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UK adults haven’t made a friend in ‘a long time'

Country Living (UK) logo Country Living (UK) 09/05/2018 Katie Avis-Riordan

The organisation Campaign to End Loneliness teamed up with YouGov to carry out the research, which had some sad results, revealing that over half of UK adults (54%) say it’s been “a long time” since they made a new friend, with 49% citing busy lives as an obstacle to connecting with others.: UK adults haven’t made a friend in ‘a long time' © Anthony Owen-Jones - Getty Images UK adults haven’t made a friend in ‘a long time' A special message from MSN:

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Have we forgotten how to make friends? This was the question a new UK survey was centred around, with the aim of finding out how often we make new connections during adulthood.

The organisation, Campaign to End Loneliness, teamed up with YouGov to carry out the research, which had some sad results. In conclusion, over half of UK adults (54%) say it’s been 'a long time' since they made a new friend, with 63% citing work as an obstacle to connecting with others. Significantly, chores (65%) and 'busy lives' (49%) were also stated as reasons.

The online poll of more than 2,000 UK adults also discovered that almost nine in 10 UK adults believe that just small moments of connection can help fight loneliness. These can include incredibly simple acts, such as smiling at people or making small talk on the bus.

The news comes hot on the heels of recent data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) about loneliness in the UK. They found that, in 2016 to 2017, 5% of adults in England reported feeling lonely 'often' or 'always'.

In light of the Campaign to End Loneliness research, the organisation has launched a new initiative called Be More Us, a movement to bring people together, starting on the 9th May 2018. The project, funded by the Big Lottery Fund, aims to inspire people of all ages to celebrate the things we share.

“Loneliness and isolation are on the rise, and people fear the UK is divided,” Laura Alcock-Ferguson, executive director of the Campaign to End Loneliness, said. “But our research shows that the majority of people believe that small moments of connection, that anyone can get involved with, are valuable.

“Over three-quarters (79%) of people who think there is a division in society agree that if we made more time to connect, we’d be less divided. Even in our busy lives, we can all do something.

Provided by Shutterstock © Shutterstock Provided by Shutterstock

“That’s why Be More Us will elevate small moments of connection, like saying hello to someone in your local shop or smiling at someone on the bus. Small moments count, and they should be celebrated.

“Big national events, like the Olympics or the World Cup, give us an excuse to connect. The royal wedding is in ten days and it’s the perfect way to start to Be More Us. Get involved with your community by going to a street party, or invite your neighbour who lives alone out for a drink. Let’s come together and Be More Us.”

To prove how making friends is child’s play, the organisation created a heartwarming Be More Us video entitled The Loneliness Project, showing adorable 6-year-olds making friends with adults. Watch the sweet film below:

Visit BeMoreUs.org.uk for tips and ideas to #BeMoreUs. Also check out our tips on how to tackle loneliness in the countryside here.

Related: Loneliness A Bigger Health Concern Than Obesity Or Alcoholism, Study Shows (Provided by Buzz60)

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