London consistently tops the lists for the loneliest city in the world. Every single survey we looked at told us this. So we thought; how did it get this way? Why is it this way? And is it really true? We want to explore the taboo topic of loneliness, wipe away the shame, and see how people thrive together.
It is commonly accepted that London is the centre for individualism in the UK. Since Dick Whittington’s day, it’s been a place where people from far and wide come to make their fortune. This hit hyperdrive with the boom of the city in the 1980s and Canary Wharf’s regeneration in the 1990s. This, a d other things, have led to a waning social landscape for Londoners to navigate. Also, there are the evergreen contributions to loneliness like age, migration, and gender issues. All of these have been arguably exacerbated by the lockdown caused by the threat of coronavirus.
For the next four days, we will look into the people and their problems around finding meaningful connections, and how they are shaping themselves a meaningful social life. Whether it be via technology, shared passions or being vulnerable, people have varying methods of breaking the circle of isolation.
The Jo Cox Commission Report on Loneliness, inspired by the late Jo Cox MP enabled a shift in attitudes about the topic; giving it credibility, government backed solutions and sparked a national conversation. This conversation is ongoing, just like the challenges we all face in life. The latest one is the invisible but dominant threat of the coronavirus. Among the destruction it is bringing to our NHS, a nasty side effect is loneliness because of the government’s lockdown, however needed it may be.
So get on board with our series, and break the shame and say what makes you feel less #IsLondonLonely?
- How can you be lonely in a city of eight million people?
- The solution to loneliness in London? Rent controls and social housing
- Loneliness Lockdown: Day One
- Train Drain: ‘I find myself around hundreds, sometimes thousands of people … but I feel like I’m always alone’
- One man’s journey out of loneliness: ‘All I needed was one genuine connection’
- Loneliness Lockdown: Day Two
- Comment: The internet doesn’t break social ties, it can make them stronger
- Lost in translation. Experience of loneliness as an Italian in London
- Loneliness Lockdown: Day Three
- The sudden death of the London living room
- ‘How can someone this nice be this lonely?’ The people for whom lockdown is just another week
- Loneliness Lockdown: Day Four
Follow the hashtag #IsLondonLonely on Twitter to keep up to date.
This series was written by Gina Gambetta, Eleonora Girotto, Evie Breese and Clara Hill