This last year has been tough. We know that Covid-19 has led to an increased sense of disconnection, isolation and loneliness. But this doesn't have to be the way. Research by the Co-op and British Red Cross shows that 92% of people think a sense of community has a role to play in supporting people experiencing loneliness. And our activities do just that! From joining group activities with others in east London, being part of a one-to-one friendship with a neighbour, or being supported by our Outreach Coordinator, the East London Cares’ community is tackling loneliness, one friendship at a time.
This year, as part of #NationalLonelinessAwarenessWeek, we want to encourage conversations around loneliness, helping to not only understand but accept these feelings. That’s why we’ve started a #NoOneLeftBehind crowdfunding campaign and thought of five different ways in which you can have meaningful interactions. Why don’t you try it?
1. Get your five a day
Get your five a day, every day. Five meaningful interactions with a neighbour, co-worker, bus driver, barber, or stranger has been proven to improve our wellbeing. So next time you are out and about, take a moment to greet, thank, and express good wishes to strangers, and not only will you feel happier, but you’ll make their day too.
2. Volunteer with East London Cares
Meeting new people, creating connections and learning something new is a great way of keeping any feelings of loneliness at bay. Why not sign up to take part in our activities? Come along to an online quiz, socially distanced face-to-face meet up, or even sign up to our Love Your Neighbour programme to get to know a neighbour one-on-one.
3. Call a friend
Everyone knows what it’s like to feel lonely, but we don’t always share how we’re feeling with friends or family. Sometimes picking up the phone and talking to someone can help. And not only will talking about it make you feel better, it will give the person on the other end of the phone a chance to share their experiences, too.
4. Take up a new hobby
Start something new; whether that is gardening, reading a new book, learning a language or beginning rock climbing. Getting started with a new hobby is not only a great way of meeting new people and having a chat, but it is also a great way to stay motivated and active.
5. Send a letter or card to a friend or family member (even if they live around the corner!)
Make someone's day this year and send them a card or letter in the post. Royal Mail have created special postmarks on all mail delivered between 15-19th June, with the national Loneliness Awareness Week Logo. You never know, in a few weeks time you may be surprised and receive a card in the post or a call from someone (!)
Have you got any other ideas you’d like to share? Send us your own tips on tackling loneliness or let us know if you have tried any of our tips!
We’re tackling isolation and loneliness in east London every day.
Support our work by donating to our #NoOneLeftBehind fundraising campaign here.
Posted by Rob Paterson on Tuesday 8th June 2021
Development Coordinator for East London Cares.