Campaign to combat Brighton and Hove's 'loneliness epidemic'
Impetus has around 400 volunteers in the city providing befriending and advocacy services to help reduce loneliness in the community.
Jo Ivens, Impetus's CEO, sais: "The chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners stated recently that social isolation and loneliness are akin to a chronic long-term condition in terms of the impact they have on patients’ health and well-being. I think that sums up how serious this issue is, not least in Brighton. That's why we're launching the Connect 4 campaign at a time of year when many people feel loneliness even more acutely as the days grow darker.”
The Connect 4 campaign has been backed by a local folk-rock band 40 Shillings on the Drum, who will play two fundraising gigs at The Prince Albert on November 17 and at Impetus's fundraising Winter Festival at The Brunswick on December 2.
Winners of Churchill Square's Busk Stop competition last summer, the five-piece band sing about life, love and friendship, and are hoping to raise awareness of the issue of loneliness while raising money for the charity.
The band's guitarist Steve, 33, of Peacehaven, feels particularly close to the charity's mission, having had his own debilitating experiences of loneliness as a young adult.
He said: "I pulled away from the world. Looking back, although I talked about my depression and feelings of loneliness to my GP there was no signposting to other services. I felt very alone and know now that I would've benefited from social support and a sympathetic ear. And those were the days of very slow dial-up internet, so no chat forums or easy to access online help.
"I was aware of Brighton and Hove Impetus, and the services they provide, before the Connect 4 Loneliness Campaign. There is a poignant fit with my experiences. Me and the band want to give something back and raise awareness of the issue of loneliness and social isolation. There is no reason why anyone should feel alone and suffer as a result."
To find out more about the Connect 4 campaign, and to donate, visit: www.bh-impetus.org/connect4