If you are feeling lonely you need to establish the reason for your loneliness. You may live on your own, have experienced a relationship breakdown or may have been bereaved and are looking for ways to make new friends and improve your social life. Getting involved in voluntary work in your local community is a good way of meeting new people, finding a sense of purpose by helping others. Local hospitals are often looking for volunteers to help visit patients or run the hospital shop. Local charities are often in need of volunteers to help staff charity high street shops.
You could also think about joining any clubs and societies relating to any interests/hobbies you have e.g. If you are interested in sport find out about local clubs, if you are interested in drama and theatre find out about joining a drama group or helping out behind the scenes at a local theatre. The local library, town hall information office or local paper often keep details about clubs and societies.
If you are suffering from depression and/or mental health it may be that because of your illness you have become cut off from family/friends and have become isolated in the community. You may also lack confidence and self esteem, suffer from anxiety, and may find it difficult to make friends or socialise.
It may help talking to a counsellor in the first instance and start trying to build your confidence up slowly - talking to the local shopkeepers, staff in the post office etc. just to get yourself used to talking to people and making conversation. It may help you to find out about assertiveness or confidence building classes which are often run by the local colleges or adult education centres and have a look at the pages on the website relating to self esteem, anxiety, depression as some of the resources mentioned on these pages may be helpful to you.
Adult education centres and community centres are worth checking out to see if there are any classes you may be interested in or hobbies you could take up. You may think about taking classes learning computers or a new language.
For young people there are many clubs which meet in a friendly social atmosphere while learning a variety of new skills and helping in the local community - Scouts, Girl Guides, British Red Cross, St. Johns Ambulance, Police Cadets etc.
If you are aged between 18-35 years the National Federation of 18 Plus Groups run clubs around the country where members meet in a social atmosphere and arrange a variety of activities.
Round Tables, Rotary and Inner Wheel Clubs are also an excellent way of becoming involved in the local community and at the same time meeting new people from which friendships may evolve.
Below are some agencies which offer a range of services addressing loneliness and isolation. If you cannot find anything in your local area please do contact Supportline email@example.com
Agencies which may be useful to you
0800 678 1602
Age UK run befriending services, pairing an older person with a befriender to help provide companionship.
Association of Inner Wheel Clubs in Great Britain and Ireland (clubs for women):
020 7834 4600
51 Warwick Square, London SW1V 2AT - To promote true friendship and the development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service and the betterment of social conditions. Voluntary work includes hospital work, caring for sick, needy, handicapped, young and elderly people according to the needs of the community.
Being matched with a befriender can provide an immensely positive impact in many people's lives by offering a reliable, trusting relationship. The role of a befriender is, however, primarily about social contact, rather than doing practical jobs like driving, shopping or DIY or providing other types of care. If a befriender still seems right for you or someone you know, the next step will be to identify and contacted a relevant organisation. Please be aware some organisations will have a waiting list, while others will be able to provide in-person or telephone support sooner.
Find a befriender near you by checking the befriender directory
Better Connected (Run by Guideposts)
Better Connected is a UK-wide social club for anyone with autism or learning difficulties. We organise online events through the week, local meetups and a monthly community magazine!
British Red Cross Society:
0808 196 3651
9 Grosvenor Crescent, London SWlX 7EJ
To provide caring and emergency service to those most in need in their local communities through some 45,000 volunteers and staff.
The Cares Family
The Cares Family brings older and younger people together – to share time, laughter, new experiences and friendship – so that everyone can feel part of our changing cities, rather than left behind by them through their five local charities – North London Cares, South London Cares, Manchester Cares, Liverpool Cares and East London Cares
Civil Service Retirement Fellowship
020 8691 7411
The Civil Service Retirement Fellowship is a national charity dedicated to helping former civil servants and their dependants make the most of their retirement. Services include befriending, local community and leisure groups, advice and information
Directory of services and groups for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.
Friends of the Elderly:
020 7730 8263
To support older people, often frail, confused or with dementia, to maintain a level of independence and choice by providing a complete range of services for them - provides home visiting services, runs day centre facilities.
A new social network which is about making social connections. Meet people in person. Go to or organise a get together in or near to your local area. Nights out, day trips, or just a simple cup of tea and a chat with like minded people.
Gig Buddies with Thera Trust
Gig Buddies enables adults with a learning disability to live an active social life. They do this by pairing members to like minded volunteers to enjoy their shared passion together. They also work with a wide range of venues and arts organisations to make local events more welcoming for people with a learning disability.
Support for single parents includes connecting with others through online chat and local groups around the country, where you can meet other single parents for support, friendship and local activities.
Find your nearest group here
0800 999 2016
17-19 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W OPT - Enables girls and young women to fulfil their potential to take an active and responsible role in society through stimulating and enjoyable activities. A challenging programme enabling girls and young women to explore and achieve in a supportive environment, growing in self esteem and confidence.
