Advertisement

Tasha Ghouri and Bobby Brazier join Government campaign to fight loneliness

Love Island star Tasha Ghouri and EastEnders actor Bobby Brazier have joined a group of celebrities supporting a Government campaign to combat loneliness among young people.

The duo will join Made In Chelsea’s Josh Patterson, influencer Bronte King, Heartstopper’s Bradley Riches, and Youtuber Anastasia Kingsnorth to share personal experiences on the subject in a series of videos.

For six weeks, the Government plans to release videos on social media showing individuals experiencing loneliness in everyday scenarios, such as moving from home.

The videos will showcase the campaign’s new headline: “Loneliness. It’s a part of life. Let’s talk about it.”

The minister of loneliness held a roundtable with (left to right) Bronte King, Bradley Riches, Tasha Ghouri, Bobby Brazier and Anastasia Kingsnorth.
The minister of loneliness held a roundtable with (from left) Bronte King, Bobby Brazier, Tasha Ghouri, Bradley Riches and Anastasia Kingsnorth (Rory Arnold/No 10 Downing Street/PA)

North Yorkshire-born Ghouri, who is deaf, said: “I’m proud to be a part of the loneliness campaign from the deaf representation side.

“It’s important to speak out whenever we feel lonely and normalise having these open conversations as it will help so many more people out there!

“From my own personal experiences being deaf and wearing a cochlear implant, it can be isolating at times and I had to look for support to guide me through.

“Opening up and talking about how you feel does so much more good than keeping it in.”

Brazier, 20, said: “Everyone feels lonely at points throughout their life because modern life can be very isolating.

“That’s why being part of this campaign is so important to me, to show that it’s OK and encourage us to talk about our feelings.”

Riches emphasised the importance of the campaign as an autistic and queer individual.

“This campaign is extremely important to me because, as an autistic and queer individual, I have found myself lonely at points throughout my life,” he said.

“I think when people think of loneliness, they often think of older people, yet no-one really talks about young people feeling lonely.

“This campaign is helping to create a space for people to get support and break down the stigma, because in life everyone will feel lonely at some point.”

King highlighted the prevalence of loneliness among young girls, especially those in university.

She said: “After starting a community to support girls during and after university, I have seen first-hand how common loneliness really is among 16 to 24-year-olds.

“From that first year of university to navigating post-grad life, it really can be a lonely period of time.

“That’s why being part of this campaign, making loneliness more of a talked about topic and giving people space to realise these feelings are normal, is so important and something I am so proud to be a part of.”

Kingsnorth said that the most challenging aspect of addressing loneliness is self-acknowledgment and then reaching out to someone else for help.

Stuart Andrew holds roundtable
Stuart Andrew met with the celebrities (Rory Arnold/No 10 Downing Street/PA)

Stuart Andrew, the minister of loneliness, held a meeting at 10 Downing Street to enlist the support of the celebrities, who collectively reach 8.7 million followers across social media.

He said: “We know that young people are the age group most affected by loneliness but they’re also the least likely to take action to support themselves.

“Our latest campaign will encourage young people to talk about their experiences, aiming to break down the stigma that so often prevents people from getting support.

“Everyone should know they are not alone and help is available.”

In 2018, the Government made a commitment to address the stigma surrounding loneliness and has since invested over £80 million, in collaboration with partners, to combat the issue.

This includes allocating up to £30 million through the Know Your Neighbourhood Fund to create volunteering opportunities and alleviate loneliness in 27 disadvantaged areas.

The online communication platform, Discord, will further support the campaign by directing users to resources on the Every Mind Matters website.

The Prince and Princess of Wales have previously served as ambassadors for the campaign.