Celebrities and influencers back launch of Government campaign to tackle loneliness

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Celebrities and influencers join forces to tackle loneliness. Photo credit: UK Gov. Licence: PDM 1.0 DEED

TV personalities and social media influencers back the launch of a Government campaign to address the stigma around loneliness in young people. 

  • Loneliness Minister Stuart Andrew hosts meeting at 10 Downing Street to discuss loneliness among young people. 
  • Former Made in Chelsea star Josh Patterson and influencer and entrepreneur Brontë King among the high profile media personalities to support.
  • Stars back launch of Government campaign to address the stigma around loneliness. 

Eastenders star Bobby Brazier and Love Island finalist Tasha Ghouri are among the TV personalities and social media influencers working to normalise loneliness among young people as part of a new Government campaign.

Research shows that 16 to 24 year olds are the loneliest age group and are also the least likely to take action to help themselves. Figures show that nearly half of students admit they have hidden their feelings of loneliness for fear of being judged. 

In response, the Government is launching the next phase of its digital-led campaign to address the stigma around loneliness with young people. 

For six weeks, video content will run across social media platforms including YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, showing people experiencing loneliness in everyday situations such as moving away from home and scrolling on social media.

Clips will feature the campaign’s new strapline, ‘Loneliness. It’s a part of life. Let’s talk about it’, which aims to normalise loneliness and create a conversation on the topic in order to reduce the stigma. 

Ahead of the campaign launch, Loneliness Minister Stuart Andrew held a meeting at 10 Downing Street to enlist the help of high-profile figures with a combined following of 8.7 million across platforms on a pro bono basis. 

Brontë King, Bobby Brazier and Tasha Ghouri were joined by star of Netflix’s Heartstopper Bradley Riches and social media influencer Anastasia Kingsnorth to discuss their personal experiences and thoughts on the subject. 

Minister for Loneliness Stuart Andrew said:

We know that young people are the age group most affected by loneliness but they’re also the least likely to take action to support themselves. 

Our latest campaign will encourage young people to talk about their experiences, aiming to break down the stigma that so often prevents people from getting support. 

Everyone should know they are not alone and help is available.

Attendees of the round table offered their views on the causes of loneliness, spoke of their own personal experiences and suggested how they would support themselves or someone they knew if they were feeling lonely, such as getting involved in a hobby, club or inviting a friend for a tea or coffee and a chat. 

Actor and Model Bobby Brazier: 

Everyone feels lonely at points throughout their life because modern life can be very isolating. 

That’s why being part of this campaign is so important to me, to show that it’s okay and encouraged to talk about our feelings.

Actor Bradley Riches said: 

This campaign is extremely important to me because, as an autistic and queer individual, I have found myself extremely lonely at points throughout my life.

I think when people think of loneliness, they often think of older people, yet no one really talks about young people feeling lonely. 

This campaign is helping to create a space for people to get support and break down the stigma, because in life everyone will feel lonely at some point.

Influencer and entrepreneur Brontë King said: 

After starting a community to support girls during and after university, I have seen first-hand how common loneliness really is among 16 to 24 year olds. 

From that first year of university to navigating post grad life, it really can be a lonely period of time. That’s why being part of this campaign, making loneliness more of a talked about topic and giving people space to realise these feelings are normal, is so important and something I am so proud to be a part of.

Media personality Tasha Ghouri said: 

I’m proud to be a part of the loneliness campaign from the deaf representation side. It’s important to speak out whenever we feel lonely and normalise having these open conversations as it will help so many more people out there! 

From my own personal experiences being deaf and wearing a cochlear implant, it can be isolating at times and I had to look for support to guide me through, opening up and talking about how you feel does so much more good than letting it in.

Social media influencer Anastasia Kingsnorth said: 

Loneliness is a feeling that everyone has experienced at some stage, and it’s so important to understand that you are not alone in that feeling. 

The hardest part can be admitting it, but admitting it yourself, then speaking to someone else, is a big step in combating loneliness. Everyone should know it’s okay to feel that way.

TV personality and athlete Josh Patterson said:

Loneliness can affect us all in life, and in many different ways. Although to the masses it can appear that someone has everything and be surrounded by people, for me personally, it’s been about facing some of my passions alone.

When not everyone understands you or supports you, it can be incredibly isolating. It’s taken me a long time to grow from these sorts of experiences as I’ve been exposed to so many different environments and people. The biggest lesson I’ve learnt is that loneliness for me is about the environment I’m in; on one side I may feel isolated, but it can take time to feel valued, nurtured, and supported and there are actions we can take to feel less alone in this journey.

This is the message I wish to spread so more people can see the light that is there waiting to be found.

Video clips and campaign activity will signpost to the Better Health: Every Mind Matters loneliness website page, where people will find support and advice on how they can help others, as well as information on support routes to help them feel less lonely too. 

Discord, the online communication platform for the gaming world, will also be supporting the campaign by pointing users to resources on the Every Mind Matters website. As part of campaign activity, Discord will host a series of polls for their online community in March, helping to build up the supportive conversation around dealing with loneliness. 

The latest phase of the campaign ran in September 2023 and targeted students preparing for freshers’ week amid research finding that loneliness is something experienced by almost all students.

Since the government made a commitment to tackle the stigma of loneliness in 2018, campaign activity has reached at least 25 million people across the country, including those most at risk of loneliness. 

Since 2018, the Government and its partners have invested over £80 million in tackling loneliness, including up to £30 million allocated via the ‘Know Your Neighbourhood Fund’ creating volunteering opportunities and helping reduce loneliness in 27 disadvantaged areas.

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