More than half a million people are lonely compared to the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Campaigners say nearly four million people nationwide have reported feeling more lonely since 2020 which is a rise of seven percent.
Burton Albion Community Trust is the first organisation in the UK footballing community to launch initiatives to combat loneliness in the over 50s.
The pilot programme to encourage people aged 50 to become more active was set up 13 years ago with help from English Football Leauge Trust. It is now But now funded by Burton Albion fans.
The trust runs weekly events focused on meeting new people and taking part in a range of social and physical activities.
Amy Lewis, 28, is the Community Health Coordinator at the trust and has been working at Burton Albion F.C. for the past 10 years. As a former dancer, she leads walks for the elderly.
Approximately 7.1% of people in Great Britain (3.83 million) experience chronic loneliness, meaning they feel lonely ‘often or always, according to Campaign to End Loneliness, 2024.
It’s not just one organisation tackling loneliness. Make New Friends Burton was founded by Nikki Everiss, five years ago. Currently, more than 9,000 people are a part of their community.
“I didn’t want to make friends at the gym, I work from home so it was just me and I had just lost my mum”.
The group is for ladies only and began on Facebook in Burton Upon Trent and now women can meet up in Birmingham, Solihull, Coventry and more.
The group was formed after Nikki felt feelings of loneliness after working from home on her own and the loss of her mum. Through the group Nikki met her best friend co-partner Michelle Cooper
These feelings of loneliness are important to recognise and you are not alone.
Who to contact if you feel Lonely:
- British Red Cross support line on 0808 196 3651
- Samaritans on 116 123
- Sliver Line 0800 4 70 80 90
- Age UK 0800 678 1602