Virtual festival will combat Brighton's massive rise in loneliness

Together Co, the Brighton & Hove-based charity that exists to end loneliness, is hosting a virtual music festival.

Stranger Girl
Stranger Girl

On Saturday, May 30, more than 20 bands will perform for free to raise money to help the most vulnerable and isolated.

TogetherFest will see bands perform including Melissa Bel, Luna Blue and Dakka Skanks. From midday on Saturday, May 30, each band will release a mini gig that can be viewed for free via Youtube, Instagram and Facebook.

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Everyone taking part is giving their time for free to encourage people to find out about new music in Brighton – and then donate if they enjoyed the music to support Together Co’s essential work.

Melissa Douglas, lead singer from Stranger Girl, said: “So many people have experienced loneliness and right now it is worse than ever for people who are isolated. I’m taking part in TogetherFest because we can make a difference. Together Co is doing so much to help people realise they are not alone and that people do care. Community is so important right now, and I think we need to all try to do our little bit to help with this.”

Jo Crease, CEO of TogetherCo, added: “Together Co Befriending has seen a 781 per cent increase in referrals compared to the same period last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Every single pound raised by the virtual festival will make a difference – from helping train more volunteers to deliver food or offer friendly phone chats. It will also help develop resources to support a city-wide response to loneliness.”

Jo added: “Loneliness has direct impact on every aspect of health and, since lockdown, we’ve seen the situation in Brighton and Hove dramatically worsen as people have been forced to isolate.

“For those already extremely vulnerable, it has made even basic everyday tasks such as going food shopping almost impossible.

“We believe no one should be isolated which is why we act every day to bring people together and build connections that change lives.

“TogetherFest is going to be brilliant and is a chance to prove what can be done when a community comes together. A huge thank you to every band that takes part and please know every pound raised for us will make a huge difference.

“Together Co is still working to support our members, clients and volunteers in the best and safest way we can. All staff are working from home, and while office phones are being forwarded. If you'd like to help us support people during this challenging time, please let us know by emailing [email protected] We are experiencing high demand, but will reply as soon as possible.

“Emergency funding is critical to scale up our frontline services to meet increasing demand during the coronavirus crisis: Text TOGETHERCO to 70085 to donate £5. Thank you for your support.

“Texts cost £5 plus one standard rate message and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via telephone and SMS. If you’d like to give £5 but do not wish to receive marketing communications, text TOGETHERCONOINFO to 70085.

To donate more than £5 click here: http://togetherco.org.uk/support-us.”

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