Time spent with friends is decreasing

Christmas is typically a time spent with friends and family. However, nearly half of people in the South West (48%) claim to only have 1-3 close friends according to a new survey conducted by crafting company Stampin’ Up! UK.

The survey asked respondents* to state how many close friends they had and whether the frequency with which they meet up with friends increased, decreased or stayed the same over the last 5 years.

The results also reveal 37% of people in the South West felt time spent with friends is decreasing. Interestingly when breaking the results down by age category in the UK as a whole, the number of people who have no close friends jumps from 1% (18-24) to 15% (55-64).

Whether it’s a case of job demands, bereavement, or digital lifestyle choices reducing face-to-face contact, several campaign groups have highlighted the health implications of social isolation. Research shows that lacking social connections is as damaging to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.[1] 

Paula Gorry, UK Business Development Manager, Stampin’ Up! UK, comments: “As Christmas is just around the corner, it’s very dispiriting to find so many people in social isolation. However, there are a range of options available to tackle loneliness with hobbies such as crafting being a great example.

“With making being the new baking the UK has a sizeable crafting community. It’s a very sociable and inclusive activity,  so whether you’re a new or experienced crafter it offers the perfect excuse to have a get-together paving the way for lasting friendships.”