Tackling loneliness in BSW

Loneliness, sadly, is a human emotion we all feel at some stage of our lives that is both complex and unique to each individual. Anyone can feel lonely, even though we are surrounded by people.

Loneliness, according to many experts, is not necessarily about being alone. Instead, if you feel alone and isolated, that is how loneliness plays into your state of mind. Long-term loneliness can make us feel anxious or depressed, thus having a serious effect on mental health.

This week marks Loneliness Awareness Week, an annual awareness week highlighted by Bristol-based charity Marmalade Trust which works to empower people to make connections.

The theme of this year’s awareness week is Random Acts of Connection and Marmalade Trust is encouraging us all to increase everyday moments of connection to boost happiness and reduce loneliness.

The Loneliness Awareness Week team report that 45 per cent of adults in England occasionally, sometimes, or often feel lonely. That equates to 25 million individuals and could cost the UK economy up to £32 billion each year.

Simple, everyday random acts of connection can help us feel happier, and less lonely and increase our sense of belonging.

So, to mark the week and pass on some useful information across BSSW, here are some easy wins for making connections and fighting loneliness for our colleagues and the people we help in our communities.

  • Smile at a passerby and brighten their day.
  • Host a street party.
  • Support a local business by leaving a glowing review. 
  • Make uninterrupted time for your loved ones. 
  • Talk to someone new on a dog walk. 
  • Join a parent’s meet-up locally. 
  • Bake a cake for a neighbour.

There are lots more ideas on the Loneliness Awareness Week website: https://www.lonelinessawarenessweek.org/ideas