Loneliness is as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. With this in mind, Age Concern Lancashire has launched its What The Flock (#WTF) campaign to raise awareness and provide extra support to people who are on their own.
Lonk is a lonely sheep who has lost his flock.
Yet ironically, he is not alone, as 1.2m people in the country are lonely.
The What The Flock (#WTFLancs) campaign focuses on mascot Lonk the sheep, drawn by Private Eye illustrator Tony Husband, who is sad and lonely until a group of socially conscious sheep on a neighbouring hillside realise that Lonk needs help.
Suzanne Carr, CEO of Age Concern, says: “This campaign is to raise funds to continue delivering our befriending service, which has been going for 38 years.
“In recent years it has been difficult to finance this, so we decided to up our game and come up with an outrageous campaign to highlight the issue of loneliness in Lancashire.
“Lonk is a breed of Lancashire sheep but as the breed faces distinction, Lonk has become quite lonely and wondering where his friends are. He finally finds some socially conscious sheep who are also lonely but want to get together to stop being sad and lonely.”
Age Concern has also joined forces with Lancashire microbrewery The Beer Brothers, who have created special What The Flock ale, which will be sold at various pubs and outlets, with proceeds going towards the campaign.
Tony Husband’s Lonk illustrations will be sold in Age Concern’s shops at Preston Market Place, Plungington Road, as well as Lostock Hall, Bamber Bridge, Leyland, Buckshaw Village and Chorley.
WTFLancs T-shirts will also be online early next month.
To make a donation to the #WTFLancs campaign, visit www.totalgiving.co.uk/mypage/WTFLancashire.
For more information, visit www.ageisjustanumber.org.uk/wtflancs
Loneliness, living alone and poor social connections are as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
Loneliness is worse for you than obesity.
Lonely people are more likely to suffer from dementia, heart disease and depression.
Loneliness is likely to increase your risk of death by 29%
Loneliness and older people
The number of over-50s experiencing loneliness is set to reach two million by 2025/6. This compares to around 1.4 million in 2016/7 – a 49% increase in 10 years (Age UK 2018, All The Lonely People)
There are 1.2m chronically lonely older people in the UK (Age UK 2016, No-one should have no one).
Half a million older people go at least five or six days a week without seeing or speaking to anyone at all (Age UK 2016, No-one should have no one).
Over half (51%) of all people aged 75 and over live alone (Office for National Statistics 2010. General Lifestyle Survey 2008).
Two fifths all older people (about 3.9 million) say the television is their main company (Age, U.K., 2014. Evidence Review: Loneliness in Later Life. London: Age UK).
According to the ONS, there are more than 2.2 million people aged 75 and over living alone in Great Britain, an increase of almost a quarter (24%) over the past 20 years