It is increasingly common to feel lonely, even when you live in a huge city surrounded by millions of people.
VIDEOS BY INSPIRE MORE
A recent study showed that one out of every 12 people living in London, England are affected by severe loneliness. Twenty-six-year-old Holly Cooke was one Londoner who felt the pangs of loneliness soon after moving to the city in 2018. She wanted to make new friends, but didn’t have a clue where to start.
“London is so big, it leaves a lot of space for loneliness,” Holly explained. Later, she added: “I Googled how to make friends in London.”
At first, she tried the usual methods to meet people around her age, but she was uncomfortable meeting potential friends one-on-one. She felt that starting a friendship could be easier in a group setting, so she decided to start a Facebook page for women to meet up and do fun activities in and around London.
She set up a page called The London Lonely Girls Club and started setting up in-person meet-ups a few times each week. Over time, their membership grew to be thousands strong!
@londonlonelygirlsclub The first London Lonely Girls Club picnic meet-up of 2023 â˜€ï¸ðŸ™ŒðŸ» #picnic #spring #springinlondon #londonlonelygirlsclub #victoriaparklondon #londonislonely #lonelygirlsclub #londonmeetup #londonfriends #thingstodoinlondon #picniclondon â™¬ Spring is coming – afamilyfarmhouse
The club now hosts four to six group events per month. Events range from the standard dinner and drinks to more active or creative pursuits, like paint and sip nights, exercise classes, or board game nights. Holly currently has two volunteers who help her with organizing these events.
Any woman is welcome in the group, but most of their members are in their 20s and 30s.
The club continued even during the COVID-19 pandemic, although with more online meet-ups than in-person. By the start of 2022, the group had grown from 10,000 members to over 30,000, and more people continue to flock to the group each day.
When the pandemic restrictions lifted, they saw an even greater influx of new members.
“Meet-ups are getting booked up in five minutes,” said Holly. “Our first meet-up post Covid sold out in two minutes.
Holly understands exactly why her group has become such a success.
“Loneliness is a difficult one,” she said. “It doesn’t matter where you live. People feel it in so many different ways. London is so transient. Some just moved here; others have been here their whole life.”
She feels that providing women with a safe place to get to know each other takes some of the pressure off of the first meetings, allowing true friendships to blossom. After all, everyone who attends an event is there to make friends, so there’s no sense of shame or inadequacy.
This is such an incredible idea, we wish we’d thought of it first! We could all use some more friends in our life, and this seems like a brilliant way to make them without risk of rejection. Well done, Holly!
Share this story to tell others about the London Lonely Girls Club.
Want to be happier in just 5 minutes a day? Sign up for Morning Smile and join over 455,000+ people who start each day with good news.