Half of Scots feel lonely

Dame julie walters, rachel parris and michael chakraverty support samaritans brew monday

Brew Monday is aiming to get people talking, in a bid to tackle the scourge of loneliness in society

20th January 2020 by Gareth Jones 2 Comments

More than half of Scots have felt lonely in the past year, new research has revealed.

Commissioned by PG tips in support of Samaritans Brew Monday, the study sheds new light on the far-reaching impact of loneliness, its causes, and how people can overcome it. It shows 57% of Scots have felt lonely in the past year.

Whilst 25-34-year olds reported the highest levels of loneliness - with 82% of respondents from across the UK saying they had felt lonely in the past year - the study has shown the issue effects people of all ages, in all areas across the UK.

Major life changes such as becoming a new parent, bereavement or moving to a new area were all identified as key factors attributing to people’s loneliness.

The survey also highlighted that more than half of Scots (52%) say they are less likely to admit to being lonely because there is stigma attached.

However, with nine in 10 (89%) Scots saying getting together over a cup of tea would help them feel less lonely, PG tips has pledged its support to Samaritans Brew Monday, a fundraising initiative that encourages people to come together over a cuppa.

Turning the idea of Blue Monday on its head into something positive, Samaritans Brew Monday encourages people to get together with family, friends or colleagues for a chat and a warming cuppa throughout January and February. Taking time to listen to another person could help them through a tough time and having a brew together is a great excuse to do just that.

Rachel Cackett, executive director of Samaritans Scotland, said: “As these figures show, loneliness is something that can affect us all, at any stage in our lives. But many of us may find it difficult to talk about, even with our family and friends.

“At Samaritans we know the power of taking time to talk and to listen and Brew Monday is an important reminder that we can all play a part in this.

“Through simple, everyday actions, like making a time for a cuppa and a chat with a family member, friend or co-worker, we can re-connect with the people around us, encourage one another to talk openly when we’re going through a difficult time, and send a message that you don’t have to face things alone.”

People can also use their get-together to raise money for Samaritans, so someone having a tough time has somewhere to turn. Brew Monday has the backing of British stars including Dame Julie Walters, former Bake Off contestant Michael Chakraverty and comedian Rachel Parris.

Dame Julie said: “Talking is really important – to get it out of your head and into the atmosphere and for someone to witness that, is important in life. I’m supporting Brew Monday as I believe we need to listen, notice and talk to people. It isn’t a problem to talk about how you are feeling, and things won’t get out of control, if anything it will dissipate. It’s about not being afraid to approach somebody and noticing what’s happening around you.”

Great British Bake Off’s Michael Chakraverty has also pledged his support to the campaign, saying: “During practice for Bake Off I felt very lonely, as I'd be holed up in my kitchen baking. My close friends that knew I was on the show really lifted my spirits with small acts of kindness like dropping by with home cooked meals. Their support lifted me out of my loneliness, finding small moments of laughter and calm connections with those I'm close to.”

Samaritans volunteers will be providing free PG tips teabags to commuters passing through train stations across the Scotland on Monday January 20th and the charity is encouraging communities and workplaces to hold their own Brew Monday get-togethers throughout January and February. 

Fiachra Moloney, director of tea at Unilever UK, said: “With two thirds of the population having experienced loneliness in the last year, there are at least nine million people feeling lonely on any given day and we will all experience it at some point in our lives. We want everyone to feel open in talking about loneliness and that is why PG tips is proud to support Samaritans Brew Monday and together we’re encouraging the nation to reach out to anyone who might be affected by the issue.”

This is first in a series of activities PG tips are supporting in 2020 via partnerships with Samaritans, Time to Change and The Big Lunch.

23rd January 2020 by Sharon

The lonely people must be all of those who took part as I being one of the other 47% never! I totally disagree with this study! Yes, there will be many people who are lonely for a variety of reasons, but definitely not 57% !!

23rd January 2020 by Sharon

Correction to my previous comment - 43% not 47%