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CONNECTING

Social connection ideas

You've decided that you do want to make more social connections. Where do you go from here? We've pulled together some great activities and groups to consider, to help you find something that interests you.  

The flipside of loneliness is connection. It’s important to know that a person isn’t defined by their loneliness; it’s just something that they are experiencing at that point in time and they’re still a unique and interesting individual with a range of hobbies and talents. However, feeling lonely can sometimes zap your zest for life or affect your confidence to join a club or community. The good news is there’s a great range of resources and activities for everyone. What are your interests and what do you enjoy? Is there something you’ve always fancied doing? Our Marmalade connection directory will point you in the direction of like-minded people and the right social connections for you.

 

What type of activity interests you?

Creative / artistic

 

Painters Online 

An offshoot of The Artist and Leisure Painter magazines, Painters Online offer tips and run online and in-person courses and workshops, as well as art clubs, holidays and events.

www.painters-online.co.uk

 

The Amateur Theatre Network

Interested in amateur dramatics? This volunteer-run network offers opportunities from treading the boards to helping backstage. 

www.amdram.co.uk

 

Web of Loneliness

Express yourself through art. An online community and website which provides information and tips on loneliness. Users are able to share artwork and poetry.

www.webofloneliness.com

 

Animals, conservation and the environment

 

Social Farms & Gardens

A UK charity for farming and community growing projects with an emphasis on wellbeing and our connection to nature, including a network of local farms.

www.farmgarden.org.uk

 

Borrow My Doggy

Describing themselves as ‘connecting dog owners and local dog walkers for walks, weekends and holidays,’ this dog-loving community is nationwide and offers vetting and insurance. 

www.borrowmydoggy.com

 

The Countryside Charity

A wide range of volunteering opportunities across the UK from becoming a ‘Hedgerow Hero’ to countryside co-ordinators and admin support. 

www.cpre.org.uk

 

 
 

History and culture

 

British Association for Local History

A national charity promoting local history and serving local historians. Check out what talks are on near you, as well as regular guided visits to archives, libraries, museums and other places of interest.

www.bahl.org.uk 

 

British Modern Military History

Founded in 2019, this Oxfordshire based organisation hold regular talks, including a monthly Zoom call (£8 in person, £5 suggested online donation).

www.bmmhs.org

 
 

Physical exercise

 

The National Trust 

Find new friends to walk with and feel connected to your local landscape. The National Trust offers a range of nationwide walks including ones for mental health and UK groups run by BAME communities.

www.nationaltrust.org.uk

 

Outdoor Swimming Society and National Open Water Coaching Association 

No longer the domain of elite athletes and New Year’s Day dippers, cold water swimming is attracting people of all ages and abilities for the mental and physical health benefits, as well as the community aspect. For more information, venues and safety tips, visit: 

www.outdoorswimmingsociety.com and www.nowca.org 

 

Meet Up 

Want to learn to tango? Dance the foxtrot? Try online salsa? Type in the dance of your choice and this national platform connects you with people in your area and beyond with the same interests. 

www.meetup.com

Personal development / learn something new

The Women’s Institute 

Started in 1915, the WI prides itself on being a trusted place for women of all generations to come together, have shared experiences, make a difference and learn new skills. With over 6,300 WIs across the UK and virtual WIs to join from the comfort of your own home. 

www.thewi.org.uk

 

Men’s Sheds

A place to enjoy practical interests, meet people and learn to make and mend, Men’s Sheds is an organisation about social connections and shared spaces, rather than a solitary man sat in his shed. Despite the stereotype, Men’s Sheds also attract younger members and women. A great organisation for intergenerational connection.

www.menssheds.org.uk

 

Feeling useful (volunteering / community)

National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)

Representing over 16,000 voluntary organisations, charities, community groups and social enterprises across England, there’s a vast amount of volunteering opportunities available, as well as a network of accredited volunteer centres.

www.ncvo.org.uk 

 

Do It

A networking platform that focuses on wellbeing, Do It aims to bring people and communities together through doing shared good and has a significant charity database.

www.doitlife/volunteer

 

Marmalade Trust 

Join the Marmalade family and our wonderful team of volunteers! From our Christmas Doorstep and Christmas Cheer volunteers to social media and admin support, volunteering with us is a great way to help others and make new friends. 

www.marmaladetrust.org/volunteer

 

About our loneliness guides

At Marmalade Trust, we're encouraging people to see loneliness as an experience, not as a condition. It doesn't define us. By building a greater awareness and acceptance of loneliness, we can help ourselves and others to manage the feeling.