Christian charity launches campaign to raise awareness of loneliness and social isolation
A campaign to raise awareness of the reality of loneliness and social isolation among people of all ages and backgrounds has been launched by Linking Lives UK
The ‘Loneliness Lock-In’ launched on Monday (7 October) and provides an opportunity for those taking part to gain an understanding of the day to day life of those for whom loneliness is an ongoing reality. The challenge will be to spend up to 24 hours in isolation, having no contact with the outside world.
Jeremy Sharpe, National Director of Linking Lives UK, which is running the challenge, said, ‘As a national Christian charity, we believe that it is important for us to both make people aware of the issues surrounding those people struggling with loneliness, with a particular focus on individual Christians and churches.
‘The challenge encourages people to make time and space to spend time alone, with no access to other people, telephones, gadgets or wifi! As part of the process, we expect that participants will acknowledge the experiences of those who live on their own and find it a daily challenge.’
The Loneliness Lock-In will also enable those taking part to raise funds towards the work of Linking Lives UK. The charity works with churches and Christian organisations to help set up befriending projects across the UK and there are currently 30 such projects ranging from Aberdeen to Guernsey.
Linking Lives UK believes that the church has a key role to play in addressing loneliness, against the evidence that:
More than 9 million people of all ages say they ‘always’ or ‘often’ feel lonely
With over 50 per cent of those aged 75 living alone, older people are at greater risk of isolation.
3.9m older people consider television as their main form of company
Participants can register to take part by visiting: https://linkinglives.uk/loneliness-lock-in/
They will receive a Resource Pack which contains guidelines, ideas and resources and instructions on setting up sponsorship.
In June, the government launched a year-long campaign which will aim to tackle the stigma of loneliness, and in November a review will be published of the loneliness strategy which was launched last year.