A FOLK-ROCK band is throwing its support behind a drive to help people be less lonely.

One member of Brighton-based 40 Shillings on the Drum had personal experience of dealing with isolation when he was younger.

The group hopes the Connect 4 campaign, run by Brighton and Hove charity Impetus, will help tackle the problem.

The charity says loneliness affects people of every race, age, and gender at any time of the year.

Not having anyone to connect with can have a devastating impact on people’s health and wellbeing.

Despite its image of being a friendly, vibrant, inclusive city, Brighton and Hove has one of the highest rates of loneliness in the UK.

The campaign, which launches on Monday, asks people to show their support by pledging to do four simple things.

These are to donate between £4 and £40, show their backing on social media, go to one of Impetus’s events and have a home or work donation book which Impetus will send out.

40 Shillings on the Drum are supporting the drive with fundraising gigs at the Prince Albert in Trafalgar Street in Brighton on November 17 and Impetus’s Winter Festival at the Brunswick in Holland Road, Hove, on December 2.

Guitarist Steve Cobley, 33, from Peacehaven, said: “I pulled away from the world.

“Looking back, although I talked about my depression and feelings of loneliness to my GP, there was no signposting to other services.

“I felt very alone and know now that I would have benefited from social support and a sympathetic ear.

“Those were the days of very slow dial-up internet, so no chat forums or easy to access online help.

“The band and I want to give something back and raise awareness of the issue of loneliness and social isolation.

“There is no reason why anyone should feel alone and suffer as a result.”

Impetus provides a range of services, including befriending, advocacy and support, which are aimed at helping to reduce loneliness and build stronger community connections.

Chief executive Jo Ivens said: “The chairwoman of the Royal College of General Practitioners said recently that social isolation and loneliness are akin to a chronic long-term condition in terms of the impact they have on patients’ health and well-being.

“I think that sums up how serious this issue is, not least in Brighton.”

For more details visit bh-impetus.org/connect4.