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Published: 9 December 2020

Person by themselves

The University of Sunderland in London’s Health and Wellbeing team are back, this week tackling the issue of loneliness.

Read on to find out why it’s more common than you think and how your student community can help you feel less alone.

“With night’s getting longer and temperatures dropping, winter can be a difficult time for a lot of people, including students.

2020, in particular, has been hard with COVID-driven lockdowns and restrictions on our lives.

According to a recent study by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), up to 2.6 million adults in the UK reported feelings of loneliness in April at the height of the pandemic.

Isolation doesn’t have to mean we’re on our own. More often it’s a state of mind rather than anything else. But knowing this doesn’t make the feelings easier to handle.

The reality is that loneliness is more damaging to our health than obesity, air pollution or even smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

Causes of loneliness

Like most things to do with our emotions, the roots of feeling alone are highly individual.

There is rarely one cause but with things like lectures and meetings moving online, it can sometimes feel hard to build connections with other students or your lecturers.

The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. Not even in your feelings of loneliness.

Because of how common the issue is, there are some fantastic resources online for you.

Get help

Local services

Take a look at the Red Cross loneliness service – Connecting Communities London.

They’ll help you:

  • Meet new friends
  • Connect with local activities and services
  • Rediscover old interests and find new ones
  • Build your confidence

Group help

The mental health charity Mind offers peer support and online forums through the Side by Side project.

Their aim is to create a non-judgemental community where you can feel safe to share your experiences and get advice from people who have gone through similar things.

Your University community

The Health and Wellbeing Team are running Chai and Chat sessions on a bi-weekly basis and the next session’s theme is loneliness.

Every two week we run Chai and Chat sessions exclusively for University of Sunderland in London students.

They’re a chance for you to sit down with your laptop and a cup of your favourite comforting drink and talk to us about the issues you’re experiencing.

The next session is on Friday 11th December at 2pm, with a theme of how to fight off loneliness.  

If you would like to be part of these sessions, get in contact with the Health and Wellbeing team at or call us on 0207 531 7343.

Feeling lonely can happen to anyone at any point in their lives. Know, if you are going through that right now, you have people here at the University who will support you.

We know it can be overwhelming, but sometimes all you have to do is take that first step and you’re on your way to feeling OK!”

The Health and Wellbeing team are here to support you through your whole student journey.

Use the contact details above or get in touch on Compass to book a one-to-one appointment if you need advice or guidance on a wide range of issues.