A new charity has been set up in Mapperley to help combat loneliness in young people.
Damien Reynolds recently started The Wolfpack Project to help people experiencing the problem and create social opportunities for them.
New research has found that 9 million people in the UK admit to being lonely. The figures also show that 16-24 year-olds are the most affected age group, with 65% believing loneliness is problem for people their age.
The charity will help people by providing 1-2-1 support through their buddy scheme and encourage individuals to join of their Wolfpack social groups, where people can make new friendships and further widen their support network.
It is already helping 25 people in the local area.
The new research has revealed loneliness can have an impact on people’s health:
- Loneliness, living alone and poor social connections are as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day (Holt-Lunstad, 2010)
- Loneliness is worse for you than obesity (Holt-Lunstad, 2010)
- Lonely people are more likely to suffer from dementia, heart disease and depression.
- Loneliness is likely to increase your risk of death by 29% (Holt-Lunstad, 2015)
Charity founder, Damien Reynolds said: “For some time I’ve increasingly felt isolated and alone. As I get older – now in my 30’s – I’ve ceased to make as many new friendships, and found for a number of reasons, older friendships have fallen by the wayside in the process. I socialise less and feel a greater sense of dissatisfaction than ever before.
“We’re increasingly being lost to a world of noise cancelling headphones, iPhones and social media – We’re communicating more than ever (digitally), yet forming less meaningful connections and distancing ourselves more from the people around us. In fact, research shows that whilst use of social media has significantly increased over the past 5-10 years, so has feelings of loneliness.
“The Wolfpack Project will now provide access to activities that promote greater self-esteem, confidence and a sense of well-being. Such activities and social groups will enable our service users to establish new friendships and a wider support network.”
The project is currently helping 25 people in the local area and aims to support at least 250 individuals – aged 16-50 – by 2021.
You can find out more about the project by emailing [email protected]
A new website will be launching soon https://thewolfpackproject.org.uk