By Jason Hilbourne.
Reading Voluntary Action (RVA), Reading Borough Council and other local voluntary organisations conducted a survey into loneliness and isolation this spring. Nearly 500 people filled out surveys in libraries, GP surgeries, in shopping centres, at local charities and with researchers in town, as well as online.
The responses came from a wide cross-section of backgrounds, ages, personal circumstances and areas of Reading and identified that:
- 11% of respondents are ‘often or always lonely’,
- 47% of respondents are lonely at some point every week,
- over half of all respondents feel like they would like more social contacts or friends,
- the biggest barrier to not accessing social activity was “not knowing what was going on” followed by “transport difficulties” and a “lack of confidence” in attending new social groups,
- 20% of all respondents have spent time with people socially no more than twice in the past fortnight.
RVA have invited residents to become champions to end loneliness, which involves recruiting volunteers to befriend isolated people. There will be a workshop at the Reading Central Library on Thursday 13 July at 5.30pm – 7pm for anybody interested in helping.
This article was originally published by the Reading Neighbourhood Network.
- Reading Neighbourhood Network
- 11% of Reading residents are lonely most of the time. Together we can change that.
- Champions to end loneliness
- Champions’ workshop