Campaign launching to tackle loneliness
The Make Someone’s Day campaign is launching in Erdington, Birmingham on Friday 30 August, to spread the message that starting conversations with people can lead to friendship and acts of kindness.
By 2020, almost 57,000 people aged 65 plus will be living alone in Birmingham, increasing their risk of being isolated. This is more than half of all over 65s in the city, and more than most other parts of the UK. However, the campaign’s message is that people do not need to be alone, and anyone can ‘make someone’s day’ by talking to those around them, and making such conversations a habit.
A group of citizens who run a befriending scheme in Tyburn called Community Organisers, and Brian Carr, Chief Executive of BVSC will attend the launch in Pype Hayes Park.
Brian said, “Research shows that the more people you talk to, the happier you are. Some people don’t get the chance to speak to anyone, even on a weekly basis.
“Checking in with a neighbour, and taking time to connect with those around you can make a huge difference. It can make someone’s day.”
Nina, 67 from Tyburn, a ‘Community Organiser’ who have experienced social isolation and helped develop the campaign from the beginning, said, “Without connections, you get stuck in a rut, and out of the habit of meeting people.
“Everyone has a story and something to say. If I’m taking the bus, I try and chat with people at the bus stop as I know it can really make my day, and someone else’s too!”
The Make Someone’s Day campaign is run by Ageing Better in Birmingham, a programme working to reduce isolation for people aged 50 and over in the city. It is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and delivered by a partnership led by Birmingham Voluntary Service Council (BVSC).
For information about how to get involved, including tips on how to start conversations, go to: www.ageingbetterinbirmingham.co.uk/makesomeonesday, email: ageingbetter[at]bvsc[dot]org or call 0121 678 8876.