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Virgin Media O2 signs up to loneliness campaign

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The team at Virgin Media O2 have partnered with Sense charity to support disabled people who feel lonely and isolated from society.

Sense’s Virtual Buddying initiative pairs a volunteer with a disabled person so they form an online friendship and participate in various activities.

Virgin Media O2 is spreading the word to its 15,000 staff inviting them to sign up, so they can make a difference to an individual experiencing loneliness.

Employees can use their allocated five annual paid volunteering days if they are interested in taking part if they are happy to commit a minimum of one hour per week over a six month period.

Volunteers can schedule video calls with disabled people so they can have catch-ups, virtual drinks or dinners, watch TV or play video games.

Dana Haidan, Chief Sustainability Officer at Virgin Media O2, said: “We know how vital connections and conversations are, especially for disabled people who are experiencing isolation and loneliness.

“That’s why we’re proudly joining forces with Sense and are extending our Take Five programme to include the charity’s Virtual Buddying Service, so our employees can use their paid volunteering time to create meaningful and lasting friendships with disabled people.”

Richard Kramer, Chief Executive at Sense, said: “The collaboration with Virgin Media O2 promises to enhance our Virtual Buddying service, addressing loneliness directly by connecting disabled and non-disabled individuals through mutual interests.

“The service has become a lifeline for many, and now with the support of Virgin Media O2 staff volunteering their time with Sense, even more individuals will have the opportunity to forge meaningful, lasting friendships.”

[ Research shows two-thirds of disabled people experience chronic loneliness (feeling lonely every day). ]

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