This week is Loneliness Awareness Week, hosted by Bristol based charity Marmalade Trust. The charity, alongside others, aim to raise awareness, and reduce the stigma around loneliness.
With the recent Covid-19 outbreak, those experiencing loneliness may have felt increasingly isolated. Recognising the work of the Marmalade Trust and getting people to talk about loneliness is particularly crucial at this time.
What they do:
Through a referral network they identify those who are lonely & support them to connect with others and their local community.
They actively raise awareness with the goal to increase discussion, remove stigma and to reach out to those who are lonely.
Alongside the Loneliness Awareness Week, they also hold a Christmas Day Lunch.
As part of their ongoing support during the Covid-19 pandemic they also launched ‘Marmalade Companions’ where they have a number of volunteers who a part of a telephone befriending project.
They ‘provide a vital link between lonely people and the communities and resources that can help them’.
What can I do?
Although this charity is based around the Bristol area, there are things that you can do within your own community.
There may be befriending charities already set up. Organisations such as The Salvation Army often support isolated people. If you have time, get involved, or, of you know somebody who is isolated, pass them the details.
If you know of elderly people who live alone, check in on them, find out whether there are community based activities within your local area that they could attend.
Volunteer some of your time if you are able to – help to raise awareness, get involved with charity fundraisers!
What if you are feeling lonely?
If you are feeling lonely there are ways that you can reach out to others.
Join an online forum, there are so many online groups now. You may not just want to focus on Loneliness-based groups, you may want to join a hobby-based group such as rambling / cross stitch / healthy lifestyle / fitness / illness or disability support networks.
Get in touch with the Local church / Salvation Army / Volunteer groups within your community. You can find lists of these in the Local Pages, or online – for example on your GP’s website, Local Council website.
Try to reach out, talk to someone, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Life can feel so lonely at times. You may have lost a loved one, become separated or divorced, or moved to a new area. Things happen in life, and our situations can change rapidly. There’s no shame in feeling lovely, so let’s help to remove the stigma.
Telephone: 07566 244 788