Today, MSN is launching a Campaign Against Loneliness, to increase awareness of the issue across the UK. And we are very happy to be taking part in the campaign!
In January, the Prime Minister asked the Office for National Statistics to find a way to measure loneliness in the population. To help with this, a Technical Advisory Group was set up. The Advisory Group includes charities, researchers, and government departments who will help identify the best way to do this. Earlier this week, our CEO Tim attended an Advisory Group meeting to hear their progress and represent WaveLength.
Shirley Loveday at UK Power Networks has guest authored today’s blog post. Shirley works for the Customer Vulnerability team, promoting the support that is available free of charge to vulnerable people in the event of a power cut. People with a wide variety of needs can access this support, including pensioners, families with young children, and people with special needs, disabilities or health conditions. Many of WaveLength’s beneficiaries live in these circumstances, and could benefit from this support. But it is only available to people who register. So if you would benefit from this support, or if you know someone who would, please read more below and sign up!
When we talk about domestic abuse, most people think about women being the victims, and men the abusers. And in the majority of cases, this is true. However, more than 40% of domestic abuse victims are male. In fact, it is estimated that 1 in 6 men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime. Many male victims of abuse don’t know where to turn for help, so can be stuck in their abuse or end up homeless. However, there are some refuges that support and house male survivors of abuse.
WaveLength is a charity that works to alleviate loneliness across the UK. We give technology to people who are lonely and living in poverty to help them reconnect with the world. We support people with a wide range of different needs. These include illness, disability, old age, domestic abuse, homelessness, refugees, and many more. In this video, our Ambassador Kirsty Rose Heslewood explains a little more about who we are and what we do.
Last year, with the generous support of the Clothworkers’ Livery Fund, we started a project to help survivors of domestic abuse overcome loneliness. We have been gifting tablet computers to domestic abuse refuges and the people they help.
Loneliness and social isolation are the biggest challenges faced by refugees arriving in London. They have been forced to leave their home country, their community and often their family as they flee war and persecution. New refugees are keen to make friends and contribute to society, but they face language and cultural barriers that can make this difficult. These barriers can separate refugees from the people around them, and make building a new life very lonely work.
This month, the Spotlight on Loneliness campaign focuses on mental health. The relationship between this and loneliness is complicated. Having poor mental health can increase one’s chance of feeling lonely, and loneliness can be damaging to mental health. This month we will see both sides of the equation, and hear from some people working to help those affected.
There are an estimated 6.5 million carers in the UK and statistics from the ONS (Office for National Statistics) have recently reported suicide rates for male and female care workers are now three times the national average.
Throughout August we will be shining the spotlight on loneliness among carers. Nearly 7 million adults in the UK look after a sick or disabled family member or friend who cannot care for themselves. Carers often have little time to themselves and can become lonely and socially isolated.
When the University of York researched our work last year, they found that media technology could help recovering addicts to reduce their use of damaging substances. That is why we donate TVs and radios to organisations like Growing Rooms, a service offered by St George’s Crypt to help homeless people overcome addiction.
Here, Christine from St George’s Crypt tells us more about Growing Rooms and the difference it makes to service users.
Today’s guest blog is part of our Spotlight on Homeless month and has been written by Sarah Findlay of Cairn Housing Association, which provides affordable housing and support services to thousands of people across Scotland. One of those houses is Glentanar Court where Sarah develops a variety of projects and activities for residents. Here, Sarah tells us about how social media and WaveLength tablet computers can bring tenants together.
To help us fund more projects like these please donate to our Spotlight campaign today. Thank you.
This May we went to Leeds to visit St. George’s Crypt. St. George’s offers homeless men and women in and around the city vital support in the form of accommodation, training and therapeutic care. For this week’s blog, Christine from St. George’s tells us more about the work that she and her colleagues do at the Crypt, and the ways that we at WaveLength are able to help them help others.
This month we will be shining the spotlight on loneliness caused by homelessness.
This month we have been focussing on men as part of our Spotlight on Loneliness campaign. We have seen how family breakdown and domestic abuse can lead men into homelessness, and how isolating this can be. In this blog post, we will explore how the Man Box and societal pressure can leave men battling loneliness and isolation.
At the beginning of our Spotlight on Care Leavers month, we learnt why this group of young adults can be particularly at risk of loneliness. We’ve heard from care leavers like Kayla, who have benefited from Wavelength’s support. In her final post, Ruth explains how Become’s new coaching programme is trying to tackle some of the root causes of loneliness among this group of young people.
Throughout February we have been exploring the issue of office loneliness – the impact of being lonely at work, signs that your colleagues might be suffering from loneliness and tips from organisations and entrepreneurs for building a happy workplace.
To round off our Loneliness in the Workplace month, coach and training consultant Katie Duckworth kindly agreed to author a guest blog for us. Here she shares her experience of office loneliness, and her expertise on how employers can support their workers to feel less lonely and isolated in their work.