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About Sparking conversation our loneliness project

In 2018, we embarked on a project to identify a cause we could support and champion. We chose loneliness as our focus, because it is a universal experience and can affect us all, at different life stages and at any time. 
  • Our vision Destigmatise loneliness by sparking conversations within our organisation, with our partners, and within JCDecaux communities

  • Our strategy Engage experts and key influencers in this field to better understand the complexities around loneliness; to establish where the need is greatest; and where JCDecaux can have the most impact

  • Our goal Have a measurable impact within our communities by creating more meaningful everyday connections

We believe there are things we’ve learnt through our Sparking Conversation activities that can help our wider community destigmatise loneliness and support others who are experiencing loneliness, at this time of unprecedented change. We are proud to be members of the UK Government's 'Tackling Loneliness Network', and to be part of the Government's plan to tackle loneliness during these very challenging times

This information resource shares our experiences and what we’re doing to keep our team connected during this time. It also signposts to experts in this field, who we have worked with. We hope you’ll find it helpful. 

We’d also love to hear from you about what you are doing to keep your teams connected. Please keep in touch using the button below.

Why loneliness for JCDecaux

JCDecaux out-of-home media is located at the heart of places where people congregate in communities. Our media can help people make meaningful connections by signposting loneliness resources and services. 

Our area of expertise is in making connections within communities, and we looked at how we could use this expertise to champion a cause. We wanted the cause to be relevant to these core business activities. Most importantly, we wanted it to benefit people in a clear, measurable way. 

We chose loneliness for a number of reasons:
  • Loneliness is a ubiquitous, universal experience.
  • A project to destigmatise loneliness and make more meaningful everyday connections can have a measurable positive impact. We believe we can do something practical about it, and its something we can sustain long-term.
  • Loneliness is caused by a lack of meaningful connections. Our business is based on making meaningful connections.
  • Our team believes in the cause because it feels authentic. It’s aligned to our brand, our core values and our capabilities.

We called this initiative ‘Sparking Conversation’, because that’s what it’s about at its heart. 

We want to make it as easy as possible for people within our business, and within our wider communities, to make more meaningful everyday connections. So far, we’ve run, supported and funded activities within our business to help bring our people together and get them talking. We’re helping to destigmatise loneliness and creating a culture where it’s easy to spark conversation, where no-one needs to feel lonely.

Outside our business we’re working with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on their co-ordinated 'Let's Talk Loneliness' strategy to tackle loneliness in communities UK-wide. We are a founder member of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s ‘Tackling Employee Loneliness’ network. We have built connections with expert organisations in this area including Campaign To End Loneliness and The Loneliness Lab. 

We have joined the Connection Coalition and are proud to be supporting their work to inspire people to make meaningful community connections through a digital out-of-home campaign running across the country throughout August. 

working in partnership. Loneliness Awareness Week

2020's Loneliness Awareness Week was even more important than ever, as a report from the British Red Cross found that two in five UK adults felt lonelier under lockdown. We were proud to support The British Red Cross and Campaign to End Loneliness in signposting their services at this exceptional time with campaigns that delivered proven results. 
People who saw the [British Red Cross] posters didn’t need to search for us online; the information was displayed directly in front of them as they waited for the bus or train.  We are delighted that our multi-channel communications strategy which included this out-of-home media, led not only to an uplift in website traffic, but also an increase in calls to our support line where trained volunteers are ready to answer the phones to whomever needs our help. Zoë AbramsExecutive Director, British Red Cross



Our aim was to use the [Campaign to End Loneliness] posters to help people realise that despite being still physically apart, there are other ways to maintain contact with loved ones, and within communities. We know that having such a visible presence from the posters during Loneliness Awareness Week led to increased awareness of the support Campaign to End Loneliness offers, and enabled our message to reach more lonely people during these challenging times. Kate ShuretyExecutive Director, Campaign to End Loneliness


Partly due to COVID, the 2020 Lonely Not Alone campaign strategy was centred on gaining social media reach. It was designed to be as accessible as possible regardless of lockdown and we even made GIFs to help people who couldn’t get yellow socks. However, we knew that not all young people had reliable access to digital media, so OOH was an important channel for bringing the campaign into the ‘real world’, helping to ensure equity of access. We also wanted our brand to be seen by potential corporate partners. OOH would provide something tangible to resonate with them, which they could consider aligning with next year. Finally, OOH media is visible at the heart of UK communities. Displaying our message in such a high profile way helps to show young people that society really is taking the problem seriously. The more people of all ages who see our campaign, the better. Andy MortimerCommunications Manager, Co-Op Foundation



Learn more and keep in touch

  • Contact the Sparking Conversation team

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