Get help with loneliness

Are you feeling lonely, alone or isolated - or are you worried about someone you know? We can help you connect with your local community and meet new friends, give you guidance about coping with loneliness and offer tips to help others.

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, use the search bar to find your local Red Cross service.

Three ways to get help with loneliness.

1.If you’d like to reconnect with your community and meet new people, why not join the Red Cross and Co-op's Connecting Communities scheme?

The friendly, experienced team tailor their support to what you need. You'll find help whatever your age, gender, race, background or where you live.

Find your local loneliness service.

Over three months, you’ll be helped to explore and rediscover your interests, meet new friends, build your confidence and start doing the things you like doing again.

When the three months is over, the Connecting Communities team make sure you know the steps to take to continue the progress you’ve made. 

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.