To mark ‘Cheer up the Lonely Day’, we’ve been thinking about the most powerful anti-loneliness campaigns we’ve seen to raise awareness of the impact of loneliness, particularly amongst the younger and older generations.
Let’s Talk Loneliness
Earlier this year, a new poll commissioned by YouGov revealed ‘not wanting to burden others’ acts as the main barrier to people talking about their feelings of loneliness. Stats from the research showed younger people, (18-24) the most likely to say they have felt lonely (75%) in contrast to 63% of people aged 55 and over stating they’ve never felt lonely.
When you think loneliness, you think the older generation. But with the ever-rising effect of social media on mental health and wellbeing, it’s no surprise the younger generation are feeling lonely – and more importantly, they’re ready to speak up about it.
Cue, the government’s ‘Let’s Talk Loneliness’ campaign launching with charities, organisations and businesses such as 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 working together to help people of all ages talk honestly and openly about their feelings.
The Minister for Loneliness, Mims Davies said about the campaign, “’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”.
The anti-loneliness campaign sees the launch of an impactful short film, ‘Less of a Lonely Place’. The film features the voices of young people across the UK sharing their experiences of loneliness, with adverts showing loneliness as ‘an emotion that comes with being human and one we should talk about’ presented on 20 big screens across cities during Loneliness Awareness Week in June, earlier this year.
Take a look at the short film here:
Age UK ‘No one should have no one to turn to’.
YouGov released research which found 2.65 million older people feel they have no one to turn to when they need support, leaving them with feelings of loneliness (24%) with a fifth feeling isolated or depressed.
In a bid to raise awareness, Age UK launched two short films featuring daily challenges for older people which are made even more difficult when tackled alone. Whilst the videos feature loneliness, they also cover bereavement, getting appropriate social care and coping with health conditions such as dementia.
What makes this anti-loneliness campaign powerful is the effective use of real calls made to the Age UK Advice Line, which is a perfect demonstration to show just how much the charity does to help those in need. The Advice Line last year received over 210,000 calls, providing invaluable advice and support on a variety of issues to help the aged.
Age UK, We are Here:
The Campaign to End Loneliness
Could you spend a week with no human or technological contact? This anti-loneliness campaign sees the launch of a social experiment with Joe, who spent a week completely alone to raise awareness about how it feels to those who are socially isolated or the elderly.
Produced by agency BMB, the video is compiled of Joe’s video diary entries, documenting his daily feelings. At the end of the seven says, the video sees Joe meet Barry, a widower who details his experiences of loneliness following the passing of his wife.
More than half a million older people go up to a week without seeing anyone, and this campaign flawlessly represents the feelings and the longing for human contact many older people go through on a daily basis.
Bisto – Together Project
The Bisto Together Project is a brilliant campaign aiming to bring people together, with food. The project comes after sad stats revealing 40% of over 70s in Britain are skipping meals due to loneliness. Bisto partnered with Contact the Elderly to launch Spare Chair Sunday in 2017 to encourage us to offer a spare seat to someone elderly in the community who would otherwise be eating alone.
The campaign goes a step further and meets four elderly people taking part in Spare Chair Sunday to share their colourful life stories with Bisto who would then collaborate with an illustrator, Mr Doodle to etch their experiences on four limited edition chairs.
It’s a heart-warming campaign, bringing people together in one of the most sociable ways possible, over a good old Sunday roast.
It’s great to see the topic of loneliness being tackled head on by some of the UK’s biggest and most recognised organisations and brands and we’re looking forward to seeing the improvement campaigns like this are making to those in need of companionship across the country.
Back in April, we looked at some of the ways we can inspire hope in out of home campaigns.
Meabh is Outreach & PR Exec at One Agency. She gained a BA (Hons) degree in Marketing Management from Manchester Metropolitan University, and has since garnered 4+ years of experience working in content, social media, influencer marketing and PR.