Loneliness Awareness Week 2024: Why Tackling Loneliness and Social Isolation is Important

June 10, 2024

Did you know that, according to the Campaign to End Loneliness, 45% of adults feel occasionally, sometimes or often lonely in England? This equates to around 5 million people.

This Loneliness Awareness Week, we want to highlight how vital it is, as a company and as people, to help combat loneliness and social isolation.

Why has the level of loneliness increased?

New technologies have fundamentally changed how we socialise as a species both personally as professionally. Many people use the internet for majority of their social interaction alongside the rise of hybrid and remote working, people don’t get the same human interaction as they used to.

Whilst these advancements have many positive aspects such as being able to speak with friends and family across the world, and more flexibility in the workspace, it can also have a negative impact on our relationships.

For some, an office may be the only time they interact with someone else, and with these spaces disappearing, it’s important to think what alternative is available.

What is the impact of the rise in loneliness?

This has had a major impact on how we meet, interact, form relationships, maintain communities and support each other.

Rising loneliness is a social concern that can lead to depression and suicide but also accelerate the onset of illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease and cancer, meaning there is more pressure on our healthcare infrastructure.

Additionally, as the wellbeing of people slowly diminishes, it can affect other aspects of their lives, such as having to take time off work, adding more stress to an already difficult situation.

In short, mass loneliness is steadily unpicking many of the threads that underpin both our health and wealth.

What have we done so far?

gunnercooke are committed to combating loneliness and social isolation, and, through the gunnercooke foundation, have been supporting Community Interest Company, House of Books and Friends.

The bookshop provides that integral third space for people in the local area to meet and talk, whether that be with the friendly bookworms, or other reading enthusiasts.

They also host a variety of events throughout the year, including children’s storytimes, book clubs, meet the author and much more.

Darryl Cooke, Chairman of the gunnercooke foundation, added: “Loneliness is a widespread and growing issue, especially among younger people. A YouGov study suggested that 9 in 10 people between the age of 18 to 24 suffered from loneliness at some point in their lives.

“Bookshops are the centre of communities and can provide a much-needed service that improves people’s lives. Reading is a hobby that connects us physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually; when we read, we are not alone.

“Our bookshops will offer a space to create activities that will bond communities, from reading clubs to walking groups to wine societies. Our focus will be to connect all the charities we work with and at the heart to develop a culture of connection that will combat loneliness.”

If you would like to visit House of Books and Friends, you can find it at 81 King Street, Manchester M2 4AH or using What Three Words: ///stars.wished.papers.

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