Claire Du Preez, Communities Programme Manager at Sky, highlights the impact of our partnership. A huge thank to our partners at Sky who have made many of our events possible due to their generous sponsorship. 

“Sky has been proud to work in partnership with the Campaign”

Loneliness is a complex issue which can pervade all aspect of life. It’s a feeling we can all relate to on some level, but as active supporters of the Campaign to End Loneliness it’s been eye-opening to learn about the sheer scale of the issue and how devastating chronic loneliness can be, not just on mental wellbeing, but on physical health and life expectancy too.

The Campaign has worked tirelessly to raise this awareness, pushing the UK’s hidden loneliness epidemic out of the shadows and into the spotlight. They have led the way in getting the country talking about loneliness, breaking the stigma, and taking effective action for change.

Sky has been proud to work in partnership with the Campaign, and have had the greatly appreciated the opportunity to learn from the expert team and brilliant network as we shaped our own ‘Time to Care’ programme, with the mission to tackle loneliness and create a million meaningful interactions.

And despite being three years since launch, our work is far from done. Just this week at Sky, a colleague took a heartbreaking call from a customer who didn’t have an issue with any of our products or services, they just ‘needed to hear another voice’.

But now we have a referral process for these kind of inbound calls, and will get this customer set up on Sky’s befriending line, so that someone will be ringing them every week for a friendship chat. This is a service they didn’t know existed before making that fortuitous call.

“Never underestimate the power of conversation”

One of the main things we have learned from our befriending service is never underestimate the power of conversation and the significance of someone simply asking ‘how are you?’, but really meaning it.

A listening ear can be lifesaving; and we all need to better prioritise social connections to help stop anyone on a downward spiral of social withdrawal and falling into a state of chronic loneliness.

Our interaction with the Campaign and the conference has given us valuable insight into this psychology of loneliness and how to better address vulnerability at source. It has helped us learn about risk factors linked to loneliness and in turn make evidence-based decisions about Sky’s charitable investments and programme development e.g. introducing our Community Grants fund, Digital Champion initiative, intergenerational befriending, LGBTQ+ partnerships, and ‘Let’s Talk Loneliness’ internal campaign on workplace loneliness.

And this more holistic approach has seen fantastic results for our customers, our people and most importantly our 25+ charity and community partners. It also saw the ‘Time to Care’ programme at Sky recognised as the overall winner at the Third Sector Business Charity Awards in 2023.

“Thank you for all the best practice, insight and collaboration”

Our programme at Sky would not exist or be the success it is without expert research, charity partnership engagement, and external collaboration. And as such the Campaign and its conference, have played a significant part in our growth.

So on behalf of Sky, I want to thank you all for the best practice insight, the inspiration, and the collaboration! Because of the Campaign to End Loneliness platform, we all know more than ever about alleviating chronic loneliness and social isolation, and how to build meaningful connection.

Let’s all make a commitment to keep the national conversation going, carry on the legacy, and build on this brilliant body of work to advocate for real change. The next chapter awaits.