Socialising again after losing a partner

It's only natural when grieving to retreat socially. Feeling ready to socialise again can take some people weeks, and others years. We say, just take it one step at a time, and do what feels right for you.

As the UK's biggest and oldest friendly society, we're no stranger to supporting people through difficult times. We hold hundreds of social events each month. So if you're looking to try out a new group or activity then we'd love to welcome you.


  • Feel free to ring ahead so you know what to expect. We could arrange for someone to meet you at the door and introduce you to someone understanding, or you could bring a friend or family member along.
  • Just give it a try, you've nothing to lose.
  • Try an activity that matches your interests and meet like-minded people.

My story: Tony


When Tony's wife of 17 years, Rosemary, passed away in 2016, he felt completely lost. She wasn’t just his wife, but a very close soulmate.  They had travelled the world together and created many happy memories. He was tired of feeling alone and reached out to his local Oddfellows friendship group for support. 

Here for you when you're ready

We've 124 Branches across the country, so chances are there's one running events in your area. Why not take the first step and find out what events are of interest? You'll find a hand of friendship waiting for you, however far along the journey you are.

Getting ready to socialise again

When you lose a loved one, it can seem like the world has come to an end. Whether their death was expected, or not, becoming 'one' after you’ve been a 'two' can be one of the hardest things you’ll have to do.

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Being there for a friend

Maybe you've noticed that your friends are finding it hard to know what to say or do to help. Or maybe you're that friend who wants to be there for someone who's lost a partner... we hope this advice can help.

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Take any opportunity to mix with people. Don't say no. It will be hard, but it's worth it. I now have new, good friends that keep an eye on my wellbeing.

Jenny Atkin Oddfellows member

Joining your local Oddfellows group

Enjoying regular events and activities is just one of the many benefits to becoming a member of your local Oddfellows Branch.

From care and welfare advice, and support to special offers, opportunities to travel and 24/7 use of our historical archives – there's so many reasons to consider becoming part of your local friendlier society. *T&Cs apply to all financial benefits.

Benefits of membership
A neighbourly nudge to re-gain confidence

When Joy Warren’s husband of 50 years passed away, her confidence took a knock. Meeting new people and joining in again socially was a daunting prospect. Fortunately, just doors away were friendly neighbours Janet and Michael Porter who knocked on her door and invited her to join them at a local friendship group event.

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Life, love and loss: The Norfolk girl gang

Members of the Dereham Branch of the Oddfellows, widows Jenny Atkin, Jackie Madge, Glenda Davis and Rosemary Fraser say they had never felt more isolated than when their husbands died. Read their touching story of how they found friendship and support in a sisterhood.

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Dorothy's olympic approach to ending loneliness

After representing Team GB at the 1960s Rome Olympics, Dorothy Shirley-Emerson travelled the world and enjoyed a long and happy marriage with her soulmate. But for stoic Dorothy – who dedicated much of her life to athletics after winning silver for the high jump – nothing could prepare her for the loneliness that came with going home to an empty house after her husband Jack died.

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Everyone's welcome

Because friendships don’t start in empty rooms – the more people there are, the more magic happens. Watch our video and find out how Oddfellows membership is bringing a spark to people’s lives.