This week sees International Friendship Day land with us. We are a compassionate place here in Cornwall, which is why we scored relatively low on the loneliness index. We know that with such a powerful volunteer force, there are fewer people feeling lonely and isolated in Cornwall. Our research shows the pandemic has forged new friendships. We take a quick look at why friendship is so good for us.

Friends help you to live longer

Firstly, you don’t need to have lots of friendships. Having one good friend can help combat isolation. Scientists believe the link between friendships and living longer relate to the way we handle stress.

General health improves with being connected

Secondly, people with lots of friends over their life span have better health in general. Your social connections lead to improved brain health.

Emotional Support

All of us can face troubles in our lives. Having good friends allows you to share these and receive emotional support. Being a good friend also means you give emotional support, so you feel valued too. Caring for other people gives our own lives more meaning.

Our friends help us to belong

We all need to feel like we belong. Following the essential needs of shelter, food and water, we thrive when we feel like we belong. Friendships offer a space to belong.

There are lots of reasons why we might begin to feel isolated. This feeling can come from relocating, loss or changing jobs. Friendship Day is an important reminder that we all need to feel connected. Taking the first step can be daunting. Over the coming weeks, we will explore the themes of friendship, connectedness and loneliness in more detail. In the meantime, here is a short list of suggestions for meeting new people and looking to create friendships.

What are some ways to meet new people?

You can met new people by going to new places, or taking up new hobbies. You might need to be brave but the good news is there are so many amazing community groups in Cornwall.

Why not try:

  • Attending community events. Now restrictions have eased, many more clubs and outdoor events will take place.
  • Volunteer. Offer your time or talents at one of the many community sector organisations. You will meet likeminded people
  • Extend and accept invitations. Invite a friend to join you for coffee or lunch. If you are invited: say yes more!
  • Take up a new interest. You could join a gym or start a sport and meet people there.
  • Join a faith community. Take advantage of special activities and get-to-know-you events for new members.
  • Take a walk. Even taking a stroll around your neighbourhood can help to build connections.

We know this list is not exhaustive. We want to hear how you plan to spend friendship day. As always, let comms@cornwallvsf.org know what you’re up to!