At the beginning of October, BBC Radio 4 revealed the results of the world’s largest study on loneliness, in collaboration with the Wellcome Collection.
For the BBC, the Loneliness Experiment revealed nine key findings from 55,000 responses to the survey. For us, five of those seem the most important. Why? Well, firstly because we are starting a movement in Coventry called Connecting for Good.
It is funded with £500k from the Big Lottery Fund so that over the next three years we can create communities where people are truly connected to each other to end isolation. Our approach will put the emphasis on unlocking people’s capabilities to help themselves and those around them.
If you haven’t already heard about it, here are some quick links to get you up to speed:
Secondly, the five findings that are particularly relevant at this stage of our Connecting for Good journey are:
Young people are the group who feel the loneliest – although young adulthood (16-24) can in retrospect be a lonely time of transition for most people and isn’t necessarily only as a result of the external forces of modern life.
People who feel discriminated against are most likely to feel lonely– this includes people with a disability or long term condition, some of the people we want to join our movement.
People feel ashamed about feeling lonely. We want to start conversations about isolation and loneliness so it is no longer taboo and we can talk about how to make it better.
People who feel lonely score higher on empathy. Being involved in Connecting for Good is protective. Everyone benefits. Everyone contributes. Everyone cares because they understand what loneliness feels like.
People who say they often feel lonely report poorer health. Public Health is closely involved in our movement and health is one of the main reasons behind our successful funding bid.
Get in touch to get involved with #connectingforgood: