Around one in ten people will become cut off from their families at some point in their lives.
That's according to new Ipsos Mori statistics which estimate one in five families are affected by estrangement.
Experts say there is still a stigma attached to the issue, and those involved can feel very isolated.
There's flash photography at the start of Frances Read's first report:
The poll was commissioned by the charity Stand Alone, which estimates that 5 million people across the UK may be affected.
The charity is now setting up groups around the country to help those who find themselves cut off from their families, the first one being in Gateshead.
Watch Frances Read's second report: