The Age of Loneliness

Posted by: Rakhee Rajani

Here at Stand, we understand that loneliness is one of the biggest public health challenges that this country faces. Tackling this issue is a huge one for two of our clients:  Anchor Care Homes and Contact The Elderly, who both do wonderful and important work to try and help those who are older and lonely.

Most of us associate loneliness with older people, but a recent BBC documentary, called The Age of Loneliness, reminded me that loneliness can occur at any stage in your life. It’s usually an event that triggers it like a divorce, a new baby, the death of a loved one or losing a job, but it really can hit anyone at any stage in their life.

I had been looking forward to watching the documentary as it was made by one of my favourite female documentary directors, Sue Bourne, who doesn’t shy away from difficult subjects and has made some of the most compelling documentaries of recent times.

It didn’t disappoint. Each of the 14 stories she told in the programme was powerful. They weaved together to paint a complex and comprehensive picture of Lonely Britain. I’ll happily admit that I welled up several times during the film and I think a few of my lovely Stand colleagues will admit to doing the same.

Although at its core it was a sad film, it wasn’t downbeat and there were glimmers of hope as people tried to do something to alleviate loneliness.  In Sue’s own words, she discovered whilst making the film that “there is this wonderful army of volunteers out there at the end of the phone making cups of tea, befriending services, mental health support groups. Little things make a huge difference.”

So… has the pandemic set us back or propelled us forward?

Last week, just days after the restrictions in England were lifted, we hosted our...

More information

Wellbeing is not a one-size-fits-all approach

It’s safe to say that being plunged into multiple lockdowns across the past 18...

More information

Covid-19 has given us a harsh lesson in education inequality

Although ‘Freedom Day’ is here, Covid’s effects will, as we hear all too often,...

More information

The pandemic of inequalities

Last week, the Health Foundation’s Unequal pandemic, fairer recovery report made headlines, revealing that...

More information

Has the pandemic set us back 50 years, or will it propel us forward?

At its onset, Covid-19 was described as the great leveller. But the pandemic has...

More information

Pride 2021: Tokenistic campaigns just won’t fly anymore

June is Pride Month, a time for celebrating the diverse accomplishments, identities, and members...

More information