We wrote about loneliness during the pandemic a couple of months ago. As Covid-19 restrictions start to lift, we are reminded that it was a rising problem even before the pandemic. In 2018, a BBC loneliness experiment found 16-24 year olds were more likely to identify as being lonely than the over 75 year olds.
One social enterprise trying to address this issue is a start-up called BuddyHub. They provide a valuable service creating new social circles for older people, with an array of difficult life circumstances, who are experiencing social isolation and loneliness. They match them to adults of all ages, living nearby, who are looking for purpose, friendship and a sense of community. The interactions are powerful with both sides appreciating the intergenerational perspective. In some cases relationships have formed that are more akin to a grandparent and grandchild / child connection with them sharing different worlds and learning from each other.
As Founder Catherine McClen says, ‘From the start I spoke of people joining the “BuddyHub family” because I understood so many others needed to forge a new extended family around them, just like me. It’s incredibly touching to be thanked by a member for putting her ‘in contact with such wonderful girls. I am very happy that they are in my life. They are part of the family now!’.’
Brands are looking for initiatives that align with their purpose or reflect the interests of their consumers. On the other hand, social enterprises like BuddyHub will go even faster and further with the support of brands. We like to collide worlds that will ultimately benefit people and local communities.
If you would like to know more or how you could support their cause, please get in touch.