The Age of Loneliness?

James Garside
Lonely Old ManPhoto by JD Mason on Unsplash

‘The Age of Loneliness,’ Sue Bourne’s documentary about social isolation, could just as easily have been called Lonely People Talk About Their Lives.

The award-winning film-maker thanks that loneliness should be talked about. Its effects are all pervasive and there is such a stigma attached to it. She went out and spoke with the people who were brave enough to talk about their loneliness.

From students to divorcees, widows and octogenarians, lonely people from all walks of life bravely shared their tales, and their tears, with the camera.

These touching stories offer a damning critique of Britain, dubbed the loneliness capital of Europe, and give voice to the silent epidemic of loneliness and social isolation.

The documentary’s central message was: “If this really is the age of loneliness, then we’re all going to have to find new ways of dealing with being alone.”

Time to Shine works with select partners across Leeds to deliver projects that take an innovative approach to improving the lives of lonely older people.

Our Seniors Networks, Creating Support, Walk Together and Dinner Dates projects all work in different ways to reengage socially isolated people with their local communities.

Dorothy, an 85-year-old widow who died alone shortly after the filming of the documentary, said:

“I love people — and I think this is why I feel lonely as well.”

We can become isolated for many reasons and loneliness affects all of us at some point in our lives.

If this is the age of loneliness then the best way to overcome it is to bring people together.

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NCTJ-qualified British independent journalist, author and travel writer.


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