The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have urged Britain to “lift someone out of loneliness” by knocking on their front door or offering a cup of tea, in a campaign to end social isolation.
The couple, who are supporting a national radio campaign to boost mental health, said “we can all feel lonely sometimes”, regardless of “who, or where, we are”.
The last two years of Covid-19 lockdown, and its unprecedented social isolation, have “really reminded us of the importance of human relationships”, they said, imploring: “We can all help each other feel less isolated and more connected.”
Speaking in a short voiceover for the “Mental Health Minute”, broadcast on every radio station in the UK, at 10.59am on Friday, the Duchess said: “If you think someone you know may be feeling lonely, just give them a ring, send them a text or knock on their door.”
The Duke, who took it in turns with his wife to deliver lines for the audio recording, added: “Maybe suggest meeting for a cup of tea or a walk.”
“Because these small acts of kindness can make a big difference and help us all feel less lonely,” the Duchess replied.
11 per cent of young people feel lonely
The simple message was played on more than 500 stations to an estimated 20 million listeners during Mental Health Awareness Week, and was created by Radiocentre and The Royal Foundation.
This year’s theme is loneliness, and comes after a study showed it is now highest among those aged 16-24, with 11 per cent of young people more likely to feel lonely often or always compared to between three and seven per cent for every other age group.
A recent YouGov poll also found young people aged 18-24 are the least comfortable asking for help, with 6 in 10 saying they would not feel comfortable seeking support if they felt lonely.
The Duke of Cambridge first took part in the Mental Health Minute in 2018, when he was joined by Prince Harry and a host of celebrities for an inaugural message.
Since 2020, he has delivered it as a double act with the Duchess.
Radio, often considered as a companion for listeners who might otherwise feel lonely, was thought to be the ideal medium for the message.