New research finds that over half of UK adults say it’s been “a long time” since they made a new friend
- Over half of UK adults feel it’s been a long time since they made a new friend
- Almost half (49%) say that their busy lives stop them from connecting with others
- Almost 9 in 10 UK adults believe that small moments of connection can help to tackle loneliness
- Tracey Crouch MP, Minister for Loneliness says: “I am committed to creating a society in which everyone has the support they need – no matter what age they are”
- The Campaign to End Loneliness is launching ‘Be More Us’, a movement to bring people together
Over half of UK adults (54%) feel it has been a long time since they made a new friend or valued connection. Almost half (49%) say that their busy lives stop them from connecting with other people, with work (63%) and chores (65%) cited as the top reasons.
The poll, conducted by the Campaign to End Loneliness in partnership with YouGov, reveals that 8 in 10 UK adults believe that the UK is divided. However, 8 in 10 (82%) of those who think there is a division also agree that small moments of connection, such as making small talk on the bus or smiling at people, can break down divisions. Almost 9 in 10 (88%) people agree that small moments of connection like these are a valuable way of tackling loneliness.
In response to the findings, the Campaign is launching ‘Be More Us’, a nationwide movement to inspire connection, tackle loneliness, and bring people together. The Campaign to End Loneliness is funded by the Big Lottery Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.
Laura Alcock-Ferguson, Executive Director of the Campaign to End Loneliness, said:
“Loneliness and isolation are on the rise, and people fear the UK is divided. But our research shows that the majority of people believe that small moments of connection, that anyone can get involved with, are valuable. They can tackle loneliness, break down divisions and bring people together.
“Over three-quarters (79%) of people who think there is a division in society agree that if we made more time to connect, we’d be less divided. Even in our busy lives, we can all do something. That’s why Be More Us will elevate small moments of connection, like saying hello to someone in your local shop or smiling at someone on the bus. Small moments count, and they should be celebrated.
“Big national events, like the Olympics or the World Cup, give us an excuse to connect. The royal wedding is in ten days and it’s the perfect way to start to Be More Us. Get involved with your community by going to a street party, or invite your neighbour who lives alone out for a drink. Let’s come together and Be More Us.”
Tracey Crouch MP, Minister for Loneliness, said:
“As the first Minister for Loneliness, I am committed to working with communities, charities and businesses to create a society in which everyone has the support they need, no matter what age they are. Small moments of connection are an important part of this, which why I am supporting Be More Us.”
Deborah Moggach, best-selling author of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Campaign to End Loneliness ambassador, said:
“We all need a sense of belonging, no matter what age we are. In every conversation, there is an opportunity to be ‘Us’ and find out what we share. Small moments of connection can make a big difference to a lonely person. So young or old, let’s take time to connect.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
For further statistics, including regional breakdowns, case studies and interviews, please contact Alice Stride. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 0203 865 3907 or 07720 200878.
About Be More Us
On 9th May, the Campaign to End Loneliness is launching ‘Be More Us’ in each nation, a movement to inspire people of all ages to celebrate the things we share. Loneliness and isolation are on the rise, so Be More Us is about taking time to connect. We want people to feel part of their community. We all need a sense of belonging, no matter what age we are. We want to celebrate small moments of connection, like saying hello to someone in your local shop or smiling at someone on the bus. Small moments count. In every conversation, there is an opportunity to be ‘Us’ and find something that connects us. We want to celebrate that. So, don’t be a stranger. Let’s Be More Us.
Visit BeMoreUs.org.uk for tips and ideas to #BeMoreUs
Big Lottery Fund
The Big Lottery Fund uses money raised by National Lottery players to help communities achieve their ambitions. From small, local projects to UK-wide initiatives, its funding brings people together to make a difference to their health, wellbeing and environment. Since June 2004, it has awarded £8.5 billion to projects that improve the lives of millions of people.
About the Campaign to End Loneliness
The Campaign to End Loneliness aims to end loneliness and connect communities. We campaign nationally to inspire thousands of organisations and people to do more to tackle loneliness. We work at a local level in all four nations across the UK. We are hosted by Independent Age and funded by the National Lottery Fund. Together, we can End Loneliness.
About the Research
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2035 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 25th – 26th April 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).
Sandstrom, Gillian M., and Elizabeth W. Dunn: “Social interactions and well-being: The surprising power of weak ties”Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 40.7 (2014): 910-922
Sandstrom, Gillian M., and Elizabeth W. Dunn: “Is efficiency overrated? Minimal social interactions lead to belonging and positive affect.” Social Psychological and Personality Science 5.4 (2014): 437-442