Our partnership with the Campaign to End Loneliness

Helping people make better connections is a key theme for the Campaign to End Loneliness. Public transport helps to keep people socially connected, either with existing connections or by fostering new connections in stations or on the train, as they go about their journey.

By connecting people and places through our train services, TransPennine Express can support the work of the Campaign to End Loneliness, raise awareness of the issue of loneliness, and signpost our customers and colleagues to find support in making social connections. As the global pandemic has forced people to stay at home, now that restrictions are easing, it is more important than ever for people to get together again to reconnect with friends and family.

Did you know?

  • There are 9 million lonely people in the UK
  • The health impacts of loneliness, both physical and mental, can be devastating on people whatever their age
  • Loneliness, living alone and poor social connections can be detrimental to your overall health and increase the risk of an early death by 26%
  • Lonely people are also more likely to suffer from dementia, heart disease and depression
  • Transitions like divorce, retirement, bereavement, poor health, a lack of mobility, becoming a carer, being disabled, BAME, or LGBT+ can have a major impact exacerbating loneliness

Chatty Benches

We know that a small moment of connection during someone’s day can have a real impact in alleviating feelings of loneliness, so we have designated selected benches across our stations as ‘chatty benches’. We hope to encourage our customers travelling through our stations to say hello, and have a quick chat or conversation with someone who may be sitting on the bench, even if it’s a comment on the weather or an enquiry about their journey, speaking to someone can make a real difference.

What can you do to combat loneliness?

Think about yourself – Would you like to spend more time with friends or family? Think about what small steps you can take to get in touch. You could start with a text or a call to catch up. Often if you are lonely you think people do not want to visit. This is understandable but often people will respond to an invitation and will come and spend quality time with you.

Look after yourself – if you can do something to improve your health, take small steps to eat well, take gentle exercise and keep active, all of these things can help you to relax more fully in your own company.

Share your skills and time with others – you can offer time or specific skills by helping out in your street, neighbourhood or with local organisations. Being involved and feeling valuable can help overcome those feelings of loneliness.

Your community and neighbourhood – find out what online and local activities are being planned and book them up: walks, singing groups, book clubs, sport etc. Making new friendships and spending time with others does help. The Royal Voluntary Service has a directory of lunch clubs and social events in your area. 

Meditation, or practising something known as ‘mindfulness’ (a technique that helps people to change the way they think and feel about their experiences – especially stressful experiences – and is recommended as a treatment for some people with mental health problems including stress, anxiety, and depression) can help. You can learn more about this on the Mental Health Foundation website

Speak to a health worker if you feel very lonely – long term loneliness could contribute to later depression and other health problems. Your GP should be able to direct you to local services.

More information on what you can do to combat loneliness.

How you can help?

If you want to get involved with supporting those who are experiencing loneliness you could try a befriending service which matches up people to spend time together either in person or on the phone. The National Befriending Network and Lets BFriend provide information on where and how you can do this.

What is the Campaign to End Loneliness?
When did the Campaign to End Loneliness start?
What are the ways to end loneliness?
Why has TransPennine Express partnered with the Campaign to End Loneliness?

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