Loneliness is described by the ‘Campaign to End Loneliness’ as ‘an
unwelcome feeling of lack or loss of companionship, which happens when
we have a mismatch between the quantity and quality of social
relationships that we have, and those that we want’.
We probably all know what it feels like and experience it at
times. Loneliness can affect anyone at any stage of their life.
It can affect people of all ages and from all backgrounds - from the
bullied school child, to the new mother, to the pensioner who has
outlived her friends and immediate family. Feeling lonely becomes a
major problem when people are overwhelmed by it – when it is chronic -
and can’t, for many reasons, take action to tackle it.
Thankfully we have recently seen an increased awareness of the issue of
loneliness. The appointment of Tracey Crouch as 'Minister for
Loneliness', follows the high profile 'Campaign to End Loneliness' and the
"Loneliness - start a conversation' campaign set up in Jo Cox's name, are
helping bring loneliness to everyone's attention. However, we believe
there is more to be done.
The Gift of Friendship Mission - how we can help.
Jo Cox put it perfectly, “young or old, loneliness doesn’t discriminate...it is something many of us could easily help with. Looking in on a neighbour, visiting an elderly relative or making that call or visit we’ve been promising to a friend we haven’t seen in a long time.”
TG has made it our mission to help reduce loneliness, by asking members and non-members alike to encourage any apparently isolated or lonely woman to get involved with their local guild, and if they are able, by gifting them TG Membership. By becoming a member, they will discover the true gift is friendship and that being around like-minded individuals will help combat their feeling of isolation.
You can buy and give the 'Gift of Friendship' – which is a voucher for the National element of TG membership or for full Associate Membership. For more details click here
Click here to download .ZIP file media press pack
Other ways to combat loneliness
We can also support the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness both as an organisation and as individuals.
The following thought provoking poem was written specially for the TG 2017 Carol Services, we feel it sums up loneliness and the importance of friendship.
What a wonderful feeling to be here with our friends
In this season of festivity and joy
We are celebrating our friendship
And the birth of Mary’s sweet boy
But how will we feel when we say our goodbyes
Will we go home with our own key?
Will family or a good neighbour pop in
Joining us for a nice cup of tea?
Or like so many people these days
Will we not see a soul for a week?
Or, if we go shopping, just to get out
Will we find people too busy to speak?
Consider the homeless people you pass
It costs nothing to give them a smile
They may look a bit dirty and scary
But not many CHOOSE that lifestyle
They may have been soldiers fighting for us
Out of sight, out of mind for so many
But the lack of employ meant when they returned
Means they have to beg for each penny
Or the little old lady with her carrier bags
All piled in a tatty old trolley
Just imagine how lonely and frightened she is
She’ll be seeing no turkey or holly
Give her a smile if nothing else
It may warm her heart just a touch
To know that you noticed her there in the street
A small gesture can mean so much
Give a smile and a wave to new neighbours
Don’t worry if they don’t wave to you
Just keep trying and smiling till you get a response
You’ll all be so pleased when you do
Now remember that this is Christmas
The season of goodwill and love
Celebrate the birth of our Saviour
Sent from the Father above
Born to the Virgin Mary, who loved her beautiful child
Too soon to see Him on the cross
Gentle Jesus, meek and mild
What greater love than to give God’s own son
To the world to do with what they will
Let us try to make sure that this sacrifice
Sends the message of love to all still
So treasure your friendships and make many more
Just by smiling and touching of hands
We will make this world a happier place
And this country the safest of lands.
Ellen Jenkinson 2017