Two thirds of Brits have felt lonely in the past year, new research has revealed.
Commissioned by PG tips in support of Samaritans Brew Monday, the study sheds new light on the far-reaching impact of loneliness, its causes, and how people can overcome it.
Whilst 25-34-year olds reported the highest levels of loneliness – with 82% of respondents saying they had felt lonely in the past year – the study has shown the issue affects people of all ages, in all areas of the UK.
Major life changes such as becoming a new parent, bereavement or moving to a new area were all identified as key factors attributing to people’s loneliness.
The survey also highlighted that more than half of Brits (52%) say they are less likely to admit to being lonely because there is stigma attached.
However, with 9 in 10 (87%) saying getting together over a cup of tea would help them feel less lonely, PG tips has pledged its support to Samaritans Brew Monday, a fundraising initiative that encourages people to come together over a cuppa.
Turning the idea of ‘Blue Monday’ on its head into something positive, Samaritans Brew Monday encourages people to get together with family, friends or colleagues for a chat and a warming cuppa throughout January and February. Taking time to listen to another person could help them through a tough time and having a brew together is a great excuse to do just that. People can use their get-together to raise money for Samaritans, so someone having a tough time has somewhere to turn. Brew Monday has the backing of British stars including Dame Julie Walters, former Bake Off contestant Michael Chakraverty and comedian Rachel Parris.
Dame Julie Walters said: “Talking is really important – to get it out of your head and into the atmosphere and for someone to witness that, is important in life. I’m supporting Brew Monday as I believe we need to listen, notice and talk to people. It isn’t a problem to talk about how you are feeling, and things won’t get out of control, if anything it will dissipate. It’s about not being afraid to approach somebody and noticing what’s happening around you.”
Great British Bake Off’s Michael Chakraverty has also pledged his support to the campaign, saying: “During practice for Bake Off I felt very lonely, as I’d be holed up in my kitchen baking. My close friends that knew I was on the show really lifted my spirits with small acts of kindness like dropping by with home cooked meals. Their support lifted me out of my loneliness, finding small moments of laughter and calm connections with those I’m close to.”
Fiachra Moloney, Director of Tea at Unilever UK said: “With two thirds of the population having experienced loneliness in the last year, there are at least 9 million people feeling lonely on any given day and we will all experience it at some point in our lives. We want everyone to feel open in talking about loneliness and that is why PG tips is proud to support Samaritans Brew Monday and together we’re encouraging the nation to reach out to anyone who might be affected by the issue.”
Samaritans volunteers will be providing free PG tips teabags to commuters passing through train stations across the country on Monday January 20.
This is first in a series of activities PG tips are supporting in 2020 via partnerships with Samaritans, Time to Change and The Big Lunch. The brand has also launched a national advertising campaign to encourage the nation to get together over a cup of tea which can be viewed at www.youtube.com/pgtipsofficial
To sign up for a free Brew Monday fundraising pack, visit https://www.samaritans.org/support-us/campaign/brew-monday.