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Helping to challenge loneliness

As the UK Campaign to End Loneliness closes under its current title and reopens in a new home at the Centre for Loneliness Studies at Sheffield Hallam University, it’s a good time to reflect on its findings to date.

The Campaign was established in 2011 and has unearthed useful facts and strategies.

While we often think of older people as being most susceptible to loneliness if they live on their own, people of all ages can experience unwelcome feelings of isolation, sadness and disconnection.

Loneliness can impact lives across the generations in many ways:

  • an increased risk of early mortality
  • greater risk of poor mental health
  • loss of self-confidence
  • raised blood pressure and acute stress responses
  • lack of good quality sleep

The Campaign to End Loneliness commissioned some research that shows the things people miss most when they find themselves alone.

Most of these things are very simple: ‘sitting with someone’ and ‘sharing a laugh with someone’ . They are everyday moments that could easily be restored to the daily lives of those experiencing loneliness.

Some other most missed moments include:

  • More than half miss the warm embrace of a hug
  • Over a third miss having someone to share a bed with
  • One in ten miss office gossip
  • Almost a third miss going for a country walk

As friends and family, there are actions we can take to alleviate the way these changes in life can create a feeling of loneliness.

You could take a look at our downloadable loneliness guide for simple ideas that can make a real difference.


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