26 October 2023

We recently hosted a thought-provoking breakfast event, "Community Connections: Navigating Loneliness in a Changing World," at the Napier War Memorial Centre. It was an event that delved into the issues of loneliness and the importance of forging connections in our modern society.

Our guest speaker, Carl Davidson from Research First, delivered a presentation that left us both somber and motivated. He shed light on the concerning rise of loneliness in our society, especially among young people. Yet, he also offered solutions and insights into how we can tackle this issue to improve our overall well-being, productivity, and creativity.

Here are some key takeaways from Carl's presentation:

  1. Loneliness Prevalence: Carl highlighted that 1 in 8 people feel lonely most days, and a surprising 17% of high school students experience loneliness on most days.

  2. Isolated Individuals: Shockingly, 8% of people admitted that they don't have anyone in their life who would drop everything to come to their aid (that's 1 in 12).

  3. The Loneliness Economy: Modern conveniences like Door Dash and Uber Eats are making it easier for people to stay isolated, contributing to the loneliness epidemic.

  4. Health Impact: Loneliness has a health impact comparable to smoking 15 cigarettes a day, emphasizing its serious consequences.

  5. Community and Workplace: Joining groups and having social connections significantly reduce the likelihood of dying, even more than not smoking and exercising. Loneliness can have detrimental effects on creativity, productivity, and attendance at work.

  6. Workplace Loneliness: Employees aged 18-24 are more likely to experience loneliness, full-time workers more so than part-timers, and surprisingly, people working in teams can also feel isolated.

  7. "Third Places": Apart from home and work, Carl highlighted the importance of "third places" where people know your name, contributing to a sense of belonging.

  8. The Power of Small Gestures: Even a simple wave or a friendly greeting can have a positive impact on someone's day.


Our event wouldn't have been possible without the generous support of the Napier City Council for their support in making this event an reality and Bellantino's Food Lovers Market, who provided a fantastic prize. A big congratulations to Andrew from Cranford Hospice for winning!

"Community Connections" was not just an event but a step toward building a stronger, more connected community. We firmly believe that by addressing loneliness and nurturing connections, we can all work together to create a happier and more supportive society.

Thank you for being a part of this important discussion. Let's continue to reach out, connect, and make a positive impact on the lives of those around us.