All images are courtesy of the Jo Cox Foundation
Kicking off on Blue Monday (17 January) and running until 30 January, the Great Winter Get Together is the Jo Cox Foundation’s annual campaign to bring people together and reduce the stigma associated with loneliness – including the discomfort people feel talking about it. Around the UK the charity will be encouraging people to take action ranging from starting the conversation with those closest to them, up to organising community events.
We are thrilled to be working with the Jo Cox Foundation on this campaign, assisting with media outreach to increase the public’s awareness of this fantastic two-week event. In advance of The Great Winter Get Together launching, we have already secured the support of Times Radio, The Daily Express (Express Online) and a wide variety of regional press including; ITV Calendar, BBC TV London, The Yorkshire Post, Telegraph and Argus Online and the Dorset Echo Online. We’ll be sharing more details of the campaign on our social media channels over the coming weeks. You can find us on twitter @charitablepr and Instagram @charitable_pr.
The Jo Cox Foundation exists to build a positive legacy for Jo Cox MP, who was murdered on 16 June 2016. Its vision is a kinder, more compassionate society, where every individual has a sense of belonging and where we recognise that we have more in common than that which divides us. The Foundation works locally to foster strong communities in the UK, nationally to build a better public life and internationally to stand up for vulnerable people around the world.
As part of The Great Winter Get Together campaign, the Jo Cox Foundation has conducted research which has revealed, while Brits most commonly think that over 80s are the most lonely age group, the reality is the opposite. Young people aged 16-24 are, with a staggering 94% reporting ever feeling lonely in the past month, versus 51% of those in the oldest age bracket. Yet only 8% of the UK population correctly identified young people as being the loneliest, demonstrating a huge disconnect between reality and public perception.
The research shows that ethnic minority Brits are significantly more likely to ever feel lonely – with 80% having reported feeling loneliness in the past month, dropping to 65% among white Brits. There is also a significant difference between genders – with women more likely than men to ever feel lonely (71% vs. 63%). However, almost half of young men said they would feel judged by friends or family when talking about being lonely, much higher than their female peers.
Su Moore, CEO of the Jo Cox Foundation, has this to say about the campaign:
“Last year, an incredible 3.5 million people across the UK took part in the Great Winter Get Together. At this difficult time of the year, we need to have the courage to talk about loneliness, even if it feels uncomfortable. Our research shows that among young people, the most helpful way to tackle loneliness is the support of friends and family so we want everyone to know there’s no shame in sharing.”
“That’s why from 17-30 January we’re asking people to get involved with the Great Winter Get Together by taking action in their lives. That could look like checking in with a friend who’s going through a big life change, bringing up the topic in your new parents group, organising a walk in your community so people can connect, or simply letting someone you trust know when you’re feeling lonely. Sometimes the ‘smallest’ actions actually make the biggest difference.”
Comedian, TV presenter, and Strictly Come Dancing star Judi Love is among a host of famous faces supporting this campaign to reduce the stigma around loneliness. She said:
“This past year has shown us that loneliness is something that can affect anyone. Feeling like you have no access to loved ones, when you’re facing challenges and even when you’re accomplishing great achievements – we just sometimes want to share the moment with someone. There will be many occasions during which we have to stand alone and face ourselves, however, never be afraid or ashamed to say you’re feeling a bit lonely.”
Anyone can take part in the Great Winter Get Together 2022 – by sharing their own experience, reaching out to someone they know who might be lonely, or organising an event to bring people together. To get involved, visit the Great Get Together website today for a toolkit of practical tips, and join the conversation on social media using #NoShameInSharing.