British Red Cross campaign aims to tackle loneliness

The British Red Cross has launched an online campaign to support vulnerable people who feel lonely.

The campaign includes the release of a YouTube video entitled ‘your kindness can help connect communities’.

This urges people to consider those who are lonely and may be close by, either a neighbour, someone in a cafe or a fellow commuter.

Ways people can help can be to sign up to become one of the charity’s Connecting Communities volunteers, who work to tackle loneliness.

Another video features the story of Andy, who has cancer and experienced loneliness after being released from hospital.

The public is also being urged to make a £5 donation to support the charity’s work to support those who feel lonely, by texting KINDNESS to 70141.

“Loneliness and social isolation doesn’t discriminate.  Life circumstances can change in the blink of an eye, meaning it can happen to anyone, no matter your age or background,” said Zoë Abrams, Executive Director of Communications and Advocacy at the British Red Cross.

“We all need someone to turn to in a crisis, but the findings of our research suggest that there are many people in our communities feeling they lack meaningful, human connections.  This will be concerning for all of us to hear, no matter where we live in the UK, or with whom.

“Every one of us would want someone to reach out to us if we found ourselves all alone. People who need our help may be closer than we think, and could feel much more connected if we offer them our kindness.

“The British Red Cross is there every day, helping people connect with their communities. A donation this winter could help ensure we continue this vital work supporting those most vulnerable.”

Survey reveals extent of loneliness

According to a British Red Cross survey of 4,000 UK adults more than half (52%) feel lonely either always or part of the time. This rises to almost a quarter (72%) among young people and 61% among those in urban areas.

More than a half (53%) of those who feel lonely fear that something will happen to them and no one will notice. Around a fifth (19%) say they don’t have friends they feel close to or can talk to.