Get help with loneliness

The British Red Cross is helping people connect with their local communities, meet new friends, and offering ways to help people cope with loneliness.

If you are feeling lonely, please know that you are not alone. The British Red Cross is here to help you.

One in five people in the UK say they experience feelings of loneliness, and during the coronavirus pandemic many more of us felt anxious and isolated. We are working hard to make sure that no-one feels like they have nowhere to turn.

If you are affected by loneliness or know someone who needs help, click the link below to find a Red Cross service in your area. We may be able to help directly or to refer you to another organisation.

Find your local service

Three ways to get help with loneliness.

1. If you’d like to reconnect with your community and meet new people, contact your local service. The friendly, experienced team tailor their support to what you need, or we can help you find another organisation that works in your area. You'll find help whatever your age, gender, race, background or where you live.

Find your local loneliness service.

Connecting with you, Scotland

As we start to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, this new service aims to help people who are experiencing loneliness and who need help reconnecting with people and communities.

Our friendly and experienced volunteers will be by your side, providing telephone, online and in-person support where needed to help you begin to feel better connected and to help you feel more involved in your local community.

If you are 18 or over living in Scotland and would like more information about the service please phone 07709502127 between 10am – 4pm, Monday to Friday.

2. During the coronavirus pandemic, our coronavirus support line is staffed by experienced Red Cross volunteers who offer help to people feeling lonely because of social isolation.

3. If we don’t offer the help you need to feel better, you can find information about other organisations that can help you cope with loneliness.

How to help yourself with loneliness.

We understand that life can be difficult when you're feeling sad and lonely. And often we don’t want to ask others for help. These resources offer useful advice that can help you help yourself.

How to help someone who is lonely

Having a chat over a cup of tea, or helping a lonely person to join a local community group could be all it takes to help them feel better.

Our Loneliness Action Group brings together government, charities and businesses who work together to stop  loneliness across the UK.

During the coronavirus pandemic, kindness has been keeping us all together. Here are eight ways you can help your community.

What are the symptoms of loneliness?

Giving the term 'loneliness'  meaning, or finding an exact definition, is difficult. Each person can experience being lonely differently - it’s a mood, a state of mind and a lived experience.

Often, lonely people can feel tired. They can lose confidence. Socialising can become difficult. Many lonely people describe feeling alone, trapped, without purpose and frustrated. In the most serious cases, loneliness can cause thoughts of self-harm and suicide. 

Who can suffer from loneliness?

Being isolated or feeling alone is by no means exclusive – loneliness can affect us all. However, many face the effects of loneliness when experiencing a major life change. This could include being:

  • bereaved
  • retired
  • a new parent
  • just out of hospital
  • unable to get out because of illness or another condition
  • new to an area.

We also know some social groups were particularly affected by Covid-19 and may need extra support with life after lockdown. These can include:

  • Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities
  • parents with young children
  • young people
  • people living with long term physical and mental health conditions
  • people on lower incomes 
  • people with limited access to digital technology and the internet 

What is the British Red Cross doing about loneliness?

We know that loneliness is one of the biggest public health crises of our times. That’s why the British Red Cross is working to tackle loneliness right now and partnered with the Co-op (2015-2019) to get the Connecting Communities scheme up and running.

We also have a clear vision of what needs to be done in the future and to combat loneliness after lockdown. 

The British Red Cross and Co-op partnership also supported the Loneliness All Party Parliamentary Group. This cross-party working group helps develop policy to combat loneliness and ensure people have the support they need to make meaningful social connections.

Read about the progress we’ve made to build a society where no-one feels alone.