Public figures join campaign to combat loneliness during pandemic

Shout has seen a marked increase in people texting for support during lockdown. Credit: @giveusashoutinsta

Dame Kelly Holmes, Matthew Beard and Scarlett Curtis have joined a list of public figures to show their support to a campaign to help those who are feeling lonely during the pandemic.

The trio from London and Kent have joined a host of other famous names - including boxer Amir Khan and Harry Styles' sister Gemma - to raise awareness of the UK's first text service Shout, which is providing support to anyone who feels they need it.

The service says there has been an increase in the number of frontline staff and keyworkers who have been contacting them during lockdown, finding it difficult to cope.

They say they have had more than 300,000 text conversations since the service was launched a year ago by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, whose foundation helped fund the establishment of the service.

Famous faces, Shout Crisis Volunteers and many more have been forming the 85258 number with their fingers in films they are posting on Tik Tok and Instagram to an adapted version of the track ‘Therapy’ by New York DJ/Producer Marc Rebillet.

A compilation of the first people to do the #Shout85258 are featured in their new campaign film, which was created by And Rising and directed by David Wilson at Riff Raff Films.

Tens of thousands of people have already found that a confidential text conversation with a trained volunteer can be a huge help when they are feeling under pressure, struggling to cope or just need someone to talk to. The new service that Shout is providing has proved particularly valuable during the Coronavirus lockdown when people could not access face to face services and frontline workers need our support. We want as many people to take part in the #Shout85258 challenge and let everyone know that our volunteers are there to listen to them, anytime of day and however big or small the problem.

Shout CEO, Victoria Hornby