Isolation and the feeling of loneliness can play a huge factor in our well-being and mental health. It is also said that living within a city can make it feel more challenging to develop a feeling of community and a support network around you.
According to the Reconceptualising Loneliness in London report, Londoners are more likely than others in the UK to be affected by severe forms of loneliness. 700,000 individuals within the city felt they experienced feelings of loneliness ‘mostly’ or ‘all of the time’. That works out as about 1 in 12 of us.
But there are people out there trying to make London that little bit less lonely.
London’s Lonely Girls Club is a community of over 40,000 women set up to provide a safe space in London to create friendships and explore the city together. They run very regular monthly meet-ups which are both in person and online, from bank holiday picnics in Victoria Park to making your own boob clay pots- there really is something for everyone!
I got in touch with Holly Cooke who is the The Founder of London Lonely Girls Club to find out more about why she felt the club was needed;
Why did you feel there was a need for the London Lonely Girls Club?
I moved to London from my hometown of Stoke On Trent when I was 22 and I didn’t know anyone in the city. Although it had always been my dream to live and work in London, the reality was a little different when you were alone. I tried a couple of different apps when it came to meeting new people and making friends and through these quickly realised that I wasn’t alone in how I was feeling and there were so many others out there. From this the idea came to create a community and space, both physically and online, to help people connect in person and build friendships.
What advice would you give to women who feel isolated in London?
Due to the fast-paced nature of London, and how transient it can feel with people constantly coming and going, it can feel particularly isolating. Especially if you don’t know many people or those you do know are in different life stages or have different interests from you.
For myself, when struggling with feelings of loneliness or isolation, I try and get out of the house and do something I enjoy, whether this is going to a food market or to the theatre. Learning to be alone and enjoy my own company and space was really difficult at first but was one of the most important things that helped me when it came to feeling lonely. The other is to connect with others! Whether this is through joining a community like The London Lonely Girls Club, or going along to something like a sports team or craft club, although scary, put yourself out there and meet new people. You never know who you might meet or the wonderful impact they could have on your life.
How have those who have joined found the experience?
We have incredible feedback from our members, and always love hearing their stories of the wonderful friendships and connections they’ve made! From meeting housemates to travel buddies, members forming book and walking clubs, to one person describing her experience as having met her “lifelong bestie”.
What words of wisdom would you give to women who are wanting to find their happiest selves?
Finding yourself, who you are and what you love is so vital to happiness and contentment. Not forcing yourself to fit a specific box, stereotype or standard, but giving yourself the space and time to find and be who you really are is so key!