Have A Chat

During lockdown, more of us have been affected by loneliness than ever before.1,2 Take the time to check in with those around you. You never know the difference it could make.



The Have A Chat campaign is a joint initiative launched by UK charity, the Campaign to End Loneliness and Bristol Myers Squibb to address loneliness as a major public health issue in the UK & Ireland. Together, we aim to raise awareness of the powerful impact that having a chat and making connections can have to tackle loneliness and inspire people to discover the power of human connection.

As part of the campaign we worked with choreographer and former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips, CBE, to create a video which tells the story of how just taking a moment out of your day to connect with someone can make a big difference. Through the campaign, we are asking people to have a chat to raise awareness of and address the major public health issue of loneliness.

View the full video here:

Check out the exclusive behind the scenes footage below 

The new Have A Chat survey, commissioned by Bristol Myers Squibb in partnership with the Campaign to End Loneliness and carried out by Ipsos MORI, highlights loneliness as a serious issue during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK & Ireland.3 However, the survey also found that the Spring lockdown had enhanced the nation’s sense of community, and showed that staying in touch is vital to combating loneliness during lockdown(s).3 Click here for more information.

Through our ongoing work with patient groups and charities, we have been made aware of the impact that isolation and loneliness is having on patients, especially those living with serious illnesses who have had to shield. This is why Bristol Myers Squibb is proud to support the vital work undertaken by the Campaign to End Loneliness and is passionate about driving meaningful change for those affected by loneliness.

We cannot tackle loneliness alone, but together, small actions can make a huge difference particularly to those isolated patients that the patient groups we know seek to support.

To find out more about what small steps you can take to help those who may be lonely, check-out our Looking out For Loneliness and Five Things guides.

To find out more about Have a Chat, visit https://bemoreus.org.uk/have-a-chat

“Lockdown and social distancing can make the world feel like a very lonely place. There have been times when I’ve felt quite cut off and isolated, and I know I’m far from being the only one. My 92-year-old mother-in-law is usually full of life and loves a good chat. But she had that part of her life suddenly taken away as a result of having to shield. Without her family or friends able to visit, or friendly interactions during trips to the shops, she felt truly alone. Now more than ever, a friendly smile, a chat over the garden fence or a quick call can be a bright spot in a long day and a way to make sure that, even when we have to stay apart, we don’t have to be alone.”
Arlene Phillips, Choreographer and former Strictly Come Dancing judge

“It is more important than ever to think about those who may be impacted by loneliness. We are asking people to take the time to check in with those around you, because we know that this can make a real difference. Loneliness is a big problem, and for millions it is a long-term reality, but we can all take small steps to tackle it.” 
Kate Shurety, Executive Director of the Campaign to End Loneliness

“Loneliness is more than just a feeling – it is a major public health concern that can affect people’s health and wellbeing. Through our ongoing work with patient groups and charities, we have seen first-hand the impact that isolation and loneliness is having, especially on those who have had to shield during lockdown. That is why it is important to us to help raise awareness of this issue by partnering with the Campaign to End Loneliness, to inspire people to have a chat and make virtual connections. Together, small actions can make a huge difference.”
Lynelle Hoch, General Manager UK&I, Bristol Myers Squibb

How is BMS helping to tackle loneliness?

Have A Chat is just one of the ways that BMS is supporting the health and wellbeing of people and communities across the UK and Ireland.

We are proud to support Sebastian’s Action Trust, who provide emotional, social and practical care for life-limited and life-threatened children and their families. Employees have volunteered their time at the charity’s respite sites, the Woodlands and Bluebells, to support and connect with families.

Sebastian’s Action Trust supports seriously-ill children and their families. From the moment of diagnosis, the world can feel like a very lonely place. Our volunteer befrienders are a lifeline for many of our families and help combat loneliness, whilst through our outreach services we bring people together (in person and now virtually) so that no one ever has to face life alone and ensure that lives, however short, are lived to the fullest.
Jane Gates OBE, Chief Executive Officer, Sebastian’s Trust

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Bristol Myers Squibb has supported employees to volunteer and return to the NHS, to provide much needed resources as the pandemic continues to place a huge demand on the NHS and non-profit organisations.

Targeted donations of PPE and other equipment have been made to help local communities in the UK&I and across the globe.

Contact the Campaign to End Loneliness: info@campaigntoendloneliness.org.uk

Contact Bristol Myers Squibb: communicationUKI@bms.com


1.      Office for National Statistics. Coronavirus and loneliness, Great Britain: 3 April to 3 May 2020. Available from: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/wellbeing/bulletins/coronavirusandlonelinessgreatbritain/3aprilto3may2020 Last accessed: November 2020.

2.      Central Statistics Office. Social Impact of COVID-19 Survey April 2020. Available from: https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-sic19/socialimpactofcovid-19surveyapril2020/introductionandsummaryofresults/ Last accessed: November 2020.

3.      Have A Chat survey, commissioned by Bristol Myers Squibb in partnership with the Campaign to End Loneliness, carried out by IPSOS Mori in October 2020. Data on file.

This campaign has been co-created by Bristol Myers Squibb and the Campaign to End Loneliness and is funded by Bristol Myers Squibb.

Date of preparation: February 2021