If you happen to have walked through Paddington station today (Feb 11) you may have noticed an incongruous illuminated glass box in the middle of all the commuters. The rather moving ‘Isolation Box’ is part of Macmillan Cancer Support’s latest ‘Not Alone’ campaign to raise awareness of the loneliness and isolation felt by cancer sufferers.
Launching the campaign today were two brave cancer survivors Caroline Lee and Amrik Nagra, whose personal stories are two of four that will be playing inside the box. The box is made of special glass that allows passers by to see inside the but prevents people inside from seeing out.
The idea behind the installation is to evoke the feeling of isolation in the people who decide to step inside the box. I know what you’re thinking, why would anyone want to step inside a box that makes them feel like that? That’s the whole point of it – nobody wants to feel alone, especially people living with cancer.
New figures reveal that a staggering estimate of 550,000 people in the UK are suffering from loneliness, even though more than half (56 percent) of them are married or have a partner and nearly half (47 percent) are surrounded by family and friends. We get that, because despite its bulging population, London can at times be a pretty lonely place.
If you feel a bit clueless about how to help or worried that you’ll say the wrong thing, check out The Source, a new website brimming with advice and inspiration on how to offer support.
By Laura Sagar
The ‘Isolation Box’ will be in Paddington until 7pm tonight so wing by on your way home if you can. Find out more about the campaign and Macmillan Cancer Support at macmillan.org.uk or follow #NotAlone on Twitter.