Marmalade’s 2019 Loneliness Awareness Week runs from 17th-21st June and leads up to The Great Get Together

An inclusive campaign to raise awareness of loneliness amongst everyone in the UK did not exist, so in 2017 we started the first one…

We believe loneliness is something all of us will experience at some point in our lives. We wanted to start a national conversation around loneliness. A fun and friendly campaign across all demographics, to encourage people to recognise loneliness in both themselves and others and feel inspired to come together to do something about it.

Loneliness Awareness Week (LAW) 2017

LAW 2017 was a five week project run by founder Amy Perrin and a dedicated team of volunteers. We held a variety of events across the Bristol region to raise awareness of loneliness, including workshops in schools, a loneliness film launch, shared picnics and intergenerational ball dancing! The response we received far exceeded our expectations, we appeared in both the local and national press and reached 750,000 people across the region.

LAW 2018

18th – 22nd June

LAW 2018 was incredible!

Inspired by the success of the previous year we kept the concept simple and ran a national campaign around Marmalade Trust’s core values: friendliness, inclusivity and normalising the stigma around loneliness. We encouraged anyone to consider loneliness in their community and place of work and to “do something” to start a conversation. We ended up reaching over an incredible four million people through online engagement, community activity and media coverage. Some of the great things that happened:

  • We engaged 252 new organisations from Inverness to Newquay, and Isle of Wight.
  • People did all sorts! From intergenerational events in care homes, to businesses discussing loneliness with employees, to Universities highlighting the need for connection and friendship.
  • Launched our exclusive campaign ‘Connection Cake’
  • Media coverage including Good Morning Britain, ITV, Radio 4’s Thought For The Day, The Telegraph, BBC Points West
  • Japan’s main public broadcasting network NHK visited to film us for two days as they were so impressed with our work and wanted to address the issue of growing loneliness in Japan.

LAW 2019 17th – 21st June

KEY THEMES

This year’s campaign looks to be bigger and better than ever.

We want to encourage YOU to do something!

Our key message this year is to reduce the stigma around loneliness and encourage a society where it is spoken about openly and normally.

We will be providing materials and resources to help you have a better understanding of loneliness

WHO CAN TAKE PART?

Everyone can get involved: as an individual, a community, business, public sector organisation or a school. We already have hundreds of organisations, communities, individuals, businesses and stakeholders on-board for this year’s campaign and we’d love YOU to get involved! Any money you raise will directly help Marmalade to meet the growing need for its work.

WAYS TO GET INVOLVED

From intergenerational whippet walks to sponsored sky dives to cafes pushing tables together to encourage people to chat, there are loads of fun, easy and inventive things to do. Have a think about how you could make connections. We’ve provided some suggestions below:

  • Get to know your neighbours: organise a street party or a picnic in your local park or community hall
  • Shared lunch: don’t eat your lunch on the go or at your desk, get together with your colleagues to enjoy a shared lunch in your workplace, or dine out
  • Make some marmalade cakes or marmalade sandwiches and hold a bake sale or coffee morning – click here to download our exclusive Marmalade Friands Recipe
  • Call a family member or friend that you haven’t spoken to for a while
  • Disconnect to reconnect: if you travel on public transport, put your phone, iPod or Kindle away and start up a conversation with the person sitting next to you
  • Small and easy gestures: a simple smile or hello to a stranger could make their day
  • Organise a raffle, quiz, sweepstake or talent show as a fundraiser for the Trust

Communities

Who is in your community? How could you help to raise awareness? People who have taken part in previous LAWs have put bench in their gardens and encouraged neighbours to stop and chat, held street parties and organised get togethers in sports or social teams

Business and Charity sector

We have already been approached by hundreds of businesses and charities wanting to get involved.  This is so fantastic and what it’s all about. What can you do to take the discussion forward? For example:

  • Meet your sports club and talk about loneliness
  • Do you run a business? Could you hold a coffee morning or a cake sale with employees and open the discussion about loneliness?
  • Are you involved with a local charity? What fun things can you do to join forces with us and raise awareness around loneliness?

“Loneliness is a really big issue for new parents with 90% of mothers saying they feel lonely after having children. We are delighted to support Loneliness Awareness Week and will be holding coffee mornings across Bristol and Bath. It’s a fun way to connect and talk about this issue, whilst building new friendships.”

Iona Smith, co-founder of New Life Classes

 

Connecting with cake for LAW 2018

 

Food and friendship are two themes very dear to our heart. We called on the nation to bake Marmalade ‘Connection Cakes’ to help people connect and start conversations with neighbours and people in the community. We teamed up with local community hub Hart’s Bakery to offer a very special recipe to help people join in the fun and get making connections! Download the Marmalade Friands recipe here.

We asked people to share their own Connection Cakes on social media with the hashtags: #LetsTalkLoneliness #MakeFriendsWithMarmalade #ConnectionCake

Add your event to our interactive map

Why LAW is so important:

We believe everyone will be affected by loneliness at some point in their lives. You may be going through a period of transition e.g. starting school or university, moving home, changing jobs; you may be experiencing friendship changes, live alone, be a parent, widowed, retired, elderly… loneliness can affect people of any age and circumstance. For many, it is a transitory feeling but for others, it can become chronic and have a serious impact on a person’s health and wellbeing. LAW aims to generate positive action to help combat it.

Loneliness statistics:

  • Three out of four GPs say they see between 1 and 5 people a day who have come in mainly because they are lonely
  • Loneliness can be as harmful to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day
  • The UK is the loneliest country in Europe (UK Gov Survey 2017)
  • Around 200,000 older people have not had a conversation with a friend or relative in more than a month
  • Up to 85% of young disabled adults – 18-34 year olds – feel lonely

Download our fact sheet here:

You can learn about how harmful loneliness is on the Campaign to End Loneliness website.

You can read more about what to do if you’re feeling lonely here.

Other ways to help:

  • Talk – start a conversation to raise awareness
  • Action – attend an event or host your own to spread the word
  • Support – volunteer for Marmalade Trust or make a donation to support our work

#LetsTalkLoneliness