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Loneliness helplines

If you'd like advice and support for overcoming loneliness, here are some helplines...

Mind

MindInfoline: 0300 123 3393

mind.org.uk

How to cope with loneliness

The MindinfoLine offers thousands of callers confidential help on a range of mental health issues. Mind helps people take control of their mental health. We do this by providing high-quality information and advice, and campaigning to promote and protect good mental health for everyone. They also provide a special legal service to the public, lawyers and mental health workers.

Campaign to End Loneliness

campaigntoendloneliness.org.uk

Feeling lonely?

We help people to maintain and create personal connections in their later life. We draw on research and inspiration from across the country to offer information and ideas to both individuals and those working with older people. We deliver projects and campaigns with a range of other organisations. Together, we aim to end loneliness in older age.

British Red Cross – Connecting Communities

Feeling lonely? Contact us on 0344 871 11 11 (Mon to Fri, 9.30-5)

Loneliness and isolation

Our brand-new connecting communities service offers up to three months of support to suit you.

We help people feel better connected and enjoy the benefits of being more involved in their local community. You’ll be paired up with one of our local team members. Together you will rediscover your interests, rebuild your independence and find new friends. Our services are delivered by our skilled and dedicated volunteers and staff. They can draw on decades of experience in helping people to live independently and confidently in their communities. Our support is also tailored. Everything we offer allows people to realise the things they want to achieve.

Next Door

nextdoor.com

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.

Meet Up

meetup.com

Meetup is the world's largest network of local groups. Meetup makes it easy for anyone to organize a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face. More than 9,000 groups get together in local communities each day, each one with the goal of improving themselves or their communities. Where lonely people make friends. Be lonely no more.

Carol McGiffin reveals her wedding photos after marrying Mark Cassidy in 2018! "We liked having a secret"

CAROL MCGIFFIN FINALLY TALKS ABOUT HER SECRET WEDDING!

She shocked us all recently by revealing she'd married partner Mark Cassidy in 2018 - and now Carol's revealed why she kept the wedding a secret for so long.

"We did it on our own, just us two, nobody at all. It had to be like that - all or nothing," Carol explained.

"We thought, 'We won't tell anyone just yet'. We liked having a secret. Then the secret carried on. We did tell all our close friends and family. In a kind of way we had little celebrations with our families and close friends and probably missed a few out - so sorry about that."

The couple got married in Bangkok on 8 February 2018 and only announced the news after celebrating their first wedding anniversary!

Watch the video to see Carol's wedding photos!

Carol McGiffin and Mark Cassidy have married in secret! "No one knew we were going to do it"

Our Carol McGiffin and husband Mark Cassidy

CONGRATULATIONS CAROL AND MARK!

Our Carol McGiff has finally revealed she's married! She tied the knot with Mark Cassidy in Bangkok, Thailand last February.

"No one knew we were going to do it, but we’ve basically spent the last year having separate celebrations with different friends and family and telling them all in person,' Carol has revealed. "Now they all know, we’re ready for it to come out."

Carol and Mark got together after meeting at Loose Women back in 2008 so tied the knot a decade later in 2018.

We can wait to celebrate with the happy couple!

Gemma Collins on Dancing On Ice and baby plans: "Arg is the one that keeps going on to me about having a baby!"

GEMMA COLLINS TALKS BABY PLANS AND WHY JENNIFER ANISTON MADE HER CRY

She left Dancing On Ice with a smile on her face and two and a half stone lighter. And Gemma joined us to talk about starting a family with boyfriend James 'Arg' Argent.

“I was told I needed to lose weight, that was why I agreed to doing Dancing On Ice, because it was going to help me long-term,' she said. “I’ve definitely struggled with it [questions about having children]. A lot of my friends that I’ve been on TOWIE with have all gone on to have children and it’s just, everyone’s always like, ‘When are you going to have a baby?’ I did have a few problems and did feel kind of, not fully whole, as a woman. Because it was, ‘Oh my god I can’t have children, people are going to look down on me'.”

Gemma revealed she'd need some help to get pregnant but it will be possible despite first being told she'd struggle. “They just said I need to lose weight, they will put me on a drug called Clomid and we will start the process. That is something I’ll be looking to do at the end of the year," she explained.

