Christian campaign targets loneliness and isolation
This week, a campaign to raise awareness of the reality of loneliness and social isolation among people of all ages and backgrounds has been launched by Linking Lives UK.
The ‘Loneliness Lock-In’ is being launched on 7 October and provides an opportunity for those taking part to gain an understanding of the day to day life of those for whom loneliness is an ongoing reality. The challenge will be to spend up to 24 hours in isolation, having no contact with the outside world.
Jeremy Sharpe, National Director of Linking Lives UK, which is running the challenge, explains “as a national Christian charity, we believe that it is important for us to both make people aware of the issues surrounding those people struggling with loneliness, with a particular focus on individual Christians and churches.
“The challenge encourages people to make time and space to spend time alone, with no access to other people, telephones, gadgets or wifi! As part of the process, we expect that participants will acknowledge the experiences of those who live on their own and find it a daily challenge.”
The Loneliness Lock-In will also enable those taking part to raise funds towards the work of Linking Lives UK. The charity works with churches and Christian organisations to help set up befriending projects across the UK, and there are currently 30 such projects ranging from Aberdeen to Guernsey.
Linking Lives UK believes that the church has a key role to play in addressing loneliness, against the evidence that:
• More than 9 million people of all ages say they ‘always’ or ‘often’ feel lonely
• With over 50% of those aged 75 living alone, older people are at greater risk of isolation.
• 3.9M older people consider television as their main form of company
How to get involved
Participants can register to take part by visiting www.linkinglives.uk/loneliness-lock-in
Following registration, a Resource Pack, Guidelines and instructions will be made available.
Jeremy says: “We are encouraging people to try out new activities which they may not have taken part in such as artwork or jigsaw puzzles, or they could read a book of the Bible, pray write some letters.
“Whilst being a challenge, we hope that it can also be an uplifting and inspiring activity. To take part in the challenge, participants need to be aged 18 or over and will not be able to engage with it if there are any conditions which could affect their health and wellbeing.”