LONELINESS AWARENESS WEEK 2022
Loneliness is something that will affect us all at some point in our lives. We became painfully aware of this during the coronavirus restrictions which saw us isolating for long periods of time. Although we are lucky to have technology that helped keep us connected to one another, there is nothing as powerful as being sat in the same room with friends, sharing their energy and being able to offer a hug when things are tough.
Loneliness Awareness Week this year is 13th - 17th June and is run by the Marmalade Trust. It’s an opportunity for us to talk about something that most people don’t feel comfortable confessing. I have experienced severe loneliness despite all the protective factors in my life: close family, happy relationship, deep friendships etc., so I am acutely aware of the fact that when I meet someone, all may not be as it seems. I am the first to share that I have brushed over my own loneliness because it feels awkward or heavy to talk about; or I don’t want to bother someone. Loneliness is often exacerbated by change, and key life points for loneliness are: starting a new school, leaving home and going to university, starting a new job, moving house, becoming a parent, children flying the nest, retirement and bereavement. These are all fairly typical life events, so we can expect that this will affect all of us at least a little bit at some point.
We are going to be making friendship braids as a way of getting conversations started about loneliness, and help
people get the support they need. The design we’ll be making is called a Peruvian Wave which in bright colours looks like a series of rainbows, which is a symbol of hope for many. The braids can be worn as a bracelet or keyring and used as a way of starting conversations about loneliness or you could give it to someone else with a little message of hope to brighten their day. If you would like to take part, you can download the instructions HERE.
I really feel that one of our core aims at the Timebank is to connect up our community in a way that helps banish loneliness, so if you’re struggling please do get in touch.