Loneliness Awareness Week is underway

Loneliness Awareness Week: Promoting random acts of connection

This year’s Loneliness Awareness Week is well underway. Voluntary Norfolk’s Better Together team are continuing to work hard to reduce social isolation across the county…

Faye Scott, Voluntary Norfolk’s Senior Services Managers, who heads up the Better Together service said:

“Did you know, that nearly a quarter of adults in the UK feel lonely always, often or some of the time? That’s why I’m sending out a call for action as part of this year’s Loneliness Awareness week [10th-16th June].

“This year’s theme is “Random Acts of Connection,” encouraging everyone to increase simple, everyday moments of connection that help combat loneliness. I would love it if readers did to do some of these things:

  • Smile at a passer-by and brighten their day.
  • Be a friend to a lonely neighbour.
  • Be an active listener when in the company of others.
  • Write positive messages on sticky notes and leave them for others to find.
  • Visit a senior home and deliver a kind surprise.
  • Donate a book to the nearest little library.
  • Write a handwritten letter and mail it to someone.
  • Compliment a Stranger
  • Be kind to people in the service industry.”
What are Better Together doing to help?

Loneliness affects many people worldwide, causing serious mental and physical health issues like depression and heart disease. In our digital age, real human connections are decreasing, making friendships and social ties more important than ever. Figures from the ONS showed that 24% of UK felt lonely always, often or some of the time. Among people aged 16-24 that figure rises to 30%.

Strong social networks provide emotional support and help us stay healthy. That’s where organisations and teams like Voluntary Norfolk’s Better Together service come in.

Better Together Life Connectors spend time visiting people and tackling some of the causes of loneliness or social isolation that could very easily and quickly develop into serious mental health complications. However, individuals and communities can also play an important role.

What can we do?

The theme for this year’s Loneliness Awareness Week is Random Acts of Connection. Below are is a longer list of things that you can do to help others:

  • Smile at a passer-by 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
  • Host a dinner party, games night or movie night
  • Chat to someone new at the school gates
  • Join a local Facebook group and start a conversation
  • Chat to someone in a queue
  • Ask your barista how their day is going
  • Give someone a sincere compliment
  • Call a friend to catch up
  • Thank someone you feel grateful for and explain why
  • Send a message to someone to let them know you’re thinking of them
  • Share what you’re feeling with someone you trust
  • Show an active interest by asking questions when talking to others
  • Get back in touch with an old friend you’ve not seen for a while
  • Find a hobby group to join
  • Share a favourite memory or experience from your friendship with someone
  • Introduce yourself to a neighbour you haven’t met yet
  • Share something that makes you feel connected
  • Sign up to volunteer at a local charity
  • Have lunch with a new colleague
  • Become a pen-pal and make global connections
  • Find a group that’s meeting online, such as an online book club
  • Connect on a neighbourhood chat site
  • Talk to the person you are sitting next to on public transport
  • Join a local Parkrun and chat to someone new
  • Offer support and connection to the elderly in local care homes
  • Working from home? Try exploring a co-working space to connect and meet others
  • Ask for introductions. If you have a couple of friends or acquaintances who have a larger circle of friends, ask them to introduce you to new people
  • Offer to carpool or commute with co-workers or neighbours
  • Join a community choir or singing group
  • Volunteer to coach or assist with youth sports teams
  • Offer to tutor or mentor students in your community
  • Leave a positive comment on someone’s social media post
  • Find a tutor to teach you an instrument