Loneliness can have an impact on physical and mental health - including anxiety, depression and risk of dementia - and is associated with reduced life expectancy. Meanwhile, communities can become fragmented, compounding the problem and leading to further negative social outcomes.
68% of adults in the UK say they feel lonely either often, always or sometimes.
Although digital can sometimes be blamed for exacerbating problems of loneliness and isolation, we've found that digital skills delivered in combination with community support can have a significant impact on reducing isolation and helping people feel more connected to their communities.
The first step into an Online Centre can be the start of a more connected life - Online Centres are located in the heart of their communities, engaging local people with new skills. Our Specialist Centres also offer particular support to those groups that may be at greater risk of isolation - disabled people, carers, older people and ESOL learners.
Teaching new digital skills such as Skype and socialising online helps people to stay in touch with friends and family. online forums can help people feel less alone with the issues they’re facing while help with language skills leads to greater self-confidence in communicating with others.
Good Things Foundation believes that peer support (both online and offline) is crucial. 28% of our learners go on to volunteer, in centres or elsewhere, sharing their own knowledge and experience with others.