Man from Leeds wants to combat loneliness one Facebook post at a time

An image of central LeedsLoneliness in Leeds is a problem more people are hoping to resolve.

One man’s post to extend a friendly ear to anyone feeling lonely has been welcomed on Facebook. 

Suzannah Rogerson

Over half of 2,200 people in Leeds have said they feel lonely says YouGov.

Jack Longbottom, 28, has said that within a busy city such as Leeds it is easy to lose yourself in pockets of the city but still feel alone.

To date, the post has received 1,100 likes and over 160 comments with the responses ongoing.

It said “My name’s Jack, I’m 28 and have lived in Leeds around 8 years. I’ve come to realise in recent years that even in the city, life can be crippling lonely. So I would like to extend a hand/ear to anyone out there who doesn’t have a way to express themselves without judgement. Whether you want a discussion, to unload on a complete stranger or even celebrate a change in yourself that you fear other people in your life won’t understand”.

Jack saw it as something he could help to resolve within Leeds.

He said: “for me loneliness is a disconnection from everyone, just to find people who you feel you can have a full connection with”.

The aim of his post was to give those feeling lonely the chance to have someone to speak to.

He said “I did the post for peer to peer healing” he wants to work alongside others who want to help to prevent people feeling isolated.

A screenshot from facebook.

Jack’s attempt to combat loneliness.

The response he had ” was great I even had people messaging me really nice things they’d achieved but had no one to tell so I was able to congratulate them”.

A report by the Campaign to End Loneliness suggests that loneliness is a taboo subject with 92% of respondents think that people are scared to admit that they are lonely.

Jack said: “I think everyone is lonely but no one wants to admit it because if you do you have to admit your other flaws”.

Live Well Leeds said “We see many people who are presenting with isolation and loneliness, its a huge issue that affects mental health and well being”.

Image of a sigle lady outside of a shop. Suzannah Rogerson

Loneliness can be common even in the busiest of places.

The causes of loneliness can vary from person to person.

Jack said it is due to our culture and how it “is heading down the pan and if we don’t start looking for actual fulfilment rather than material gain a lot more people are going to find themselves lonely”.

The Government’s loneliness strategy says it can have dangerous effects on any person.

It has been linked to early deaths and its health impact is thought to be similar to other public health priorities such as obesity or smoking.

Research by the Government shows that loneliness is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, depression, low self-esteem and Alzheimer’s.

It is said that loneliness can be as harmful to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day says Age UK.

YouGov reported that only 38% of people who were feeling lonely in Leeds who choose to call someone.

Jack said: “I guess the irony is we’ve never been more connected as a people but then you can find yourself in these little pockets and you can find something going on two streets across but if you don’t know that it’s there then you won’t be there.”

An image of central LeedsSuzannah Rogerson

Loneliness in Leeds is a problem more people are hoping to resolve.

Companies such as Cadbury’s are highlighting the issue of loneliness with huge campaigns.

These kinds of campaigns can keep the issue at the front of the public’s mind.

 

 

About the Author

Suzannah Rogerson
Suzannah is a third-year reporter for Leeds Now.

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