Watch: Art showing loneliness promotes Xmas LGBT+ helpline

Artwork symbolising the loneliness felt by many LGBT+ people at Christmas is the focus of a new campaign encouraging people from the community to talk over the festive period.

The campaign, from LGBT+ charity Switchboard and insurance group Direct Line, has seen street artist Pegasus create a 3D piece of art, titled ‘Lonely Human’. Billed as a physical manifestation of loneliness at Christmas, it has been photographed at various empty locations in London.

The artwork highlights the Switchboard helpline number for LBGT+ people who need somewhere to turn.

Research by Direct Line has shown that due to COVID-19 and lockdowns, 38 per cent of 16-35-year olds who identify as LGBTQ+ say they’re more nervous about going home this year than in previous ones.

Direct line has pledged to fund the lines over the festive period. Calls to Switchboard go up as much as 15 per cent month-on-month in December.

Switchboard co-chair Natasha Walker said: “Tens of thousands of people are now in lockdown once more, in situations that are difficult or complicated due to negative attitudes towards sexuality and/or gender identity. Christmas and the winter holidays can already be a lonely and isolating time for many. In addition the pandemic has kept families, friends and communities apart for many months and at this time of year people are anxious to be home with their loved ones. It’s vital that our helplines stay open for those who need someone to talk to during the winter holiday and working with Direct Line has ensured we’re able to keep them open as call numbers rise.”

PR agency Talker Tailor Trouble Maker worked on the campaign.

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