Loneliness Awareness Week 2024

Help us tackle the loneliness epidemic in London – volunteer as a community befriender.

Loneliness Awareness Week is running from 10 – 16 June this year, and raises awareness of loneliness and empowers everyone to make connections across the UK.

The loneliness epidemic

Loneliness can affect any of us – at any age. It’s a normal human emotion, and a sign that we need more human contact. But long-term loneliness can lead to serious physical and mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and can be a factor in heart disease, blood pressure, and diseases like Alzheimer’s.

We also know that people in London are more likely to be lonely than in any other city in the UK.

How Community Befrienders helps

For us at Volunteer Centre Hackney, we’re really seeing the loneliness epidemic. Every week, we get referrals from healthcare professionals. The number of people referred to our befriending service is higher than ever, even than during the pandemic.

In 2023, our volunteers helped us provide over 6,500 hours of 1-1 support, free for those who needed it. We’ve helped residents in very difficult situations, and have helped them get out and about, meeting new people. 94% of our service users said that having a befriender improved their physical and mental health.

How can I help?

This year, we’re getting more referrals, more people who need befrienders than ever. And we urgently need your support.

We urgently need more volunteers to connect with lonely and isolated adults in Hackney and City of London. Without volunteers, there would be no befriending service.

For an hour a week, you can be there for someone. Be a listening ear, someone to have a cup of tea with, go for a walk, or play games over the phone.

Our team’s here to give you training, connect you with other volunteers, and make sure you have all the support you need.

Unlike most befriending services, we support anyone over the age of 18. We also put a lot of time into matching people who have things in common, like their preferred language. So if you speak Tamil, Polish, Spanish, or any of the 89 languages spoken in Hackney, we will try and match you with someone who also prefers that language.

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