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Pledge to talk

We know that loneliness can affect people of all ages and the coronavirus pandemic has made life incredibly difficult for many people.

Local BBC radio teams are joining together to help break the chain of loneliness across this winter.

A recent survey from the British Red Cross found that 41% of UK adults were feeling lonelier since the last lockdown and 31% felt alone, as they have no one to turn to. All you need to do is pledge to talk to someone who you haven’t spoken to in a while, or at all, with the aim of checking in on how they are.

It really is that simple.

Your pledges

There's been stories on air, on social media as part of this campaign and for Local Radio Day earlier in the year. The team at BBC Radio Cumbria even worked in conjunction with some of the county’s parish councils putting signs on benches, encouraging conversations to happen.

Many of the stories were both inspiring and heart-warming. BBC Radio Cambridgeshire reconnected the student left feeling isolated in her first term at university with her best friend from oversees; BBC Hereford and Worcester's listener Sue told the story of being able to call her terminally ill friend and what it meant to have that last conversation with her.

BBC Radio Tees presenter Gary Philipson had a conversation with a friend of his, discussing their respective mental health challenges and BBC Radio Surrey’s James Cannon caught up with his old pal from Capital Radio days – one Tony Blackburn!

In a year that has involved isolation and social distancing, there’s a hope that that these pledges will really make a difference.