Loneliness Awareness Week Unsplash kristina-tripkovic-649227-unsplash

Loneliness Awareness Week

Loneliness Awareness Week begins today (17 June 2019). It aims to tackle the stigma of loneliness and encourage people to speak out.

Let’s Talk Loneliness’ brings together charities, organisations and businesses including The Marmalade Trust, the Co-op Foundation, the British Red Cross, the Campaign to End Loneliness, Mind, Public Health England and the Jo Cox Foundation to help people talk about their feelings.

Minister for Loneliness Mims Davies said:

“Loneliness is one of the biggest health challenges our country faces. It can affect anyone at any time and its impact is in line with smoking or obesity. But we can only begin to help one another if we feel able to understand, recognise and talk about it.

“Let’s Talk Loneliness’ will encourage us all to engage with this issue, speak up without stigma, spot the signs of loneliness and help build more meaningful connections so people feel less isolated.”

Less of a Lonely Place

The campaign features a short film called ‘Less of a Lonely Place’. The animation features the voices of young people from across the UK talking about their personal experiences of loneliness.

As part of Loneliness Awareness Week, the government has also announced it is partnering with the Co-op Foundation to match-fund a new £1.6 million initiative that supports activity in community spaces to promote social connections.

The government is also investing £1 million in a Tech to Connect Challenge Prize. Applications are open from the 26th June 2019 to the 7th August 2019. The Prize, which will be designed and delivered by charitable foundation Nesta, aims to find tech solutions to the problem of social isolation.

Charities and social enterprises are urged to apply as up to £500,000 will be up for grabs to incentivise social tech innovation.

The £1 million prize will be split into £500,000 of business support from Nesta with the other £500,000 being awarded as cash prizes to the best entrants.

Jim Cooke, head of the Co-op Foundation, said:

“Shared spaces for people to meet and socialise are vital for tackling loneliness and helping communities work together to address local challenges.

“Our match-funding partnership with government will strengthen communities by maximising the potential of spaces where people can connect and co-operate, making an important contribution to Co-op’s wider community work”

Co-op Foundation is the Co-op’s charity, helping communities UK-wide work together to make things better.