“Regarding Jennifer Aniston, she spoke out this year and she said, ‘Do not define me as a woman just because I haven’t had children’. When I heard that I cried. I had a cup of tea indoors, I had a couple of Rich Tea biscuits and I thought, ‘Do you know what, you’ve made me feel today, totally OK about myself and where I am in my life.’”

Speaking of her plans to have children, Gemma said: “Arg is the one that keeps going on to me about it. It’s like, ‘Come on Gem’. Then he says, ‘I would like to be married first’. I’m like, ‘Arg, just go and get that yellow diamond and let’s get things moving’. We’re definitely going to marry. We will marry. He wants to do it all properly.”

Take the Loose Women 'Face Your Smear' pledge

Join Loose Women’s campaign and pledge to Face Your Smear and never miss a smear test. #FaceYourSmear

  • The number of women regularly having smear tests has slipped to the lowest level since records began in 1995.
  • Cervical Screening Awareness Week revealed that five million women are late for testing.
  • Over 1 in 4 women in the UK are currently overdue their smear test.

Rebekah Vardy on her smear test scare: ‘I don’t want my kids to grow up without a mum’

REBEKAH VARDY ON HOW A ROUTINE SMEAR TEST SAVED HER LIFE

On today's Loose Women, guest Rebekah Vardy joined us to talk about our new campaign #FaceYourSmear and opened up about her own smear test scare.

Rebekah shared that after the birth of her son Taylor, now 9, her routine smear came back showing abnormal cells: “They wanted me to go back in and have a loop biopsy almost immediately. They were pre-cancerous cells. Obviously it was petrifying, you think the worst. It was around the time that Jade Goody had lost her life to cervical cancer, so that was in the back of my mind obviously. I had two young children. The worst crosses your mind. You can’t help but think, ‘I don’t want my kids to grow up without a mum’. It was hard.

She later added: “I had to have a loop biopsy. I had to have anaesthetic injected into my cervix and then it’s electronic, like a loop and it burns off the cancerous cells. It’s not the most pleasant experience, but it saved my life.”

Women attending smear tests is at a 21-year low in England, with 1 in 4 women in the UK overdue. With more than 3,000 diagnosed with cervical cancer each year and almost 900 deaths annually in the UK, we are encouraging viewers to pledge to attend their test via the FACE YOUR SMEAR pledge button on our website.

Watch the video to see the full conversation with Rebekah.

Click here for cervical cancer helplines
Click here to take the #FaceYourSmear pledge

Face Your Smear: What to expect from a smear test

What to expect from a smear test

Tips to make cervical screening better for you. Everyone’s experience is different, but knowing these tips before you go for cervical screening may help you feel more comfortable:

Ask for a nurse or doctor of a particular gender – for example, a female nurse. If you have a nurse or doctor you trust, check with your GP surgery if they are able to do your test.

Book a longer or double appointment. If you think you may need more time during or after your test, check if your GP surgery offers it. Be prepared for your GP surgery’s receptionist to ask why you need a longer appointment and remember you do not have to disclose anything.

A tearful Saira Khan on her exit from Dancing on Ice: 'I'm genuinely really gutted'

AN EMOTIONAL SAIRA KHAN ON HER DANCING ON ICE 'FAIRYTALE' COMING TO AN END

Loose Women's very own Saira Khan spoke tearfully of her exit from Dancing on Ice on today’s show, joined by her dance partner Mark Hanretty.

Getting emotional after watching her highlights Saira said of leaving the skating show: “I’m going to be really honest, I am really gutted. I genuinely am really gutted. Mark was just taking me to that next stage.”

Saira also addressed comments from viewers that fellow dancer Gemma Collins should have gone, saying: “I’ve got to give credit where credit’s due, Gemma came up to me last night and said, ‘I should have been in the skate-off not you’. She did say that, honestly. She knows it. But look, it’s a TV show. It’s about performance and people are keeping her in. Whatever you think of her, I want to watch her on the ice. I want to know what she does next. This is where it’s TV versus a skating show.”

Saira added: “I was living a childhood dream of dancing. I was gutted when it ended. Mark was bringing such emotion out of me.”

Watch the video to see the full conversation with Saira and Mark.