get people talking openly about loneliness. The plan is to encourage us to keep in touch with friends, family, and neighbours, ask for help if you need shopping, medicine or are feeling lonely or just to simply smile, wave, or chat from a safe distance with a neighbour. We have also been urged to write letters to those in care homes or if someone is in isolation.
Although loneliness can affect people of all ages, we need to give extra thought to the elderly. Many people experience loneliness as they get older as they may have lost their lifelong friends or spouses and partners. Research indicates that nearly half of all people aged over 75 live alone. This can have a serious impact on their wellbeing and with the lockdown restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this exacerbated the inability to communicate or engage with society. We all need to start talking about loneliness so that we can remove the concerns that those who are lonely will be judged in some way.
There are many organisations both locally and nationally that can help if you are lonely or if you know someone who may be experiencing loneliness or vulnerable then please visit one of these websites.
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