As the number of people living alone in Merton increases, so does social isolation and loneliness, and men are particularly at risk.
- Nearly 3 million men nationwide claim that feeling lonely is a daily occurrence
- However, 1 in 10 of these men revealed that they didn’t want to admit feelings of loneliness to anyone
- In its new campaign, Wimbledon Guild is reaching out to men and encouraging them to make the most of its many services
- Social isolation, particularly amongst older people, is a problem of national concern and increases the likelihood of mortality by a staggering 26%. In the borough of Merton, 33% of people over the age of 65 live alone and it is forecast that this number is set to rise by a further 13% (to 46%) by 2025.
Whilst men make up a significant percentage of the population living alone in the borough, only 30% of those attending events and activities at Wimbledon Guild last year were male. As discussion surrounding mental health is encouraged, there has been a widespread focus on the necessity for men to admit vulnerability and seek help when they are struggling. Wimbledon Guild’s new campaign aims to target older people in need of companionship, financial support, or just hoping to engage more with the neighbouring community.
Wendy Pridmore, CEO at Wimbledon Guild comments; “We have been aware for some time now that local women are better at utilising the extensive range of free and subsidised services available to the community here at Wimbledon Guild – from our café to exercise classes to our varied trips and outings, art, bridge and drop-in IT workshops. Yet men are more reluctant to come forward. We have lots of activities here that could appeal to men, and we are hoping that by launching our first-ever advertising campaign, we will signpost and highlight the range that is available – there really is something for everyone!”
Wimbledon Guild’s campaign also aims to reach not only those affected by the loneliness epidemic but also carers, neighbours, GPs, family and friends who might be worried or know of someone who could benefit from the services available. Targeted advertisements, representing the real-life testimonies of both men and women who use Wimbledon Guild’s services will be found on local bus exteriors, Underground stations, in local press and across social media platforms during the months of September and October.