In this post, the Network of Wellbeing (NOW) reflects on our recent experiences supporting the ‘Breaking The Spell of Loneliness Tour’ run by George Monbiot and Ewan McLennan.
Loneliness could be considered the antithesis of happiness and wellbeing. Leading research shows that the single most important action people can take to enhance wellbeing is to ‘connect’ with others. This offers a valuable clue as to the links between loneliness and wellbeing: as loneliness increases, wellbeing and happiness tends to fall, and vice versa.
This is why here at NOW we are proud to support the ‘Breaking The Spell of Loneliness Tour’ run by leading journalist George Monbiot and folk singer Ewan McLennan. This Tour has sought to directly address loneliness and build wellbeing by bringing people together to connect, share and enjoy inspiring music.
On Monday 7th August the NOW’s Larch Maxey and Mirella Ferraz went along to Sidmouth Folk Week for the finale of George’s and Ewan’s Tour, and ran a NOW stall at this event for those keen to find out more about wellbeing.
‘With over 400 people attending their moving performance, we feel there’s clearly an interest from people to address this issue. Plus, the fact many came to our stall afterwards to explore ways to tackle loneliness and improve wellbeing in their communities shows that their is a wide enthusiasm to take action’ – comments Mirella.
Simple Yet Impactful Solutions
The beauty of the Tour has in part been the simplicity of it’s message: there are lots of accessible yet incredibly meaningful things we can all do to tackle loneliness.
Each concert on the Tour ended by encouraging everyone in the audience to sing the final song (“We Shall Overcome”) together and then talk with someone sitting near them whom they didn’t know previously. Everyone was then invited to continue the conversation, along with Ewan and George, in the nearest pub or bar if they wished!
Addressing Loneliness, Building Wellbeing
Another innovative feature of the Tour was its highlighting the work of organisations across the UK which are addressing loneliness and building wellbeing. NOW is proud to be one of these organisations, and we were very touched by George’s words:
‘It was really lovely to hear George acknowledging NOW’s work and emphasizing the importance of NOW's message on the links between caring for ourselves, for each other and for the world around us’, says Mirella
Huge thanks to George and Ewan for organizing this amazing Tour and allowing us to be a part of it!
Building Wellbeing Together
NOW is keen to connect people to explore the best solutions for building wellbeing. Therefore, from 22nd to 24th September we are running an exciting weekend event in partnership with Hawkwood College in Stroud, to explore how we can build wellbeing together, in our own lives, in wider society and in harmony with the natural world. We’d love you to join us; you can find further details here.