Building Communities Online and on the Phone

Loneliness and isolation affects people across the UK (and the world) regardless of social class or background. Being lonely can last for a few hours to a number of years, and for many loneliness is not only unpleasant but has very real effects on health and well-being.

Face to face contact is by far the best way to build up connections with others but what about if you can’t get out of the house? What if you lack the confidence to walk into a room full of strangers or don’t have anything nearby that interests you?

At Community Network we run a programme called Talking Communities. At the heart of this is peer support, the principle that people are best place to support one another. For 25 years we have been running telephone groups for people who are at risk of or experiencing loneliness, isolation and exclusion. Using a specially designed conference service we have been able to connect people together from the comfort of their own homes. It is a service that is free, safe and accessible. Telephone Communities reduce loneliness, build confidence, and improve health and well-being for older people across the UK.

The world we living is changing, with smart phones, tablets, and computers opening up ways in which people can connect. At Community Network we are looking for ways to expand our Talking Communities programme – 2015 will see us pilot video groups, an online peer support discussion forum and peer led research into the loneliness experienced by 18 to 24 year olds.

Tackling loneliness is something we can only do together. We would love to hear your views as to what you think are the most effective ways of stopping loneliness in its tracks.

To find out more about our Talking Communities programme visit our website: or email us on

Telephone: 020 7923 5250
Twitter: @com_net

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