Girlfriend Social - where women make friends
Girlfriend Social is website that connects women with new female friendships. This website is for Ladies only, who just like you, are looking to make platonic women friendships. Inside women can make new friends with fabulous ladies in a safe and friendly environment. It doesn't matter if you're single or married, 20 or 60. All women who are looking for friendships are welcome here. Girlfriend Social is totally free! No fees, no costs, EVER! Just sign up, find female friends and be a part of the Girlfriend club that everyone is talking about
0800 319 6789
Independent Age provides support to older people including regular telephone calls and home visits.
Open to all women between ages of 18-45 - broaden your social life by making new friends, have fun, fundraise for local charities. Groups across the UK.
Linking Lives UK
0300 302 0225
Linking Lives UK exists to reduce social isolation and loneliness, with a particular focus on older people. This is achieved by working in partnership with churches and Christian organisations to set up befriending projects. This includes home visiting and telephone befriending.
London Wildlife Trust:
020 7261 0447
Harling House, 47-51 Great Suffolk Street, London SE1 0BS - To promote nature conservation within Greater London. Managing nearly 60 wildlife sites, running public participation surveys and other activities for the public, also junior Wildlife Watch groups throughout London.
Love Your Neighbour
Love Your Neighbour is a national network of churches, charities and other organisations working across towns and cities, to see people helped, communities rebuilt and to inspire a fresh movement of practical love for our neighbour. They provide community-based support through ongoing wrap-around care such as mental health groups, drop-in cafes and supportive relationships through the church. Check the website to find your local hub.
Meet up Mondays
MeetUpMondays is an initiative launched to help address loneliness and isolation.It offers hospitality businesses the chance to strengthen their local communities by supporting them to hold free, weekly coffee mornings. These create friendly and welcoming social spaces for folk who might feel lonely or isolated, providing opportunities for friendship and company that might not otherwise be available. Enter your postcode into locations map on website to find your nearest meet up space.
Matt started MenWalkTalk after realising the many benefits that come with getting outdoors and meeting new people, especially having other men you can speak to about the many things that Men go through. Currently MenWalkTalk groups meet across Sussex, Brighton, London, Devon and Bassetlaw, but new groups are starting regularly! The Charity wants to reduce the number of male suicides, and provide a community of support for guys to know they are not alone and they can speak up.
Men's Sheds Association
0300 772 9626
Community spaces for men to connect, converse and create. They help reduce loneliness, and isolation and fun.
Scottish Mens Sheds Association
National Association of Women's Clubs:
To provide facilities for social life and opportunities for informal education within the means of all women. The individual clubs are self governing. Programmes include facilities for a good social life, classes and demonstrations on a variety of crafts etc. and speakers on a wide range of subjects.
National Federation of Women's Institute:
020 7371 9300
Monthly meetings, demonstrations, speakers, activities, learning experiences.
Wales: 02920 221712
National Association of Round Table of Great Britain and Ireland:
0121 456 4567
Marchesi House, 4 Embassy Drive, Calthrope Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 1TP
Association of Clubs for young men aged 18-45 years that provides a selection of social and community service related opportunities for its members. Meetings include speakers, activities, entertainment, quizzes, debates, meals.
National Women's Register:
Meet other women and make new friends, informal lunch discussion groups, social activities, quizzes, correspondence magazine, postal book group, penfriend scheme.
National organisation providing support for parents including details of local meet ups and events
Nextdoor is the private social network for you, your neighbours and your community. It's the easiest way for you and your neighbours to talk online and make all of your lives better in the real world. And it's free. Nextdoor’s mission is to provide a trusted platform where neighbours work together to build stronger, safer, happier communities, all over the world.
NHS Volunteer Responders: Check In and Chat
0808 196 3646
Short term telephone support to people in need of a friendly phone call and encouragement to improve their mental health and well being.
Improving the quality of people's lives through friendship, care and charitable support.
For all ages - numerous branches throughout the country
Work with family care-givers, people nearing the end of life, bereaved, socially isolated individuals, frail and the elderly. Information and support and The Chatterbox telephone befriending service.
Opening Doors is the largest UK charity providing activities, events, information and support services specifically for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, non-binary, or gender fluid (LGBTQ+) people over 50. Membership organisation providing regular social opportunities and events to help develop networks, communities and create friendships for LGBTQ+ people, aged over 50. (Free membership).
Outsiders is a safe community of people across the UK who share a wide range of physical and social disabilities. Many are looking to change their lives around, make new friends, enjoy life to the full and find partners. Please see website for full details.
National group for 18-35year olds with a programme of events and social activities with 40 branches around the country. Quest is part of Plus for over 30s.
