Make more mates and meet more often

Our Branches across the UK are hosting a series of special get-togethers throughout September to encourage people to make new friends, after our research revealed that almost half of adults with significant friends (48%) only get together with them less than once a month.

The research, conducted by YouGov on behalf of the Oddfellows, also shows that a fifth (20%) of GB adults, aged 55 and over, go for at least six months without being socially active. That includes attending things like social events, going to church, or simply grabbing a coffee with a friend.

By contrast, 83% of Oddfellows members say they spend time with a significant friend once a month or more, with 50% saying they see their good mates at least once a week.

Friends aren’t just there to socialise with, they provide support and comfort in times of need. Jane Nelson, CEO

With friendship a hugely important factor for both health and happiness, the Oddfellows is encouraging residents to join them for a range of events organised by our 124 local Branches across the UK as part of Friendship Month – which runs for the whole of September.

Oddfellows Coffe Morning

Jane Nelson, CEO of the Oddfellows, said: “Many studies have proved how regular company is essential to living a happier life. In fact, some would say that spending time with friends is as important as eating healthily or exercising. Friends aren’t just there to socialise with, they provide support and comfort in times of need.

“Most of us make our friends through work, family or education. As we age and our life changes, we have less access to these everyday social opportunities, which can contribute towards social isolation in a huge way.”

The YouGov study found that 21% of adults haven’t met anyone who became a significant friend in over 10 years. 43% of adults cited work as a place they’ve met significant friends, followed by during their school and university years (37%), through mutual friends (26%) and through family or children (15%).

This September marks the 10th anniversary of Friendship Month, our annual awareness campaign to celebrate the power of friendship, highlight the need to keep social as we age, and to signpost people to ways they can stay connected to their communities.

Oddfellows bunting

Jane continued: “The Oddfellows is here to offer friendship and support all year round, but every September, as part of Friendship Month, our Branches put on lots of exciting events which are perfect for first introductions. If someone is unsure about what to expect, please contact us so we can put you at ease. If we know someone new is coming on their own, we’ll always ensure there’s someone for them to “buddy up” with until they find their feet.

“We’ve over two centuries of experience in offering friendship and support to our local members, so we’re no stranger to helping people discover new friendships.”

To speak with someone ahead of trying out an event, or to receive a free information pack and local events diary, contact us by email at enquiries@oddfellows.co.uk or call 0800 028 1810. For further information about Friendship Month, please visit www.friendshipmonth.com.