Work and chores stop us making new friends, loneliness survey reveals

Loneliness study Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

More than half of British adults feel it has been a long time since they made a new friend or valued connection, new research shows.

With 54% stating this as their experience, findings also reveal how 49% say their busy lives stop them from making connections with others – with 63% citing work and 65% blaming chores as the main reason.

An online poll, carried out by the Campaign To End Loneliness in partnership with YouGov, quizzed more than 2,000 people, and also highlights how eight in 10 think the UK is divided.

The data shows that 82% of those who think there is a division also agree that small moments of connection such as making small talk on public transport or smiling at people can help break down divisions.

And how almost nine in 10 or 88% of adults believe these small moments of connection are a valuable way of tackling loneliness.

Executive director of the Campaign To End Loneliness, Laura Alcock-Ferguson, 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.”

Launching the Be More Us movement on May 9, the Campaign To End Loneliness, which is funded by the National Lottery Fund, hopes it will encourage people to take the time to connect and that all ages will be brought together.

Ms Alcock-Ferguson said “small moments count” and big national events like the imminent Royal wedding is a perfect way to start.

“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,” she added.

Minister for Loneliness, Tracey Crouch, said she is supporting the movement and is “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”.