Loneliness is one of the most overlooked factors affecting people's wellbeing, particularly our mental health. It describes a sensation of:
Feeling nobody understands us and we don't fit in anywhere
Wishing we had a special person in our life to share our time, thoughts and feelings with.
Being isolated in our homes with no contact from people outside
Feeling everyone has an exciting, happy life going on when we have nothing in our own.
Being surrounded by lots of people - busy work etc, but still feeling disconnected from everyone.
Having no stimulating conversation, no physical contact like a hug and nobody to share our day
Feeling daily routines are pointless, like cooking for one or bothering to care for our appearance
Never having anywhere to go, or things to do
Being in a relationship but feeling alone despite their physical presence.
volunteer to end loneliness:
join in with beating loneliness
Wellbeing in Action are running an End Loneliness Campaign including the following events and activities. SEE BELOW FOR WHAT'S HAPPENING:
We need volunteers to help us combat loneliness...
Visitors and befrienders for the elderly, isolated, disabled and people living with mental health difficulty such as anxiety and agoraphobia
Event facilitators - people who can help run weekly or monthly groups for people to get in touch with each other
Awareness Raisers - getting into schools and community groups to talk about loneliness and inspire people to tackle it in their own local area
Online facilitators - responding to messages from people suffering loneliness, providing a friendly response, suggesting activities or other organisations that could help and being someone to reach out to.
VISIT OUR VOLUNTEERING PAGE TO FIND MORE INFORMATION, EXPRESS INTEREST OR SIGN UP
You may feel alone, but we're just a message away, and it could be the best few minutes you ever invested in yourself!
We won't force you to join a group or go to an event. We're just a pretty friendly bunch of people who've all been in a lonely place at some time or other, and know that having someone out there to reach out to makes a world of difference.
You can message us through our Facebook page, or on our live-chat here. If you need to speak in person, just leave a phone number & tell us when is best to call.
We don't yet have a 24 hour crisis line so if you're feeling really desperate and need to talk to a life saver immediately, click here to go to our emergency numbers.
WHY DOES IT MATTER SO MUCH?
Being alone isn't, in itself, a problem for lots of people. But when you feel unhappy with that situation and, over time, it begins to affect how you view your life, then being alone has swapped to being lonely, and that's where a red flag is raised.
Loneliness is when you have too much unwanted alone time and wish it was different. You can quickly become depressed, lose confidence and become very withdrawn (the very opposite of how you want to be!)
Elderly people can feel very isolated in their own homes - with the busy world passing by their window. Without stimulation or purpose, they may begin to neglect aspects of their pride in self-care - no longer cooking for themselves or bothering with home hygiene or appearance and physical fitness. Depression can lead to dark thoughts and affect physical health, our immune systems and ability to think and function clearly.
Young people can likewise feel lonely, even when surrounded by hundreds of their peers, at school for example. Feeling left out, becoming to believe we are somehow abnormal and shredding our self esteem with self doubt until it affects our ability to make and enjoy relationships, creates fatigue and inability to concentrate and even tips into severe anxiety and sometimes suicidal thoughts.
Some people feel intense loneliness when a relationship ends, or a bereavement happens - adjusting to life after years of companionship can be extremely tough.
And, for many, feeling lonely as a lone-parent, without adult company and with restrictions on our social time to prevent keeping our other relationships beyond our child's needs can be a prison we feel ashamed to admit in case we are criticized for being a bad parent.
People can also suffer acute loneliness within their own family home - maybe becoming disconnected with no communication from a partner, even facing emotional abuse and having nobody to trust or share our thoughts with.
And, of course, it can be a temporary, practical reason - like moving to a new area and having nobody to explore and take up our hobbies and interests with.
There are no two versions of loneliness and Wellbeing in Action don't judge which is yours! We simply take action tobuild relationships that prevent people falling into a situation where they feel they have nobody at all, create opportunities to bring people together who might otherwise not even know each other, and design vibrant activities that keep your physical and mental health buoyant to be able to cope with a healthy balance of alone time and social time - removing the barriers that prevent this whenever we can.
END LONELINESS EVENTS...
IDEAL FOR: Single people aged 21+ either ready to do the single mingle and find their mind-mate, find a whole pile of new friends, or just stretch their social life to the max!
WHEN: SEPTEMBER 2020 TBC
VENUE: GOOD KARMA CLUB POP UP TBC
WHAT: Apply to join a highly relaxed, humorous mix of dining, entertainment, meeting of the minds, with a dash of speed date and a highly entertaining group mingle to end the night. Beautiful styled restaurant, menu courses prepared by young student chefs, live entertainment and ice breakers, and plenty of opportunity to both line up your favourite hot date, while also making a bunch of new friends and starting off some awesome loneliness busting activities.
HOW: Book with the online questionnaire to receive your information and Mingle Pack or visit our Facebook page and join our private single mingle group online if you wish!
IDEAL FOR: People of all ages with a talent, skill or something to share
WHEN: TBC - Coronavirus pending
VENUE: TBC - Newton Abbot & Torbay
WHAT: We're hosting two Generation Share Events - bringing together people of all age groups to facilitate workshops from story-telling, fitness, technology, crafts & sewing, music, cooking and social history. Participants will enjoy learning and educating - passing on traditional skills and local stories and updating with new generation talent, energy and skills. Volunteers may go on to deliver regular workshops - becoming a story teller at the local library, or setting up a yoga or walking group or community choir... we'll be challenging young and old alike to give new things a go together!
HOW: Booking will open on health advice and we will contact schools, colleges, community groups and place information on social media. Follow our facebook page for updates.
CREAM OR JAM FIRST
IDEAL FOR: Aimed at elderly people who rarely get to have social time and who love a good natter, a little music, a bit of foot action, and arguing over whether the cream or jam goes on the scone first!
WHEN: Last Wednesday of each month - 2-4pm
WHERE: South Devon Cricket Club Social Hall
WHAT: Young Volunteers put on an afternoon of music, entertainment and refreshments & support elderly residents to attend for company and laughter. Our young people's social action team provide the catering, music and spend time socialising with the guests, building relationships that extend beyond the afternoon event.
HOW: Free event - simply turn up on the day, though it's helpful to let us know you're coming (for scone numbers!) by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org or messaging via our facebook page or the contact page on this website.
NB: Event currently pending health advice - please check before setting off!