The Great London Friendship Project is a non-profit community project established in 2021 in response to the epidemic of loneliness reported amongst young people in their 20s and 30s following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Contrary to common associations with loneliness and old age, it is actually young adults that are most disproportionately affected by loneliness, with the latest ONS stats showing that young people are now over twice as likely to struggle with social isolation than those over 70.
Far from getting better, we saw that these issues had been severely exacerbated as a result of 2 years of increased social isolation, the breakdown of communities and the rise of remote working which have led to epidemic levels of loneliness.
Indeed, it was this trend and the highly damaging impact that we now know loneliness can have on physical health (comparable to 15 cigarettes a day) and its links to depression, suicide rates and a range of mental health issues - that led us to establish the project.
We've grown to a community of over 30,000 young people across London and our larger events regularly attract 100-200 attendees every week and since 2021, we've helped create thousands of friendships.
To listen to some of the testimonials about the project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1O8PCZHJs8
The project brings together young Londoners in their 20s and 30s from diverse backgrounds together through the provision of free or low-cost social events and community initiatives.
Every week, we organise and host 3-4 events such as board games nights, social walks, activity nights and day trips - all of which are designed to provide spaces where young people can meet new people, build friendships and find a true sense of belonging and community in London.
Alongside this, we also provide a range of initiatives such as Xmas day hikes for those alone over the festive period, as well as groups and online spaces to connect our individuals with similar interests and passions (e.g. travel, music etc.)