Potentially closely linked to Fathers Day could by the feeling of loneliness. On Cuppa’ Tea with Tom & Abz we’ve been talking about loneliness and I’ve been slowly releasing items to the HelloTomDyer shop to help us confront the slow spread of loneliness throughout our society.
One of the best conferences I’ve been to was the Campaign to End Loneliness Conference a couple of years ago and it made me reshape how I ran the ACTivate Your Life Service to really emphasise the element of connection with the course participants.
Loneliness in the UK is a national health crisis with reduced life expectancy and chronic health conditions the price we pay for being lonely. You can read some facts and figures here.
There is a distinction between isolation and loneliness. It is true that we could be furthest away from another living soul and still not feel lonely while conversely we could be surrounded by others everyday and feel the loneliest we have ever felt.
I remember the feeling of being ‘unwelcome’ three years ago when my life was in turmoil. No relationship, the friendships attached to that changing shape, job uncertainty… it’s a lot to take in. The guiding lights I had during that time was the new friendships that came into play during that time.
I was taken to football matches, given somewhere to live, invited on nights out. I had new people in the office to talk to. They extended the invite and I had to get over myself to take them up on their offer. I have wonderful memories during that hard time and it led to the creation of HelloTomDyer good and proper and I Accept… Which has led to the Facebook community helping people reduce their own feelings of loneliness during lockdown.
Being the people who go out of their way to reduce loneliness is my aim as lockdown is now eased going forward. The ‘Hello’ Collection is to remind us that we can do better to introduce others into our world or connect them to a world where they are suited.
This is my battle cry. This is one of my values; to help others. I want to help others help others. I believe we can do this and I’m taking steps, reaching out to make a less lonely world a reality.
We can do more for each other, for care leavers, for the elderly, for the disabled. We need to look beyond our bubbles and reach out.
What will you today to help reduce loneliness?