25/12/2018 15:06 GMT | Updated 25/12/2018 15:22 GMT

This Heartwarming #Joinin Hashtag Is Connecting People Who Are Lonely At Christmas

This will give you all the feels...

It’s no secret that many people struggle with loneliness around the Christmas season, often painfully aware they are not experiencing the merry time they feel they ought to be.

But rather than serving as an echo chamber simply amplifying that hurt, Twitter users have revived a rather lovely hashtag to help connect those feeling stuck out on a limb.

#Joinin encourages those feeling lonely or actually by themselves to engage with other users in the same boat, with the sole rules that all exchanges must be public and kind.

The hashtag has harnessed the goodwill of thousands, from those grieving loved ones, to those who have purposefully chosen to celebrate the holiday solo... and everyone else in between.

Comedian Sarah Millican got the ball rolling with a pinned tweet which read: “So, #joinin works like this. If you’re alone or feeling lonely, follow the hashtag #joinin and start chatting to others there. Maybe tweet what you’re up to: What you’re eating, watching on telly etc, making sure you always include #joinin. Then click on the hashtag and see who else is about and fancies a chat. It’s important to stay safe. Keep it public and online. Main rule is to be kind. Think of others. Have good chats, kids. We’re all here for each other.”