Friends for Good could not have imagined when we started how much we would learn and where our starting point would take us.
Hearing the stories of loneliness and the need for friendship from seniors in the community led us to set up Friends for Good.
Since that time two distinct streams of work have taken place. Part of our work has been in setting up a robust organisation, meeting regulations and planning. The other part has been in learning more about loneliness, how it affects so many people, its sometimes harmful consequences and the work that is happening around the world to combat it. It is a battle personally for people experiencing loneliness, for researchers to know more about it and for service providers to reach lonely people. This battle is hampered by the shroud of stigma, people usually don’t want to talk about their experience of it.
Australia is lagging behind in both longitudinal studies, solid research outcomes and having the conversation publicly about loneliness.
If there is research happening we would very much like to hear about it. We are hopeful that any research will translate quickly into services in the community. Friends for Good want to have the conversation. We have no large pots of cash to undertake research but we have much goodwill and determination to put this problem on the public’s and the government’s agenda.
We are providing a space for people to find out about loneliness and to talk about it.
Behind the scenes we are working to establish services and will continue to do so. We would like to hear from people who are, or who have been affected by loneliness. What worked for you or what do you think will help you be free from loneliness?