New bars of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk will hit supermarkets this week – but they’ll look a little different from what we’re used to.
For the first time ever, the chocolate brand has removed all the words from its iconic packaging for a very important cause.
The limited edition bar will be sold in supermarkets nationwide from 4 September to raise awareness of loneliness among older people – Cadbury said it has “donated the words” on its packaging to Age UK, after research revealed 225,000 older people often go a week without speaking to anyone.
For each bar sold, 30p will go towards Age UK, helping to fund vital services and support when people need it most.
In a typical week, almost 2.6 million people aged 65 and over speak to three or fewer people they know, according to the research by Cadbury and Age UK, with over 225,000 often going a week without speaking to anyone at all.
The research of almost 1,900 people aged 65 and over also found that more than half a million of those who’ve been lonely claim it stops them from getting out and about.
With the limited edition bar, Cadbury hopes to encourage Brits to “donate their words” by pledging to reach out and have a chat with older people in their communities.
The survey found that simple, small gestures can play a part in helping to tackle loneliness. Respondents said some of the actions that would help them feel more confident when outside the home are:
Knowing their neighbours.
Someone smiling or saying hello when at bus stop/in a queue.
Neighbour stopping to say hello.
Someone asking how their day has gone.
When asked in a separate poll, 67% of those aged 16-45 said they would be likely to do something that could boost the confidence of an older person who felt lonely – but the research revealed there were barriers. These included feeling worried the other person wouldn’t respond well, being too shy and not knowing how to help. Others simply said they were “too busy”.
Caroline Abrahams, the charity’s director, said loneliness is a “huge problem” because retirement, bereavement and ill health mean many older people find they are spending less time enjoying the company of others. “Loneliness can affect your health, your wellbeing and the way you see yourself – it can make you feel invisible and forgotten,” she said.
Abrahams hopes the campaign will raise more awareness of the issue and encourage more people to do their bit to help tackle it.
“A friendly ‘hello’ or ‘how are you?’ is something most of us take for granted – it’s just part of every day life,” she said, “but these latest figures show that hundreds of thousands of older people in the UK will spend today and the rest of this week alone, with no one to share even a few simple words with.”