Manchester United players and elderly fans.

Cadbury and United highlight issue of loneliness

Today (Sunday February 23, 2020) Cadbury and Manchester United teamed up to promote Cadbury’s ‘Donate your words’ campaign, which highlights the issues of loneliness amongst Britain’s older generation. Eleven ‘Guests of Honour’ were invited to stand on the iconic Old Trafford pitch and shake hands with the Manchester United first team ahead of our match against Watford.

The Guests of Honour are all local people aged 65 and over and are dedicated Manchester United fans, who have experienced loneliness. The touching moment, which saw the guests step out in front of an expected crowd of 73, 346 people, serves as a reminder of the issue of loneliness which affects hundreds of thousands of older people living within Britain’s communities, and aims to inspire people to ‘Donate your words’  to those who need them the most.

Cadbury believe there is a glass and half of generosity and kindness in everyone and Manchester United share this belief. As a result, the club has joined Cadbury on their ‘Donate your words’ campaign in a bid to encourage the fans and nation to ‘Donate your words’ and make a difference to the lives of older people.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer shakes hands with the fans.
Ole and the players met fans on the Old Trafford pitch ahead of the game.
The campaign comes following recent research, conducted by Cadbury and Age UK, which revealed that in a typical week, almost 2.6 million people aged 65 and over speak to three or fewer others, with more than 225,000 often going a week without speaking to anyone. 

The survey found that simple, small gestures can play a part in helping to tackle loneliness as over six million older people claimed a few minutes of conversation would make a huge difference to their week. Older people said they’d feel more confident to go outside their home, if they knew someone was smiling when in a queue, or if anyone had asked how their day was going.

Loneliness: an unspoken issueVideo

Colin O’Toole, Associate Marketing Director at Cadbury said:
“We’re proud to announce this partnership with Manchester United and to continue supporting Age UK with our ‘Donate your words’ campaign.  Loneliness is such a huge problem amongst the older generation, and we are encouraging Manchester United fans and the wider nation to engage with this cause by donating their words at every opportunity to lonely, older people in their communities. We are also looking forward to working with Manchester United in the future on further collaborations of this nature.”
 
Sean Jefferson, Director of Partnerships for Manchester United said:
“We’re pleased to start our partnership with Cadbury by supporting their ‘Donate your words’ campaign. The Club is encouraging all fans to give a few moments of their time to speak to older people around them who might welcome a thoughtful conversation. Any small gesture and interaction can play a part in helping to help tackle loneliness amongst our older generation.”


For more information about the campaign and to get involved either visit ageuk.org.uk/donateyourwords or search ‘Donate your words'.

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