Loneliness Awareness Week – why we need to talk about loneliness

Building connections and breaking stigma

Amy Perrin is pictured, smiling, with her arms leaning on a chair in front of her.
Today’s guest blog is from Amy Perrin, Founder and CEO of Marmalade Trust.

Created and hosted by Marmalade Trust, Loneliness Awareness Week raises awareness of loneliness across the UK (and beyond) and gets people talking about it. Marmalade Trust is a leading loneliness charity based in St Pauls, Bristol. We launched Loneliness Awareness Week in 2017 and it grows in momentum each year across the UK and, this year, we are excited to see other countries get involved too.

Loneliness Awareness Week is a week dedicated to raising awareness of loneliness and reducing the stigma that surrounds it. It’s all about creating supportive communities by having conversations with family, friends or colleagues about loneliness.

Why we need to raise awareness of loneliness

Loneliness is a natural human emotion. We are hardwired to need social connections; by talking about it, we can support ourselves and others. Starting today, Monday 12 June, there will be many ways for everyone to do something. Whether you are a small or large business, organisation, community group, or individual, there is something for everyone.

Loneliness can have profound effects on our mental, emotional, and physical well-being – it can even shorten our life span. Whilst we’re seeing an increase in discussion on the subject, stigma remains and there are some key misconceptions that still need to be challenged. Ask anyone to picture a lonely person and most will imagine an older person living on their own.  As such, we often rebuke and dismiss feelings of loneliness because ‘that doesn’t apply to me’.

By identifying and acknowledging all the times that we have personally felt and experienced loneliness, we can start to change our viewpoint, accept it and understand how to take action to manage the feeling (and our social connections) in the future.

Our 2023 campaign

Connection matters. It’s what makes us human. Whether it’s your regular barista, the friendly dog on your walk, or the shopkeeper down the road, everyday moments of connection matter. They allow us to make connections, feel happier and less lonely. It matters in business because we are not just colleagues, we are people. It matters on the commute because we are still a community. It matters as a new parent because you are still an individual. It matters on freshers week, in the cafe, down the market, on the streets, in the parks, on the highest of mountains, or sat on the underground. It matters everywhere. We matter. Connection matters.

For Loneliness Awareness Week 2023, we’re encouraging everyone to harness these moments of connection. Together, we can all feel less lonely.

How you can get involved

Getting involved in Loneliness Awareness Week is simple.

  • Download and spread the word
  • Download our supporter pack and assets from our website and share them within your networks.
  • Stick a poster in your window, use virtual meeting backdrops, and inspire others through your newsletters.
  • Build and create
  • Talk about loneliness with others, join a walk, or host a social event.
  • Add your activities and plans to our Connections Map at https://www.lonelinessawarenessweek.org/map and explore what’s happening in your area.
  • Follow and share
  • Share meaningful moments with colleagues, neighbours, friends, and family.
  • Follow us on social media @MarmaladeTrust and use #LonelinessAwarenessWeek #ConnectionMatters to share your stories of connection online.
Marmalade Trusts' logo, with a big orange above black text reading Marmalade Trust.

Get in touch 

For more information, please visit lonelinessawarenessweek.org. You can reach us by email: info@marmaladetrust.org or if you’re an organisation or business interested in partnering with us, send your message to: alice@marmaladetrust.org.