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Reduce loneliness and isolation

Anyone at any age can be lonely. We can all take small actions in our communities to build lasting connections.

Two ladies smiling and enjoying a conversation at an indoor event with bunting.

What is loneliness

Loneliness is a mismatch between the relationships we have and those we want.

While isolation often describes when we’re physically alone, we can experience loneliness even when we’re surrounded by people. Loneliness is our internal warning trigger that tells us something needs to change.

Loneliness can come and go throughout our lives and can affect anyone – even at times that are supposed to be new and exciting. With research showing that our brains treat loneliness in the same way as physical pain, loneliness can affect both our mental and physical health.

There are solutions we can all weave into our day to day lives to overcome loneliness. When people connect in their communities, we all see lasting positive results.

Hold a Big Lunch for the Month of Community

There’s still time to hold a Big Lunch in 2024!

Our pack is still available and it’s full of handy downloadable resources and exclusive content to help you plan and host your Big Lunch.

We can’t wait to see where your Big Lunch might take you!

Two ladies laughing and carrying food containers to a Big Lunch.

How to deal with loneliness

Small actions can help reduce loneliness and isolation in ourselves and others. By reaching out in our communities and building relationships that matter to us, we can help address chronic loneliness – through sharing time, food and friendship. A simple ‘hello’ and stopping to chat can make a big difference to a person experiencing loneliness.

 

How to deal with loneliness

 

Group of people on a boat, sitting around a table sharing food and drinks. They are smiling at the camera and holding their mugs aloft.

Build connections with a Big Lunch

In 2023, a whopping 14.1 million people brought their neighbours together by taking part in a Big Lunch. That’s 1 in 5 of the UK population! Often all it takes is a simple reason to bring people together – that might be a Big Lunch with the whole street, or simply inviting a neighbour in for a cuppa.

 

Hold your own Big Lunch

One of our Community Network Developers, Paul, having a conversation with another man at an inside event in Manchester.

Loneliness charities and support for loneliness

You’re never alone in feeling lonely.

We work with brilliant organisations who help raise awareness and remove stigma around loneliness, bring people together through shared experiences, and offer lifelines such as confidential telephone services. Contact Reengage (for elderly people), The Marmalade Trust or Age UK’s The Silver Line for support.

We also provide practical advice on setting up your own community group or holding a Big Lunch to bring your neighbours together.

John Bishop’s ‘Say hello’ campaign to reduce loneliness