Cadbury has removed all the words from its Dairy Milk bars for a collaboration with Age UK.
If you come across one of its limited edition bars, don’t worry, it’s not a manufacturing error, instead it’s part of the very important Donate Your Words campaign.
Cadbury’s partnership with Age UK is to raise awareness of loneliness among old people.
30p of every bar sold will go directly to Age UK.
The campaign also encourages Brits to donate their words to elderly people in the UK by chatting with older people in local communities.
In a typical week, almost 2.6 million over 65s speak to three people or fewer they know. 225,000 of those won’t speak to anybody at all.
There are a number of ways that we can do our bit to help tackle the impact loneliness has on elderly people.
Create chat benches
Chat benches, amongst other community initiatives, are a great way to get communities talking.
In Burnham-On-Sea, Police created “chat benches” with notes that read: “The happy to chat bench, sit here if you don’t mind somebody stopping to say hello.”
READ MORE: How to combat male loneliness
Get to know your neighbours
According to Cadbury and Age UK’s research, 6 million older people believe a few minutes of conversation would make a huge difference to their week.
The survey found that 38% of people would feel more confident outside of their home if they knew their neighbours.
With the winter period coming up, it’s the perfect time to invite neighbours in for a warm drink.
Start a conversation
The NHS recommends starting a conversation with elderly people when you’re out and about. 30% of elderly people feel too shy to tell somebody they’re lonely, so initiating a conversation is a great first step.
The NHS also suggests it’s important to pause between questions to give people a chance to digest the information in a calm way.
Offer practical help
As well as saying hello to your neighbours, it’s also a good idea to check in and see if they need any practical help around the house.
This could range from shopping to posting letters, a trip to the pharmacy to walking the dog.
You could also offer to drive them to appointments, friends houses or faith services if they’re unable to use their car.
Share a meal
People who are feeling isolated or lonely often struggle to cook for themselves, according to the NHS.
Offer up an extra plate of a home-cooked meal that they can heat up in the microwave. Try to provide them their meal in a container you don’t need back, to make the whole thing easier on the person receiving your meal.