Loughborough University launches 2018 festive campaign to raise awareness of loneliness at Christmas

Today, Loughborough University is launching its seasonal health and wellbeing campaign aimed at boosting your happiness during the following festive weeks.

MP Rachel Reeves

MP Rachel Reeves, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Loneliness, has backed Loughborough's campaign

This year, there is a focus on loneliness over the Christmas and New Year period, an issue which affects more than nine million men, women and children in the UK each year.

The campaign will highlight Loughborough’s research into the growing phenomenon and includes information about:

  • How our digital lifestyles affect our non-digital social networks
  • How using a traditional Hawaiian concept called kupuna (reminiscing) can help alleviate loneliness
  • How young carers face isolation because of unrelenting care duties
  • And how the New Year and returning to university can bring feelings of solitude and isolation for students up and down the country

MP Rachel Reeves, the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Loneliness, who has backed the initiative, and is today officially launching the campaign.

She said: “In my role as chair of the APPG on loneliness and as an MP I regularly come across people who say they are lonely.

"The festive season can be particularly challenging for many and I welcome the timely launch of Loughborough University’s new campaign to raise awareness of the impact being lonely can have.

"Loneliness can affect anyone and can have a devastating impact on people’s lives, yet it is the small things which can make a real difference, even something as simple as asking someone how they are.

"All of us have a role to play in tackling loneliness whether as friends, family, community members and as professionals.”

More on the Loughborough University Christmas and New Year campaign

Though the primary focus is to raise awareness of loneliness at Christmas, the Loughborough campaign will also feature a number of festive treats, such as a seasonal poetry podcast, with Dr Oli Tearle, and a feature about what literature tells us about the ways Christmas dinner has changed through history, by Dr Joan Fitzpatrick.

Two academics will cook up a long-forgotten 17th century recipe for a meat-filled mince pie.

D‌r Sara Read and Dr Jennifer Evans will demonstrate a 400-year-old Christmas pye (mince pie) recipe

There is also a sustainable feel to this year’s campaign, with Dr Elliot Woolley highlighting Christmas food waste and Dr Kerri Akiwowo sharing creative gift ideas that will help shoppers be more environmentally-friendly.

Professor Liz Stokoe – an expert in Social Interaction – will teach you how to tell if someone doesn’t like their Christmas Day gift, and more importantly, she’ll reveal how you can hide your own dissatisfaction.

And if you’ve wondered how Brexit will affect the best meal of the year, your Christmas dinner, then Hana Trollman will discuss politics and parsnips.

Students Union

The volunteering section of Loughborough Students’ Union (LSU), called Action, is also doing its bit to ensure everyone has a very merry Christmas.

Students have teamed up with Toys on the Table for ‘Operation Jingle Bells’ – a festive gift appeal that looks to provide 500 toys to local children who would otherwise receive nothing.

More information on their efforts can be found here.

For information about support and guidance related to loneliness visit: British Red Cross


Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 18/159

Loughborough University is equipped with a live in-house broadcast unit via the Globelynx network. To arrange an interview with one of our experts please contact the press office on 01509 223491. Bookings can be made online via www.globelynx.com

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2018 QS World University Rankings, top in the country for its student experience in the 2018 THE Student Experience Survey and named University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2019 and the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2018.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 4th in the Guardian University League Table 2019, 5th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019 and 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2019. It was also named Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities.

It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.