Police Cadets (for young people): Contact local police station for details of the nearest Police Cadet Scheme.
020 3961 3300
2nd Floor, Camelford House, 87-89 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7TW.
Reconnections by Independent Age
With the help of their friendly local volunteers they provide companionship, encouragement and ideas to help over 65s rediscover old interests and make new friends. Currently working in Barking & Dagenham and Havering, Guildford & Waverley
Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland
Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland
Warwickshire B49 6PB
Rotary unites problem solvers in Great Britain and Ireland and across the world, transforming our communities one project at a time. Through membership of your local Rotary Club, you can turn your ideas and passion for change into action.
Royal Voluntary Service:
RVS has more than 35,000 volunteers who help support older people stay independent at home and active in their communities. It's that practical little bit of help that makes all the difference, whether at home, getting them where they want to go, bringing people together through social activities or supporting them in hospital. Their aim is to provide the support that enables older people to live independent and fulfilled lives. (Find details of your local RVS through the website)
SA-UK (Social Anxiety UK):
Volunteer led organisation, news, advice, info, meetings, chatroom, forums, support/social groups, info on cognitive behavioural therapy.
A community connected by disability. Here, you can make friends, share your experiences, get the advice you need, and discuss the issues that matter to you.
0345 300 1818
Gilwell Park, Bury Road, Chingford, London E4 7QW - To promote the development of young people in achieving their full physical, intellectual, social and spiritual potential. Non formal personal and social education through outdoor adventure. Creative activities and community service.
SHOUT support with loneliness
If you are feeling lonely or know someone who is, Shout Volunteers are available 24/7 to listen and support you.
Text 'SHOUT' to 85258 to start a conversation today.
0800 470 8090
Free confidential helpline providing information, friendship and advice to people aged 55 and over. Open 24 hours a day every day of the year. Offer friendship and advice, link callers to local groups and services, offer regular befriending calls, protect and support those who are suffering abuse and neglect.
Social prescribing works particularly well for people who feel lonely and isolated, are struggling to cope with life, people having depression/anxiety. People can connect to a social prescriber through their GP surgery or some local charities such as some branches of Age UK and MIND and covers all ages.
0161 873 8788
UK’s largest multi activity, adventure, sports and social group. Adventure group for ordinary people who want to do extraordinary things. Activities each month, subscription charge.
A not-for-profit social enterprise which aims to enable more disabled people and their family members to access disability-affirming psychological support. Their services are effective because of their personal understanding of disability as well as their therapist background. They look at a persons impairment and all the factors that affect their ability to be a full and equal participant in society. Spokz People also run a well being programme online covering issues such as emergency support, physical health, maintaining good mental health, setting of goals and dealing with setbacks. They also address isolation and loneliness with peer support through live zoom groups, forum, and 1-2-1 chat function. See website for more details
St. John Ambulance:
The uniformed members of St. John Ambulance operate worldwide as unpaid volunteers who save lives, care for the sick and injured and relieve suffering. They operate coastal and river patrols, assist in hospitals and with many community social services for the sick, disabled and lonely. Cadet divisions for 10-16 year olds and the Badgers for children aged 6-10 year olds.
St. Vincent de Paul Society:
020 7703 3030
To support the needy and marginalized by person to person contact. Activities include helping the elderly, sick, unemployed, lonely, bereaved.
St.Vincent de Paul Society Scotland
0141 226 8833
For women aged over 45 with a focus on making friends, enjoying programme of interesting and fun activities. Groups across the UK.
The University of the Third Age (U3A)
Tel: Head Office 020 8466 6139
An organisation which provides life enhancing and life changing opportunities. Retired and semi retired people come together to organise and provide interest groups in accordance with the wishes of the membership. Over 300 different subjects provided in branches throughout the UK including history, computing, photography, music, crafts, art, walking.
Web of Loneliness
Helping the lonely get connected - gain insights, view artwork, build connections through a facebook community
Information, advice, research on loneliness
Gransnet is the busiest social networking site for the over 50s. At its heart is a buzzing forum where users debate the hot topics of the day, support each other through tough times and share a laugh. Brimming with useful content covering everything from fashion to food, travel to technology, as well as competitions and an incredibly popular book club, there is something on the site for everyone. An offshoot of the very brilliant Mumsnet, the leading parents’ website, Gransnet offers a sense of community, which can often be a lifeline, alongside essential lifestyle advice. So whether you're seeking impartial advice from our users, looking for daily dinner ideas, or want to find that perfect gift for a partner or friend, Gransnet is the place for you.
Sign up to find meet ups in your local area, most events/activities are either free or low cost.
From the Mental Health Foundation, advice on things you can do when feeling lonely
Some tips from MIND about loneliness
The place to make new friends, activities across the UK.
Site for young people 16-25 who wish to do voluntary work.
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