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Three Rivers supports Loneliness Awareness Week

16th June 2020

A local council is supporting attempts to combat loneliness amongst residents during Loneliness Awareness Week. Loneliness Awareness Week (LAW) was started four years ago by the charity Marmalade Trust to raise awareness of loneliness and encourage people to speak about it openly. 

Last year 800 events took place and on the campaign launch day, conversations about loneliness were taking place every 5 seconds. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a virtual campaign called ‘One Less Lonely Voice’ is taking place. The ‘one’ has been taken out of the word loneliness, to signify one less lonely voice. 

Three Rivers District Council is an ambassador for the charity Small Acts of Kindness. The charity works throughout Hertfordshire to reduce loneliness and isolation for older people. 

Council staff are working closely with colleagues from Herts Police and the Fire Service to help to ensure that residents who are isolated are offered the correct support, or put in touch with local groups to help reduce loneliness. 

Over the past three months, the effects of lockdown and shielding have led to an increase in people feeling lonely. The council has been working to develop a webpage that lists online activities to help residents get back in touch with others in the community. The webpage at www.threerivers.gov.uk/livingalone will be updated as guidelines change and more activities can take place. 

Sara Bedford, Leader of the Council, said: “Loneliness affects many people in different ways. You do not have to live alone to feel lonely. The shutdown of almost all formal and informal social activities has had a huge impact on many of us. Loneliness impacts on a person’s well-being and mental health.” 

Andy Stovold, Head of Community partnerships, added: “I hope that everyone tries to understand loneliness, so they can help themselves or others to manage their feelings. Let’s be supportive, help people to connect, reduce their feelings of isolation, and help our communities flourish. 

“Please pick up the phone or check in on an older relative, neighbour or friend or perhaps speak to Age UK or Small Acts of Kindness on how you can help right now.” 

Get involved online and remember to tag your posts with #LetsTalkLoneliness. 

Learn more about Loneliness Awareness Week, go to www.marmaladetrust.org.

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