accessibility & help

Loneliness and social isolation

A man sits alone looking at a book or photo album

Over nine million people in the UK  more than the population of London – report they are always or often lonely.

But it can be hard to tell who is feeling lonely or isolated. 

This hidden issue is problematic because it affects people’s health and wellbeing. It is hurting our public services, too.

Every day, British Red Cross staff and volunteers see the damaging effects loneliness and social isolation have on people, many of whom are already in crisis. We support thousands of people every year. 

And now, thanks to a study commissioned by the Red Cross in partnership with Co-op, we know more about the issues than ever before – and how best to help.

We know...

  • Loneliness does not just affect older people. Many other groups in society, from young mums to those with health or mobility issues, experience feelings of loneliness and social isolation.
  • Life transitions can be key triggers for loneliness, from retirement to divorce or separation.
  • Without the right support at the right time, loneliness can transition from a temporary situation to a chronic issue and can contribute to poor health and pressure on public services.  

Based on this research, we will soon be launching new services to help even more people experiencing loneliness and social isolation – and you can help. 

Get involved in your community

We're looking for people to spend a little time helping others in their local area who are lonely or socially isolated. See how you could help people in your community.

Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness

The Red Cross is also part of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness. MPs, policy makers and 13 leading organisation have come together to expose the growing crisis of loneliness and find ways to overcome it.

What we know

A man talks to a woman who was sat looking out of a window.

Read more about our research into loneliness and social isolation.

Read more >

Volunteer to help

A support at home volunteer laughs with service user

Could you spend a little time with people who are lonely or socially isolated?

become a volunteer >

Help for those who feel alone

A woman in a coat and scarf looking down at the floor

Read about our new services and how we plan to help more people.

fiind out more >

“I finally felt like I was getting to grips with things”

Philip Mead stands in his garden.

One man's story coping with bereavement and loneliness. 

Read Phil's story >

Related

Partnering with Co-op

Find out more about our
partnership to tackle loneliness and isolation.

Find out more >

Donate

Ellis Sheldon and Red Cross worker Sue Whalley

Give today to help us tackle loneliness in communities.

Donate now >