This week, we are proud to support the national “Loneliness Awareness Week” (LAW) campaign, the aim of which is to raise awareness of loneliness and encourage people to speak openly about it.
 
The awareness week was setup 4 years ago by “The Marmalade Trust”, a charity that raises awareness of loneliness and helps people to make new connections.
 
Loneliness is a growing epidemic in the UK with 2.4 million adults feeling lonely, according to data from the Office for National Statistics. Although older people are particularly vulnerable to feeling lonely, it can affect people of all ages, particularly if they are quarantined at home.
 
It’s a powerful message that resonates with many and each year LAW receives more and more attention. It’s probably even more poignant this year as we have all had to adapt to COVID-19 and this means for many of us we have been unable to see our family and our friends.



What can you do to help others and yourself this week?


Now more so than ever, many of us have become isolated from our colleagues, not to mention our families and friends too. Whether you’re working from home or working in the office, the last few months may well have been an especially lonely time for you, or someone you know.
 
To help each other, and in support of LAW, we are encouraging everyone reading this communication to think about how you can reach out to someone you know this week. It could be a fellow team member, someone outside of your team whom you regularly talk to in the office (and haven’t spoken to in a while), perhaps your line manager, a lonely neighbour or someone in your family.
 
Taking the time to simply ask ‘how are you?’, or to find out what the person has been up to during the past few months, may not only support you, if you’re feeling lonely, but you could also make a big difference to someone else’s day if they’re feeling lonely. You’d be surprised at the difference a simple phone call can make! You could also meet up face to face (but remember the social distancing guidelines).
 
Connecting with each other will not eradicate the stigma or the epidemic of loneliness in the UK, but it is the best thing we can do to combat loneliness at this time. Investing 10 minutes of your day in catching-up with someone, using either virtual tools or simply giving them a ring, can help combat loneliness and can put a smile back on someone’s face.
 

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