Nearly half (47%) of adults in the South East who feel lonely fear something will happen to them and no one will notice, and over a third of adults (34%) often feel alone, like they have no one to turn to.
That’s according to new research released by the British Red Cross. 1
The Red Cross polled over 4,000 UK adults and found that more than half (51%) of people in the South East – feel always, often or sometimes lonely.
The findings of the research suggest a lack of meaningful social connections could be contributing to people’s feelings of loneliness and isolation as in the South East:
- Over a third (34%) of people say they often feel alone, like they have no one to turn to.
- Half (50%) of people say their neighbours are like strangers to them.
- Two in five (40%) of those who do have people they feel close to or can rely on say those people live far away from them.
- Nearly one in five (18%) don’t have friends they feel close to or can talk to.
Last year the British Red Cross supported over 291,600 people in crisis across the UK giving them someone they could turn to in their hour of need. The charity is calling on everyone to show their kindness this winter, by helping the Red Cross continue supporting those most in need so they don’t feel alone.
The survey also found that of those in the South East who felt lonely:
- More than half (57%) said their loneliness is having a negative impact on their life, and 60% worry their loneliness will get worse.
- More than two thirds (69%) often feel completely alone when surrounded by people.
- Over two fifths (44%) of people said they have no strategies for coping with their loneliness.
The British Red Cross is there every day for people, providing services across the UK for those who are alone and isolated, helping them connect with their communities.
Whether that’s providing dedicated support and companionship to vulnerable people at home; lending a wheelchair so people are able to get around following a health crisis; supporting refugees to become valued members of their community; reuniting families that have been displaced; or inviting people to join us in building kinder, more connected communities across the UK – the Red Cross is there.
The British Red Cross also co-chairs the Loneliness Action Group in partnership with the Co-op – a coalition of charities, business, public sector leaders and government who together are working to tackle loneliness in our communities and continue the work of the Jo Cox Commission. The British Red Cross and Co-op have been working in partnership to tackle loneliness since 2015.
Tricia Earp, Director of Independent Living for the South-East at British Red Cross said:
“Loneliness and social isolation doesn’t discriminate. Life circumstances can change in the blink of an eye, meaning it can happen to anyone, no matter your age or background.
We all need someone to turn to in a crisis, but the findings of our research suggest that there are many people in our communities feeling they lack meaningful, human connections. This will be concerning for all of us to hear, no matter where we live in the UK, or with whom.
Every one of us would want someone to reach out to us if we found ourselves all alone. People who need our help may be closer than we think, and could feel much more connected if we offer them our kindness.
The British Red Cross is there every day, helping people connect with their communities. A donation this winter could help ensure we continue this vital work supporting those most vulnerable.”
Text KINDNESS to 70141 and donate £5 to help make sure support is there for those who need it most.
For more information on the British Red Cross please visit: www.redcross.org.uk/connect
1 The findings come from a nationally representative online survey of 4,000 UK adults, 548 in the South East, conducted by Opinium, from 30th October to 5th November 2018.