Member of Parliament for the Cities of London & Westminster Nickie Aiken has joined a national campaign to help tackle loneliness this winter.
Nickie is supporting 12 days of action to counter loneliness this Christmas as part of a push by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Loneliness and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
The MPs and peers are helping to spread the message that it’s OK to feel lonely and it’s OK to talk about it. The campaign comes at a time when British Red Cross research shows 39% of adults haven’t had a meaningful conversation in a fortnight and around a third (32%) worry something will happen to them and no one will notice.
Nickie is supporting the campaign alongside members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Loneliness to show the sorts of simple things people can do to help those who are feeling lonely and cut off from others as Christmas approaches.
Starting on Sunday, December 13, MPs and peers will make a small but crucial contribution each day – including promoting the Government’s #LetsTalkLoneliness campaign online, talking about the issue with colleagues over a cup of tea, finding out more about local services, activities and groups and sharing their own experiences of loneliness or isolation with others.
The British Red Cross is the co-secretariat, along with the Co-op, of the APPG on Loneliness.
Head of health and resilience policy for the charity Olivia Field said:
“As the holiday season approaches, it’s crucial that we all stay in touch and remind others that we are there for them and thinking about them at a time when Covid-19 is keeping us apart.
“MPs and peers are uniquely placed in their community to reach out to those who may need a little extra support – they know is most vulnerable in their communities and what can be done locally to help them.
“Everyone can make a contribution in their community, family and workplace this winter by being there to talk, listen and help where we can.”
The APPG on Loneliness is asking people to support the Government’s #LetsTalkLoneliness by sharing information about ways in which people can access support during the winter months.
The Let’s Talk Loneliness campaign aims to reduce the stigma associated with loneliness and to remind people that there’s no shame in asking for help.
Throughout December, the Let's Talk Loneliness advent calendar is sharing practical advice, inspiring stories, and support routes to encourage people to take the first steps to alleviate loneliness in themselves and others. The website has lots of useful advice on how to help yourself and others safely.
Anyone can contact the British Red Cross coronavirus support line on 0808 196 3651 (10am-6pm seven days a week) or access a great toolkit of resources for adults and young people, including online group sessions and digital classrooms, as well as thought-provoking podcasts where others share their experiences of tackling loneliness.
If you are feeling lonely and would like to reach out call the British Red Cross coronavirus support line on 0808 196 3651 or access the charity’s online loneliness resources at www.redcross.org.uk/loneliness-resources